The Tecumseh Historical Archives is the result of an archiving project, undertaken by the Town of Tecumseh in 2015, in partnership with:
- Tecumseh Area Historical Society
- Olde Sandwich South Historical Society
- Leddy Library, University of Windosr
- Corn Festival Committee
- County of Essex, Ontario
- Employment Ontario
The project mandate was to digitize the history of Tecumseh and Sandwich South by photographing and scanning historically significant items and documents that were then uploaded into an online archive known as the Tecumseh Historical Archives.
The archiving project is a tremendous step forward in preserving the history of Tecumseh, Sandwich South and St. Clair Beach, and in making Tecumseh’s history more accessible to the community through an online archive.
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"Hundreds of handwritten deeds, dating as far back as the mid-1800s, highlight the extensive archives that can now be researched online through the newly established Tecumseh Historical Archives.
Project manager Stephen Young led a small team of researchers on a 10-month exploration of Tecumseh history, archiving centuries of artifacts, newspapers, documents, photos and other items.
“This is kind of the first step in hopefully a process to help the historical society and the other partners … to really keep preserving the history of Tecumseh,” Young said. “We’re hoping the community can take this on to continue (the work) until it’s completed.”
The development of the online archive was a joint project of the Town of Tecumseh, the Tecumseh Area Historical Society and Employment Ontario, with assistance from the University of Windsor Leddy Library.
Tecumseh CAO Tony Haddad said the job creation partnership offered training opportunities for its participants as well.
“I think it enhances the quality of historic data and material that is available to residents and businesses and researchers ... wanting to learn more about the town and activities related to events that have taken place in town,” Haddad said.
Historical Society president Doug Drouillard said the online archive will make Tecumseh’s history more accessible and he hopes will encourage people to visit the society’s museum.
“Within the museum we have over 1,500 artifacts that all have been photographed, researched and all those items will be online with the research associated with it,” Drouillard said.
The artifacts range from household goods and medical objects to military, police and fire items. He said the museum’s extensive collection of deeds are from Tecumseh and the surrounding areas of Maidstone, Sandwich South and St. Clair Beach.
Young said the project team also created an inventory for the museum.
In addition to items from the museum, the team also preserved 40 years of documents and photos from the Tecumseh Corn Festival as well as every issue of the Tecumseh Tribune from 1959 until it closed in 2012.
Materials provided by the Olde Sandwich South Historical Society were also catalogued.
“We want to make sure the community has access to all this and we want to promote that they can find them online … get people thinking, researching,” he said."