Archives Timeline: Preservation of Public Documents Act

In 1915, William Trant was chosen to manage an archives branch at the Legislative Library in Regina. He collected many valuable historical documents during his tenure but the archives branch never developed into a repository for inactive government records.

         William Trant                                                            Legislative Library, 1913                                                           Legislative Vault           

Without a records management program, the accumulation of files in provincial government offices was becoming unmanageable by the end of the decade. The Preservation of Public Documents Act was passed in 1920 to try to bring the growing volume of records under control. One of the major provisions of this Act was that the Lieutenant Governor in Council could order any public document more than ten years old to be either transferred to the archives or destroyed. Unfortunately, because there was no official archival repository at that time, the chief result of this Act was simply the destruction of large quantities of records under Orders in Council. William Trant died in 1924 and the position at the Legislative Library lapsed together with any semblance of a public archives in Saskatchewan. 

The 1920 Preservation of Public Documents Act in its entirety. Statutes of the Province of Saskatchewan, 1920

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