Archives Strategy

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Be part of the future of the City of Winnipeg Archives

Your feedback on the archival program and facility options will be used to ensure the priorities of the public are captured and understood by the Public Service prior to making any recommendations for addressing the facility and program recommendations for the Archives.

The stories of Winnipeg and its citizens are told in the records and artifacts managed by the City of Winnipeg’s Archives, and we want all residents to be inspired to explore our history. The

Be part of the future of the City of Winnipeg Archives

Your feedback on the archival program and facility options will be used to ensure the priorities of the public are captured and understood by the Public Service prior to making any recommendations for addressing the facility and program recommendations for the Archives.

The stories of Winnipeg and its citizens are told in the records and artifacts managed by the City of Winnipeg’s Archives, and we want all residents to be inspired to explore our history. The City’s archival collection is unique and irreplaceable and includes minutes, by-laws, maps, photographs, drawings, and artifacts.

To ensure long-term preservation and access to these irreplaceable items, the City is exploring facility options to address the storage and preservation needs for its growing archival collection, to allow enough space for its programming, and to create an accessible space that allows Winnipeggers to continue to have access to records and conduct research.

Stakeholder input, facility and programming needs, and costs are being considered in the development of a long-term, sustainable solution in the Archives Strategy.


Background

The Archives and Records Control Branch (Branch) is responsible for managing the City of Winnipeg’s (City) records and archives. The Branch currently operates out of two leased facilities: its Corporate Records Centre is located in the Inkster Industrial Park and is used to store all inactive or semi-active administrative records; while its archival collection is stored at 50 Myrtle St.

The archival collection was previously housed at the former Carnegie Library, located at 380 William Ave. However, damage to the building during renovations and maintenance resulting from major rainstorms in 2013 meant that the collection and operations had to be relocated. The facility is currently not being used, and requires significant funding to re-develop it for the archives. The City is currently reviewing possible uses for the building.

The facility at 50 Myrtle St. was intended as a short-term solution, and is not well-suited for archival storage and programming. The Corporate Records Centre will continue to be used for administrative records, but is not suitable for the archival collection.

Through the Archives Strategic Development Plan, the City is exploring facility options to address the storage and preservation needs for its growing archival collection, to allow enough space for its programming, and to create an accessible space that allows Winnipeggers to continue to have access to records and conduct research.

A consultant was asked to conduct a jurisdictional scan of like-sized archives, consult with stakeholders, identify program needs and space requirements, and identify options and financial projections for securing and adapting a facility for the archives.

To support the review of options for the facility, additional work was done to update the specifications, designs, and construction costs for re-developing 380 William Ave for the archives.

The Public Service will prepare recommendations for the future of the archival collection and program and submit recommendations for Council’s consideration of the project and funding.

Consultant’s Findings on Facility Options

Option #

Description

Estimated Cost (Class 3)

Option 1

Construct a new building for the Archives to meet needs for up to 20 years.

$22.3 million

Option 2a

Two Archives sites: a City-owned downtown site for public access with additional storage space at an offsite location. 

$25.8 million

Option 2b

Similar to Option 2a, but downtown location leased.

$20.0 million (not including lease)

Option 3

Similar to Option 1: construct a new building to meet needs for up to 10 years, with an expansion in 10 years.

$23.7 million

Option 4

Renovation of 380 William Ave. for Archives.

$13.3 million (not including hazmat removal)












In 2019-2020, the City’s Archives and Records Control Branch engaged Cornerstone Planning Group to review the facility needs of the Archives and to develop several options to meet these needs.  

 

The options were developed with the following assumptions:

  • All options should be prepared with a Class D estimate (Opinion of Probable Cost; equivalent to Class 3 estimate of -20% to +30%).
  • All options should be for a 20-year planning horizon.
  • Both consolidated (one site for archival records, services, and programs) and distributed (two sites: one for public access and a second for additional offsite storage) models should be considered.
  • Review suitability of 380 William Ave. for the Archives.
  • The estimated cost does not include purchase of the property.

