Fonds - Peterson papers fonds

SummaryOfFirstNationsUseBanffNationalPark PP1.8_JasperLodgeArchaeologicalDig_001 PP1.8_JasperLodgeArchaeologicalDig_002 PP1.8_MarcelDubois_WGPAllen1972 PP1.10_JasperHousePlaque PP1.13_DavidThompsonBicentennialNewsletter2005 PP1.16_RossCox PP1.21_JarvisLakeValleyArchaeologicalSites PP2.2_JamesMcMillanChiefTrader1825 PP2.11_ColinFraser
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Peterson papers fonds

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  • Graphic material

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  • 1949 - 2021 (Creation)

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1.64 meters of textual material, newspapers, and photographs

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Custodial history

These records are a unique, comprehensive research collection concerning the history of the Jasper and Yellowhead region. They were compiled and created by Constance and Tom Peterson, beginning with Constance’s research in 1949 and ending with Tom’s death in 2021. Constance’s interest in local history began with her storing records in her home, and led her to co-found the Jasper Historical Society in 1963. Tom, Constance’s stepson, took up this interest in local history and continued with it for the rest of his life. Through personal explorations of the region and extensive research, Tom built on the foundation Constance started and amassed a significant collection of research papers. His research contributed to multiple books, interpretive and historical landmark signage, and the historical tours he led personally, to name a few.

In the 2020s, Tom donated his entire research collection to the Northern Rockies Museum of Culture and Heritage (NRM) in Hinton, Alberta. His wish was that the entire collection be cataloged and made publicly available for other researchers. After Tom’s death in 2021, staff at the NRM worked to make this dream a reality. In early 2022, NRM staff (Margaret Schultz) secured funding for a temporary Archivist position. This funding was the combined result of a Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage grant; a Yellowhead County Historical Grant, and a generous private donation. In August 2022, the NRM hired a temporary Archivist (Devon Fraser) to catalog and oversee the digitization of the collection. From October 2022 to April 2023, Fraser, under Schultz’s supervision, cataloged the collection and selected documents for digitization. In April 2023, volunteers completed the digitization effort.

When NRM staff searched for a suitable platform to showcase the collection online, it became apparent that Alberta on Record was the best option. The NRM is not an ASA archive; however, the Hinton Municipal Library (HML) manages the Coal Branch Archives. The HML staff and board generously agreed to partner with the NRM to complete this project and fulfill Tom Peterson’s wishes. In March and April 2023, the NRM transferred legal custody of the collection to the HML. With the help of ASA staff, NRM staff worked to ensure the migration to Alberta on Record was accurate and complete. At the time of writing, the project is finished. In accordance with Tom Peterson’s final wish, the Peterson Papers are fully cataloged, available for in person research at the HML, and selectively available online.

Scope and content

This fonds cover Tom Peterson's research into the local history of the Yellowhead County area, including Jasper and Hinton. This collection was first developed by Peterson's stepmother, Constance Peterson (Barton), who was an early historian of the area, and added to over the years during Peterson's long tenure as a local guide and historian. Some of the significant topics represented in this collection are: early occupation and settlement of Yellowhead County, the foundation of Jasper National Park, Canadian Pacific Railway surveys, and Peterson’s various historical tours. The fonds mainly consists of textual material, including newspaper articles, handwritten notes, and photocopies of material that Peterson considered useful for his research, as well as many photographs of various trips around the Hinton-Jasper region.
The fonds consist of the following series:

  1. Archaeology and Early history of Yellowhead County
  2. Expeditions 1825-1853: Fur Trade era
  3. 1860-1900 Expeditions: Overlanders and CPR Survey
  4. Jasper Park Surveys
  5. Occupation and Exploration of Jasper National Park
  6. Historical Tours & Presentations
  7. Research with Peter Murphy
  8. Railroads
  9. Research with Fred Howlett
  10. Hinton in the 20th and 21st Century
  11. Northern Rockies and Central Alberta in the 20th and 21st Century

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  • English

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Record no. PP0

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