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New web site features church documents

4 May 2006

In honour of Manitoba Day, 12 May 2006, The Association for Manitoba Archives is formally launching its new web exhibit, “Recorders of Community: The Archival Legacy of the Red River Settlement Churches 1818-1870”.

The exhibit is now viewable on the AMA website at

Churches were central to the lives of settlers in this remote fur trade community on the banks of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. Archival documents left by the churches and their parishioners reveal much about that now vanished society.

One viewer describes this exhibit as “like going through the contents of an interesting old trunk”. Interactive maps with clickable icons show the settlement as it was in 1825, 1855 and 1870. Letters and diaries of missionaries and parishioners are both viewable and readable. Viewers learn how stone and frame church buildings were painstakingly built out of local materials. Background information gives the historical context to documents and the exhibit is illustrated with maps, photographs, drawings and paintings. Characters like the multi-talented stonemason and carpenter Samuel Taylor and the tough and resourceful Father Georges-Antoine Belcourt come alive through their letters and diaries.

The Association for Manitoba Archives preserves the heritage of the people and institutions of Manitoba by improving the administration, effectiveness and efficiency of the Province’s archival systems. This exhibit is part of the AMA’s ongoing effort to make Manitoba’s archival resources more accessible to the public.

For further information contact:

Catherine Macdonald
Association for Manitoba Archives
Telephone: (204) 783-9456
Fax: (204) 786-7633

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