The Archives was founded on October 25, 1983 under the authority of Bylaw 1568 which established the mandate and activities of the Archives. Until 2010, the Archives was operated by Historical Society volunteers through the summer months at the old jail in Picton.
In 2009 the Historical Society officially gifted the collection, formerly on deposit, to the
Archives. It was in that same year that the Historical Society approached the library to take over the Archives and in 2010 it became official. On February 14, 2010 the last of the Archival records were moved out of the jail and into the current facility at the Wellington Branch Library. The Archives were in operation year-round and full-time staff was employed to run the research facility.
The relationship between the Archives and the Historical Society has been ongoing. The Historical Society has provided assistance and partnerships in applying for grants, working on projects, special events and outreach activities. This has included the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and Fibre Fest, where the Archives was able to assist the Historical Society in the planning, research and promotion.
The Historical Society provides the Archives with the HODGE Grant which contributes to the operation of the facility. When a question about Prince Edward County’s history arises, the Historical Society will forward research requests to the Archives. The Archives arranges guest speaking events, hosts class trips, and work closely with schools. Allowing people to experience history through documents, manuscripts, and other visual aids.
The Archives makes the Historical Society’s books available for sale, and copies of these books are also available for sale at the Bloomfield Booktique at the Bloomfield Branch Library, which attracts locals and tourists alike.
By advocating for the Archives, the Historical Society supports and works within its Mission Statement: “stimulate and encourage interest within the community in the study of history and Heritage of Prince Edward County, encourage and foster awareness in children and youth through education, preserving existing documents, and in cooperating with related organizations.”
In 2012 the Historical Society updated the constitution and worked towards creating a cohesive brand.
Through this partnership, the County of Prince Edward Public Library & Archives and Prince Edward Historical Society have been able to serve researchers, assist students and not only make history available but come alive.