The EAHC collection has been noted over the years for being one of the largest of its kind, and though our focus is on schools and related administration, the scope of our holdings is quite expansive… and still growing!
The EAHC has an extension amount of physical artifacts, ranging from trophies, plaques, paintings, to larger items such as school signs, cornerstones, student desks, clocks, bells, and other miscellaneous items. By and large, these items are either retrieved from closed schools, or donated by members of the public. These items are held in our large workroom area, as well as displayed in our Museum space and visual gallery in the back of our Library.
Our archival record holdings include original minute books, records and other documents pertaining to various Board administrations (such as the present Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, former Hamilton and Wentworth Boards, and former school areas or Township sections), documents originating from, and belonging to, various schools (such as official opening brochures, grad ceremonies, diploma examples, student newsletters, newspaper clippings, etc), and large-scale maps and blueprints for school and administration buildings. We also retain Attendance Registers for schools, going back to the mid 1800s. Although not all Registers have been located, there are many thousands of these documents now in storage and available for research purposes. These documents provide a great insight into not only daily attendance, but often valuable historical and cultural information of a given era and period.
One of the more popular areas in our facility is our library, which holds a collection of over 8,000 books. The majority of these titles are textbooks that were once found in the collections of various elementary and secondary schools, though there is also a significant amount of fiction books as well. These titles range in date from nearly 200 years ago to the early 2000s, and are a continual source of enjoyment and curiosity to everyone who ventures through. We also dedicate an entire section of our library to yearbooks, for both secondary and elementary/middle school levels. Though our yearbook holdings for any particular school are not always complete, we try our best to retain the best surviving editions, and to acquire missing volumes whenever possible. Occasionally, excess copies of yearbooks are accumulated; these are available to purchase for $10.
Photographs and other Media
The EAHC has thousands of photographs of schools, classes, student events, staff, etc. The majority of these photographs are fully indexed and catalogued, and copies are generally available for interested parties. We also have an extensive collection of photographic slides, which are in the process of being digitized for easier access. You can see many of these photographs on our Instagram page: @hwdsbedarchives
In addition to photographs, our media collection also contains hundreds of audio/visual items, such as Beta tapes, VHS tapes, 8 and 16mm films, audio reels, cassettes, CDs, DVDs, and other formats. Over the last few years, we have spent time digitizing these items, to allow for easier access and preservation. Selections from our media collection can be enjoyed on our YouTube channel.