Building Our Legacy Together: Why Bother?

| December 10, 2010

“A great deal is said by some people about ‘rubbish,’ but one investigator’s ‘rubbish’ may be precious to another, and what appears valueless to-day may be found highly important tomorrow.” American historian Justin H. Smith (1857-1930)

The archives exists to acquire, preserve and make available vital records that document the College. An archive fosters a deeper collective understanding of history through the availability of and research into local archival records. The history of Teachers College — its people, traditions and landmarks –is documented in records.

Russell Hall, 1935

Archival records are particularly essential for local history. An archive ensures that the legacy of the College and all the people that have been involved in its development is preserved and made available to future generations despite fundamental change. An archive can be used as an educational resource students a research resource for faculty. An archive affords a chance to go beyond the textbook to learn about the past directly from the source. An archive can help achieve administrative efficiencies by preserving only those records that are of legal, administrative and historical value. A small percentage of records are considered archival. Archival records also play a key role in issues such as land use planning and environmental assessments. An archive can benefit many groups within the TC community from doctoral candidates to facilities managers. An archive can play a role in promoting and marketing the College through publications and exhibitions and attracting international researchers.

(Adapted from The Benefits of Archives by the Archives Association of Ontario