Niagara Library to have major resource and craft rooms
The former works room in the basement of the Court House will be taking on a new look during the next few weeks. The room which opens onto the children's section of the Niagara Public Library will be completely redecorated for use as a children's craft room.
Design for the room has come under the skilful hand of Paul Johns and the room will soon have storage area, counter running along two sides, double sinks and book shelves along one wall.
The colonial designed cupboards will boast butcher clock counters and pine doors and the floor and ceiling will be refinished in keeping with the rest of the room.
The library has applied for a Wintario grant to help offset the $6,500 cost of refurbishing the room with the balance of monies coming from the library reserve fund.
The room will allow the children's craft program to move from its present quarters in the reading room and it will give the children more freedom for creativity.
The reading room will be turned into an historical research room with a glass book case housing the historical book collection which has never been on display before. The collection includes over 200 old Canadian books. A microfilm reader and printer will be installed in December and the room is already equipped with files of historical documents. Microfilm of hundreds of documents and old newspapers dating back to 1799 are already at the library.
Librarian Mrs. Gerda Molson is enthusiastic about the research room and plans an official opening and dedication in January.
"This will be a major historical resource centre for the residents of Niagara
Region," Mrs. Molson said and added that this will be the only library in the area with such an extensive resource of historical material.
Niagara Advance. December 2, 1976.
Town library opens local history section
For years now the staff of the Niagara-on-the-Lake public library have had to tell researchers delving into the history of Niagara to seek their information elsewhere.
But chief librarian Gerda Molson says all that will change this Sunday with the opening of a new section in the library, the Niagara Historical Resource Centre.
The library is holding an open house Sunday at 2 p.m., at which Culture Minister Bob Welch will officially open the resource centre.
In fact, materials in the centre have been gradually built up during the past year until it is now, in Mrs. Molson's words, a "mini-archives."
The centre already contains a catalogue of documents held by area churches, the municipality and the Niagara Historical Society relating to the early history of Niagara.
The resource centre, located in one of the library's basement rooms, also contains a stock of microfilmed documents pertaining to early Niagara obtained from the national and provincial archives.
Census information, land grant records, town plans and municipal and school board minutes as well as a host of other documents are stored in the microfilm cabinet.
The library has recently obtained a new microfilm reader-printer which can reproduce the microfilmed documents on paper.
The library's collection of rare books will also be stored in a locked cabinet in the resource centre for reference use only.
The resource centre will enable the library to provide information to genealogists, university researchers and local historians, according to Mrs. Molson. But anyone with a yen to discover more about Niagara's past is free to make use of the new facilities.
In addition to opening the resource centre Sunday, the room where it is located will be formally named the Janet Carnochan Room.
Miss Carnochan was the founding president of the Niagara Historical Society and an early proponent of the public library. She died in 1926.
St. Catharines Standard. May 27, 1977
Federal funds finance library microfilm project
The Niagara Library's historical research facilities are now in the process of expansion with the initiation in September of a Canada Works Project titled "Ommnisciens" (all knowing).
Under the direction of Peter White, project coordinator with George Sinclair, microfilm operator Joyce Spear and Pat Frazier, research technicians, the project will increase the Niagara Library's research potential.
The project will run for a full year and during this period those involved in the project hope to have a complete file on microfilm of all township documents as well as the complete records from area churches. Many of these were registered but never microfilmed when the initial historical research program started two years ago.
A second goal is to acquire microfilm records from other sources which are relevant to the history of Niagara. An order has been placed with the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints which has already recorded on film all Lincoln County Wills from 1794-1900 and the Land Instrument records from the same period. These will be purchased through a Wintario Canadian Materials grant. Eventually the Niagara Library expects to spend $6,000 on additional microfilm.
Mr. Sinclair, who is a graduate of Sheridan College in photography and fine arts as well as the visual arts course at Niagara College will be using photography facilities at Brock university for the actual microfilming. The microfilming must meet archival standards and copies of the completed microfilm will be stored with the Ontario Archives.
As co-founder of the Niagara Historical Resource
Centre, which was opened in May 1977, Peter White sees this latest project as an extension of the original.
"This is considered one of the most advanced research centres in Canada," Mr. White said, noting the filing system at the Library was not only easy to use but was unique in set up.
Before microfilming takes place, researchers Joyce Spear and Pat Frazier arrange and identify the material. In addition, a table of contents is produced, introductions are written, reel labels are made and indexed card files are completed.
The end result should be the completion of 40-60 reels of microfilm which will be stored at the Library. This will represent 60,000 pages of documents.
"It is a very technical project and must be very precise," Miss Spear said last week. "It is a very important project and one which is worthwhile. We are really the only city in Ontario following proper archival procedures."
Anticipating their involvement in archival work the group visited the Ontario archives before embarking on this latest venture and Mr. Sinclair spent two weeks at the Archives learning specialized techniques of microfilming.
For the four employees of project "Omnisciens" the end result will be an overview of history relating to Niagara, one which will include social and cultural influences and one which will allow students and researchers in general a chance to use original source material.
Librarian Gerda Molson observed the material available at the library is exceptionally easy to use. Research has been simplified. Mrs. Molson said, and people are gradually learning the material is here.
Niagara Advance. December 7, 1978.