archival fonds – where stories live on…
October 23. 2020
What are archival “fonds”?
From the UBC library: The word “fonds” is used to describe most archival collections in Canada and also in many European and Latin American countries. Fonds simply means the documents in any media or format created or received by a person or an organization in the course of their personal or professional activities. For example, the “Jane Smith fonds” would refer to the records created and received by Jane Smith.
The Greater Vernon Archives has some gems in the archival fonds entrusted to us to store, care for and preserve.
Secrets that followed people to their graves remain in the pages of diaries tucked into shelves. Family rivalries and reunification play out in letters left for us to interpret.
The early sketches of artists who went on to renown in their own lifetime, or after their death, trace their early development in the notebooks they left behind.
Every archival collection will hold its own surprises. At GVMA it’s hand signed letter from Einstein, notes on fittings from Coco Chanel, Luis Vuitton himself sending a reminder on an invoice. All in a small but mighty little archive in Vernon, BC.
What can you discover in your hometown archive?
Pages from the sketch book of naturalist and artist, Allan Brooks from the Allan Brooks fonds held at GVMA
Signed letter from Albert Einstein in response to a letter from Sveva Caetani, held in the Sveva Caetani fonds at GVMA