 

Note: Estimated costs are preliminary and should not be viewed as the final or total project costs.

Check out all of the documents, available here

Check out the consultant's findings on facility options below.

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    Option 1: Construct a new building for the Archives to meet needs for up to 20 years

    5 months ago

    Option 1 provides ideal space for the City of Winnipeg Archives, offering a new, purpose-built facility that securely houses 20 years’ worth of collection growth in a climate-controlled vault alongside inviting public spaces. This option positions the City’s Archives to best carry out its mandate to connect citizens, clients, and City administration with its historical records in an accessible, modern, and efficient facility. Option 1 requires higher initial build costs than the other options reviewed but provides long-term value as a permanent home for the City’s rich archival collection with room to grow.

    Key Features
    A new, purpose-built facility that
    ... Continue reading
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    Option 2a: Two Archives sites

    5 months ago

    Option 2a involves the distribution of major components of the Archives.

    • The public-facing component will act as a “storefront” and will be centrally located in Winnipeg in order to be accessible by the majority of Winnipeggers. It will house a part (approximately 25%) of the collection, along with public programming spaces such as a multi-purpose lobby area, classroom, and a reading room.
    • The majority of the collection (approximately 75%) and the specialist Archival spaces (Processing, Digitization Lab, Conservation Lab, and Cold Storage) would be in an offsite location, presumably at a lower cost than the downtown location.
    Key Features
    Distribution
    ... Continue reading
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    Option 2b: Two Archives sites (one Leased)

    5 months ago

    Similar to Option 2a, Option 2b involves the distribution of major components of the Archives.

    • The public-facing component will act as a “storefront” and will be a leased facility that is centrally located in Winnipeg in order to be accessible by the majority of Winnipeggers. It will house a part (approximately 25%) of the collection, along with public programming spaces such as a multi-purpose lobby area, classroom, and a reading room.
    • The majority of the collection (approximately 75%) and the specialist Archival spaces (Processing, Digitization Lab, Conservation Lab, and Cold Storage) would be an offsite location, presumably at a lower... Continue reading
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    Option 3: Construct a new building to meet needs for up to 10 years, with an expansion in 10 years

    5 months ago

    Similar to Option 1, Option 3 provides ideal space for the City of Winnipeg Archives, offering a new, purpose-built facility that securely houses 10 years’ worth of collection growth in a climate-controlled vault (as opposed to 20 years’ worth of growth in Option 1) alongside inviting public spaces.

    Key Features
    Similar to Option 1: offers a new, purpose-built facility that securely houses the collection in a climate-controlled vault, inviting public spaces; supports current and improved program needs.
    Benefits
    Built to meet the needs of the archives.
    10-year growth horizon with option to expand at a later date.
    Drawbacks
    Minimal cost
    ... Continue reading
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    Option 4: Renovation of 380 William Ave. for Archives

    5 months ago

    Option 4 is the renovation of the Archives’ former home in the Carnegie Library at 380 William Ave. This unoccupied heritage building is owned by the City of Winnipeg and in search of a suitable tenant. Many stakeholders, archival enthusiasts, and the public cannot separate the City of Winnipeg Archives from the old Carnegie Library. To many, this cherished, currently empty building is the only appropriate location for the City’s Archives. However, the building was built in 1903, and does not meet modern building code standards (including accessibility), nor does it have appropriate environmental control systems to support the special... Continue reading

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    Options not yet identified

    5 months ago

    While the consultant found that Option 1 and Option 4 were most suitable, the City of Winnipeg is still exploring its options.

    The Public Service is presenting the options that are currently identified. We plan to recommend one of these options for Council’s consideration. Ultimately, it is Council’s decision regarding how to move forward which may include exploring additional options in the future.

Page last updated: 19 October 2021, 14:01