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Id 195
Author Richards, I.,
Title Archives as a cornerstone of community growth: developing community archives in Brandon, Manitoba.

Richards, I. (2009). Archives as a cornerstone of community growth: developing community archives in Brandon, Manitoba. (Thesis) The University of Manitoba.

Keywords Archives; Community development; Engagement; Community Archives
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Abstract This thesis explores some possible approaches to better integration of archives with communities and engagement of archives with local community development initiatives. The study suggests that innovative usage of archival material can facilitate community engagement in the knowledge-based economy and support a broad range of community economic development initiatives. Archival public programming and the need for archivists to actively engage with existing and potential users is included in the discussion. Brandon, Manitoba is used as an example of a community that could benefit from the establishment of community archives.

Metodology Primary research was done in part through circulation of a questionnaire. The responses obtained from the questionnaire were used to draw conclusions and formulate opinions about the existing and perceived roles archives play in community development, as well as the feasibility of the creation of a community archives in Brandon. In addition to the survey data collected for this research, numerous secondary sources on archival public programming, community economic development theory and practice, and Brandon’s history were consulted. Websites relating to community archives and municipal approaches to archiving and cultural development were also examined.

Findings This thesis examined the potential connections between archives and community development using Brandon, Manitoba as a case study. Archives are not typically considered to be cornerstones of community development. They have tended to be viewed as useful for a limited range of historical purposes that seem to have little to do with a community's pressing current concerns and future hopes and plans. This is an unfortunate caricature of the value of historical research. Lack of a community archives has hindered pursuit of knowledge of Brandon's history. There is significant scope both for further academic and non-academic historical research. Archives can also play an array of new roles in communities -- from addressing environmental concerns to helping to promote tourism. The ability of archives to contribute to community development has thus grown considerably in recent years. The emergence of the knowledge-based economy has the potential to redefine the value of archives and the records they retain. Using knowledge to deliver products and services in innovative ways is becoming a source of competitive advantage. Community planners are increasingly recognizing the value of applying local knowledge to stimulate growth in cities and towns.Community archives have the capacity to act as centres of local knowledge, providing a resource that the citizens can use to participate in the knowledge-based economy and support many other aspects of community well being.
Open Access YES
Search Database Snowball
Technique Questionnaire; Document analysis
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