ARCHIVES & COLLECTIONS MANAGEMENT
Along with the responsibility for care and conservation of the historic Lighthouse structures and the surrounding lands, the Society has also taken on the task of building, organizing and managing an “archival and collections management system” to ensure that the historic materials associated with the site are documented, protected and, where possible, made accessible to the public.
Our first task was to develop an Archives and Collections Management Policy to govern how we will assess, take on responsibility for, manage and, if necessary, dispose of historic materials and artifacts. This policy sets out procedures for each of these steps. While it is anticipated that the Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society will remain a volunteer run and operated organization – and will always have to contend with limited resources – the policy strives to achieve a high level of professionalism and standards in our collections management procedures and activities.
When the Coast Guard replaced equipment at their lighthouses, all too often that equipment was lost (or even just dumped in the ocean — especially at remote lighthouses), due to expediency. We are fortunate that former lightkeeper Jim Bruton (and others) intervened to make sure that Sheringham Point’s original Fresnel Lens and original diaphone foghorn were, instead, donated to the Sooke Region Museum, where they were housed for many years (albeit for much of the time in storage). We are also fortunate that the museum has provided this equipment back to the Lighthouse Society, so we can display it on site. The Coast Guard, as well, has been generous in providing us access to their archives and records, so that we can bring many more materials relating the the Lighthouse back in to public view. We continue to work with such partners, as well as other agencies to seek out additional materials and, as they are acquired, they will be made available as well.
There are also many individuals and families still living in the area who have direct connections (through their work, or through personal and/or family relationships) to the Lighthouse and its operations. Many of those people have already been in touch with us and offered access to their documents, photographs and family keepsakes. We are beginning to work through these contacts, and anticipate being able to add substantively to our archive collection (and even some additional artifacts) in the coming months and years.
Should you have, or know anyone who has, such ties to the Lighthouse and its history, and may be willing to provide access to your/their treasures, we encourage you to please get in contact with us.
Database and Website
To help maintain and provide access to the archives and artifact collection, the Society is digitizing all of its records and documents (including historic documents, records and photographs, as well as documentary photographs of artifacts) to the extent it can. The digital records are organized in a database, which forms the foundation of a secondary web site — The Sheringham Point Lighthouse History and Archives Website. This website will be continually under renewal/expansion, as additional materials are accessed and added to the collections.
Should you have more detailed questions, or require further access, please get in contact with us.