VIDEO: From the attic to online: how the Alder Grove Heritage Society is digitizing history

Aldergrove Community Secondary School students Jacky Guyho (left) and Iris Okazaki were sorting through historic artifacts in the attic of the Alder Grove Heritage Society museum at 3190 271 St. on Sunday, March 13. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Aldergrove Community Secondary School students Jacky Guyho (left) and Iris Okazaki were sorting through historic artifacts in the attic of the Alder Grove Heritage Society museum at 3190 271 St. on Sunday, March 13. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Brenda Haid, vice-president of the Alder Grove Heritage Society, seen here on Sunday, March 13, reached for some of the historic documents being digitized by volunteers. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Brenda Haid, vice-president of the Alder Grove Heritage Society, seen here on Sunday, March 13, reached for some of the historic documents being digitized by volunteers. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
A former B.C. Telephone Co. building serves as the Alder Grove Telephone Museum and Community Archives at 3190 271 St. On Sunday, March 13, volunteers were busy digitizing fragile historic documents. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)A former B.C. Telephone Co. building serves as the Alder Grove Telephone Museum and Community Archives at 3190 271 St. On Sunday, March 13, volunteers were busy digitizing fragile historic documents. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Aldergrove Community Secondary School students Jacky Guyho and Iris Okazaki spent part of Sunday, March 13, in the attic of the Alder Grove Telephone Museum and Community Archives climbing up a ladder to sort through historic artifacts.

Aldergrove Community Secondary School students Jacky Guyho (left) and Iris Okazaki were sorting through historic artifacts in the attic of the Alder Grove Heritage Society museum at 3190 271 St. on Sunday, March 13. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Aldergrove Community Secondary School students Jacky Guyho (left) and Iris Okazaki were sorting through historic artifacts in the attic of the Alder Grove Heritage Society museum at 3190 271 St. on Sunday, March 13. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

For Okazaki, a third-generation Aldergrove resident, it was an opportunity to get a close-up look at the history of her community.

“I’ve been coming here a couple of years,” Okazaki told the Langley Advance Times.

For Guyho, who is a newcomer to Aldergrove, learning about the history of his new home town has confirmed his initial impression.

“It’s really nice here,” Guyho commented.

READ MORE: Alder Grove Heritage Society looks to locals to ID those in historic photos

Alder Grove Heritage Society vice-president Brenda Haid said the attic is used to store items that are not heat- or cold-sensitive.

More delicate donations, like very old paper documents, are kept downstairs, with some stored in boxes stacked to the ceiling in one narrow room at the back.

In a larger room, volunteers Jane Pratt and Teresa Spring were making sure some of those old documents would be preserved by creating digital images that will eventually be available online.

On Sunday, they were working on documents donated by Elks Lodge 66 Aldergrove, which included the membership papers for the very first Aldergrove Elk, Edward Naskell, who signed as “No. 1” on May 22, 1923.

Brenda Haid, vice-president of the Alder Grove Heritage Society, seen here in the museum on Sunday, March 13, 2022, said digitizing fragile historic documents will make them easier to access.(Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Brenda Haid, vice-president of the Alder Grove Heritage Society, seen here in the museum on Sunday, March 13, 2022, said digitizing fragile historic documents will make them easier to access.(Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Haid said the museum plans to create a database and searchable index of the documents that people can access online.

“If it’s digitized, we can have greater access to it,” Haid explained..

“Some of these older documents are starting to decay,” Haid observed, describing them as “quite fragile.”

Documents donated by Elks Lodge 66 Aldergrove included the membership papers for the very first Aldergrove Elk, Edward Naskell, who signed as “No. 1” on May 23, 1923. It was being digitized by the Alder Grove Telephone Museum and Community Archives on Sunday, March 13. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Documents donated by Elks Lodge 66 Aldergrove included the membership papers for the very first Aldergrove Elk, Edward Naskell, who signed as “No. 1” on May 23, 1923. It was being digitized by the Alder Grove Telephone Museum and Community Archives on Sunday, March 13. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

In the future, the museum is considering making 3D scans of historic objects.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: More than just telephones: Alder Grove Heritage Society museum marks Community Heritage Day

Recently, a grant was recently approved that will make a trove of historic microfilm from the Aldergrove Star available online.

Funds from the British Columbia History Digitization Programme administered by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC, will make the microfilm, which dates from 1957 to 1991, and donated to the museum and archives by former editor Kurt Langmann, freely available to everyone with computer access via UBC’s Open Collection of BC Historical Newspapers website.

The museum received $4,164 in funding towards the $6,800 project, with the balance covered by donations to the society specifically for the digitization program.

Digitization of class photos for Aldergrove Elementary and County Line Elementary are also underway.

To help fund the digital initiatives, a fundraiser is being held in partnership with Clearview Nurseries through the sale of 12” high quality hanging baskets.

The society receives $7 from each basket sold, a Mother’s Day gift that helps support the community museum.

The museum is located at 3190 271st St. More information can be found at aldergroveheritage.ca.


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