The Diocese of Rupert’s Land Archives (DRLA) operates under the authority of Canon 28, providing the Diocese of Rupert’s Land with the mandate to collect, arrange, describe and preserve archival records and related papers of the Diocese and non-current parochial, congregational, and mission records, including the registers of baptism, confirmation, marriage, and burial. The DRLA also responds to requests for access to the records from committees and groups of the Diocese, Synod office staff, clergy and parish staff, and researchers.
The history of the development of the Diocese is linked to the early days of the formation of the Red River Settlement with records dating back from 1813 to the present day. The records are foundational in documenting early missions, the development of the church, secondary and post-secondary educational institutions in Manitoba, and beyond. They also have national significance in documenting the Anglican Church in Canada. For example, one of its early Archbishop’s, Robert Machray, was the first Primate for all of Canada.
The Canons of the church require that non-current parish registers are transferred to the Diocesan Archives once complete for permanent retention and access through the Diocese of Rupert’s Land Archives. With periodic transfers of records from individual parishes over the years to comply with this canon and through numerous parish closures that have taken place, the capacity available at Anglican-Lutheran Centre to provide secure storage and manage the records has long been exceeded. A portion of the holdings are now been stored off-site through rental agreements.
There is a critical need for the Diocese of Rupert’s Land Archives to build capacity both in secure storage and in hours to employ professional staff to manage the records, make them accessible, and oversee volunteers to assist with operations. Toward this end, a decision was made early this year to establish an endowment fund with The Winnipeg Foundation to attract donations so that once sufficient capital has built up, revenue distributions from the fund can support DRLA operations.
In 2018 the Province of Manitoba in partnership with The Winnipeg Foundation allocated $5 million in stretch funds to heritage organizations wishing to establish endowment funds to support their operations through the Manitoba Heritage Trusts Program. The Manitoba Government will provide stretch dollars of 50% of funds raised by the heritage institution up to a maximum of $85,000. The DRLA qualified for this program because it is an accredited member of the Association of Manitoba Archives and was able to meet the minimum investment of $2500.00 to establish the fund. Initially offered as a three-year program which was to expire in March of 2021, the Manitoba Government announced late last year that they were removing the sunset clause and the program is to continue indefinitely.
There is an opportunity to support the DRLA and take advantage of this unique opportunity to attract matching funds from the Province by making a donation to the Diocese of Rupert’s Land Fund with the Manitoba Heritage Trust Program. Tax receipts are distributed for all donations to the fund.
To make a donation please visit The Winnipeg Foundation/Endow Manitoba website at the following location: https://www.mycharitytools.com/gift/wpgfdn/donate?fund=2577.