This past year many people have researched archive documents for the 1918 Spanish ‘Flu Pandemic. I shared with Anglican Life readers a letter of the Rev’d Henry Gordon in which he shared with Bishop White how the stress of the pandemic affected him mentally. “I am afraid,” he wrote, “that I suffered rather more than I was aware of especially in my nervous system which seems all out of shape.” At another time I wrote about a copy of the 1871 Act about the importance of being vaccinated that I found in Bishop Jones’ Scrapbook. In that case the vaccination was against smallpox, but it just shows how important it is for us to document our own times for the future.
Two important items that will be researched at the Archdeacon Buckle Memorial Archive in the future will be how and why the sale of the Diocesan Centre was necessary last fall and the transfer of the Archive from King’s Bridge Road to St. Mary the Virgin Church. As Bishop Geoff Peddle said in an article he wrote last year, “This too will pass,” but archives have the important duty of preserving information about “moments in time,” not just to tell a story but to be a reference to help future generations deal with their “moments in time.”
Thanks to the generous spirit of the Parish of St. Mary the Virgin, a large room was made available to the diocese to house the archive on the mezzanine floor of the building. With the help of many volunteers, all the documents were packed up in January and transported to our new location. Other volunteers helped to set up the shelves and fill them with hundreds of archival boxes. As I write at the end of March, I am pleased to be able to announce that the Archdeacon Buckle Memorial Archive is ready (limited by the pandemic guidelines, of course) to receive researchers.
There is a video on YouTube of the “Dedication of Archdeacon Buckle Memorial Archive” by Bishop Pitman on April 27, 2012. Hopefully before too long, we can have an open house, and a re-dedication of the ABMA. In the meantime, the easiest way to communicate with the Archive is by email at: [email protected].