We are always looking for objects and records that help us tell our stories. To do this we acquire for the archives and collections year-round. These are objects that we do not already have and can contribute something new to our understanding of our history.
Recent acquisitions include books, belt buckles, slides and postcards. We have also made a permanent loan agreement for objects that can help us better tell the story of our relationship with our First Nations partners, and Stampede material that we did not previously have. These are just a few of many highlights to share.
One of the most common things we receive for the collection are photographs, which can come in a variety of mediums- digital, prints, negatives, or slides. This past year slides were accessioned that include the 1959 parade and from when Prince Charles and Prince Andrew were honoured guests. These personal snapshots provide a glimpse into the parade that we might not otherwise have. One of the biggest challenges will be planning a digital strategy, which will ensure their preservation long into the future, and allow for digital access and sharing.
Sometimes we acquire books and catalogues that help us understand the history of the early Stampede and the participants that made it happen. These biographies and local histories also help us with research about broader themes, like the history of ranching in southern Alberta. Since the Calgary Stampede is now the steward of the OH Ranch, it is important to understand the local ranching and community history. This copy of Leaves from the Medicine Tree belonged to Bert Sheppard, who was a partner in many of the Highwood River Valley ranches, including OH.
Catalogues like this one from Great West Saddlery Co. Limited are very helpful in research. You may remember the role that the Hamley’s catalogues played in my decision to acquire Clem Gardner’s hat in 2017!
I am always excited to receive objects or records with a connection to some of the earliest Stampedes and fairs, especially when they have to do with Guy Weadick! We are fortunate to have received several pieces of correspondence pertaining to the procurement of bucking stock in the 1920s and 30s, supplied by the Poynter brothers. This includes letters from Weadick and General Manager Ernie Richardson, the Poynter brother’s invitations, as well as programs and prize lists.
Records and photos pertaining to the founding and early history of The Young Canadians is very timely, as this year they celebrate their 50th anniversary! These boxes of records represent a huge amount of information and also a lot of work. I am happy to have a dedicated volunteer who is completing a detailed inventory, so this information can be made more widely available.
Finally, this pair of embroidered hide gauntlets from 1938 represents an important part of our local history. They were made and decorated by an Indigenous person and feature traditional themes, such as flowers, as well as rodeo themed embroidery- a cowboy on a bucking bronc. There have always been Indigenous competitors in the rodeo and our First Nations neighbours have always played an important role at Stampede.
If you think you have an object that might find a great home in the Stampede Archives and collection, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description and a photo or two if possible. I would love to hear from you.
Thanks to our Stampede family and valued community members, we are happy to say that we are fortunate to have a very comprehensive collection of Stampede pins, souvenir dollars and most of the posters (with a few notable exceptions!). You can learn more about our collections on our heritage website.