What is the Archives? Established in 1989 by the Mission District Historical Society, the Mission Community Archives houses a vivid, first-hand account of the Mission area’s storied past. It is a treasure trove of information documenting over 100 years of the community’s history, including its social, economic, and political development.
The Archives is housed in a custom-built 3000 square foot facility - the first of its kind in the Fraser Valley - which
was opened in 1994. Constructed by the District of Mission and leased by the Historical Society, the facility offers a spacious, secure, environmentally-controlled vault for records with a storage capacity in excess of 4,000 linear feet and optimal space to support the other operations of the archives, including records processing, reference services and public programming.
The Archives serves local residents and the global community by acquiring, preserving, maintaining, documenting and making available for public research records of archival value to the District of Mission and the Fraser Valley Regional District Electoral Areas: Dewdney-Hatzic Island, Nicomen Island-Deroche, Lake Errock and McConnell Creek-Hatzic Prairie. By saving the community’s records, we ensure that Mission’s rich and unique heritage will be available to present and future generations.
Who manages the Archives? On a year round basis, the Archives is staffed by a part-time professionally trained archivist with a Master of Archival Studies degree and volunteers. Through its well-established volunteer program, the Mission Community Archives offers those interested in preserving the recorded history of Mission the opportunity to assist the archivist with the delivery of programs and services. In addition, the Community Archives provides relevant volunteer work experience to practicum students from secondary and post-secondary institutions. Volunteers are given an orientation by our volunteer Staff Coordinator and then receive the necessary training to carry out their assigned duties, working under the supervision of the archivist. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the archivist.
What can I find at the Archives? The Archives’ collections embody a variety of materials originating from a wide range of sources, including: the municipal government, the school district, community and service organizations, local schools and businesses, families and individuals. Our holdings date from the early 1890s to the present and include local government records, manuscripts, maps and drawings, photographs, artwork, oral histories, local newspapers, and audio-visual recordings. The archives also maintain a small reference library that pertains to the history of the community, genealogical research, and the administration of archives.
As a whole the collections in the archives document the people and events that allow us “to establish a sense of community, of family, and of particular times and places.” In essence, they provide evidence of how we have lived and therefore, serve as invaluable sources to learn from.
Who can use the Archives? There is information for almost everyone at the archives - whether you are a long-time resident or new to the community, a local business, a genealogist, a journalist, a student, a teacher, a local government official, journalist, local historian, or tourist. Everyone is welcome to use the Archives. Visit the archives and explore Mission’s past first hand!
How can I access the Archives? If you have a question about the history of the Mission area our staff offer advisory, research and copying services on a year round basis. No question is too small or too big. Due to COVID-19, the Archives is currently closed to onsite visitors, however, services are being provided remotely on Thursdays from 9:00 am—5:00 pm and Fridays from 9:00 am—4:00 pm. For more information, visit our website at www.missionarchives.com.
What other services do the Archives offer? The Community Archives also offers outreach programs designed to stimulate increased public awareness of the role and value of archives. At present, outreach activities include: guided tours of the archives to members of the public within and outside the community; exhibits to stimulate the knowledge, use and preservation of archival materials in the community; educational programs for primary, secondary and post-secondary students; and information seminars and workshops on archives preservation and community history.
Val Billesberger, MAS
Archivist & Records Manager
Mission Community Archives
Operated by the Mission District Historical Society