June 6, 2009

Genealogists! Help Needed to change Restricted Archives of Ontario Hours

The Archives of Ontario has moved to a wonderful new state of the art archives building. We now have the proper facilities to access and research our history but many people are unaware that with the move we now have restrictedhours of operation.

We need your help

* At the present time the hours of operation of the Archives of Ontario are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday only

* In effect this means that any Ontario taxpayer and visitor from outside the province who works fulltime and or lives at a distance not longer have access to their records.

* If we want to have evening and weekend hours we have to make our concerns known.

* We will not get the old hours of 8:15 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday back. A good compromise might be 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The benefit is that those who will visit during the extended hours will have archival staff on hand to advise and assist you them.

Why do we need your help?

* Not all records are available online or will be for the foreseeable future.

* To access the full range of records to research your family you do need to visit archives for such records as estate files, Crown land records, Private Property land records, education records, divorce files, maps, and private papers such as the T. Eaton Co.

What can you and/or your group do?

* Go to the Archives of Ontariowebsite and click on Feedback (left side of page half way down). They ask you to "Please take a few moments to send us your comments by filling in the form below." Politely request extended hours back. Fill in your email address and you will in time get a personal reply. We want to flood the Archives with requests so they can show the government the need for the extended hours.

* Contact your local MPP if a resident of Ontario

When contacting your MPP please politely emphasis your use of the Archives of Ontario, its importance to the province and that these are our records and it is our right to have access to them.

* Sign our petition - contact Kathie Orr at kathie.orr@sympatico.ca if you belong to a group who will be meeting over the next month or so and she will email you the petition. In your email please use subject line "Petition re Restricted Archives of Ontario Hours"

* Have your group and any other interested parties sign our petition.

* Encourage others to do the same.

We are counting on YOU to help make the Archives of Ontario a place where all can go to use the documented heritage of our province.

Send completed petitions to

Petitions
c/o Ruth Burkholder
Ste 103 -12140 Ninth Line
Stouffville ON L4A 1L2

or

Petitions
c/o Kathie Orr
405 - 100 Maitland St
Toronto ON M4Y 1E2

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Did my bit! ... I've signed a petition! Sent feedback on the website! It's not AO that sets the restrictions. It's the government department that controls their budget. Our elected MPPs have to know the current hours restrict a large percentage of us from access to our public records, not only for genealogical research but also many other purposes. Talk to your MPP!

Brenda