An archive and research centre project at the Doukhobor Discovery Centre in Castlegar is finally coming to fruition.
Once the project is completed, the centre will be able to archive up to 2,000 historical Doukhobor items from across the region. Currently, only 1,000 items can be archived in the space.
“When we archive something, we first look at the item’s provenance, the year it originated, what it is and how we acquired it,” said Kootenay Doukhobor Historical Society president Gordon Soukoreff.
“We also assign a number to the item and take a picture of it for documentation.”
After all the additional items are archived, they will either be stored in the Discovery Centre or put on display in various exhibits.
The Discovery Centre, the Trail Museum and Archives and the Michael Davitt Museum in Ireland are some facilities the exhibits will likely be showcased in.
The Michael Davitt Museum includes items related to Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace and other classic works, who helped Doukhobors flee Russia and start a new life in Canada.
Some Doukhobor items that could be in the exhibits include textiles woven on a loom, old wheels, tools, books, films and clothing.
While the centre will use existing space to archive the additional items, a tunnel will also be constructed during the project to improve access between the two buildings at the Discovery Centre.
The tunnel will also help the facility provide more storage for the archived material.
The centre has already received $20,000 to complete the project and is looking to hire a curator to help archive all the new material.
Soukoreff hopes the project will start sometime next year.
The Discovery Centre opened in 1971 to showcase the history of the Doukhobor people in the region.