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AP 173: Preservation of Archives


Northern Lights School Division represents the amalgamation of several school jurisdictions over nearly a century. Historically schools have been at the centre of community life and many individuals have clear memories and strong attachments to the people and events that took place in school buildings past and present. Northern Lights School Division recognizes the need to identify, preserve and protect archives in order to maintain the corporate history through
records, photographs, awards, artwork, digital creations and other material of significant historical and research value.

Many of these records exist because individuals in a position of authority such as the Superintendent and the Principal do not allow Northern Lights School Division assets to be unprotected, inadequately maintained, inappropriately used or exposed to unnecessary risk. Accordingly, the Superintendent and Principal are required to reasonably protect archival
intellectual property, information, corporate data and files from loss, significant damage, or unauthorized access.

Archival management and records management are integrated activities with overlapping regulations. Records regulated by the Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection, Labour Standards Codes, and the Canada Revenue Agency are necessarily treated according to the regulations inherent in those Acts. Archival procedures remain secondary to these regulations. 


  1. “Archival Record” means a record having historical value to Northern Lights School Division and the research community.
  2. “Historical Significance” may refer to a particular document, achievement, event or person of importance to the school community and the community at large.


  1. The role of Director of Student Information and Records Management is to administer and promote the preservation of archival records.
  2. Employees that believe that an item may have historical significance must contact the Director of Student Information and Records Management who will assess the item for archival value.
  3. Archival records admitted to the archives collection shall be limited to those records which preserve the history and serve the needs and purposes of the Northern Lights School Division. Such items include but are not limited to:
    1.  agreements, contracts and leases of a significant nature,
    2. annual reports,
    3. Board of Trustees oaths of office, minutes, reports and committee meetings,
    4. corporate financial records including approved capital and operating budgets,
    5. Certificates of Title,
    6. enrolment statistics,
    7. facility photographs,
    8. gifts from individuals and other jurisdictions or organizations,
    9. documents of sale or purchase of land or property,
    10. medals, seals, posters and coats of arms,
    11. Ministerial Orders pertaining/unique to Northern Lights School Division,
    12. works of art, including watercolors, sketches, miniatures, oil paintings and caricatures,
    13. photographs, trophies, mascots,
    14. policies, regulations and procedures,
    15. property contracts,
    16. organization reports/charts,
    17. school and building construction specifications and project plans,
    18. school district boundary documentation (including annexations),
    19. corporate register of schools
    20. video and sound recordings with unique historical value,
    21. yearbooks,
    22. samplings of other significant records and document-type memorabilia,
    23. time capsules and information on the contents and location of time capsules.
  4. All material accepted for permanent retention in the Northern Lights School Division's archives should meet one or more of the following criteria:
    1. the record must be kept in order to comply with statutory requirements,
    2. the record documents the creation and organization of the Northern Lights School Division,
    3. the record documents or provides evidence of the system's activities and the consequences of those activities,
    4. the record is fifty years old or older,
    5. the record contains unique information which gives it archival value and potentially research value,
    6. the record relates to or was originated by a well-known or historical individual,
    7. the record relates to a particular historical event (i.e., wars, disasters, or innovation),
    8. the record provides insights from senior administration and/or Trustees relative to reasons for Board actions.
  5. Documents of archival value may, at the discretion of the Director of Student Information and Records Management, be forwarded to the Provincial Archives of Alberta for safe storage and keeping. Documents sent to the Provincial Archives of Alberta will be subject to the record management policies of that organization.
  6. Northern Lights School Division will establish and maintain a public repository for the display of archival records which will be of interest to the current and former staff and students and the public at large. This venue will be available for public viewing from time to time to celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of the Northern Lights School Division specifically and public education generally.
  7. Principals are encouraged to actively engage students in projects which preserve and promote archival records of historical significance, and to value the history of public education in their community.
  8. Individuals who donate archival records or items of historical significance transfer ownership of the item and shall be given a receipt for the item. Typically no cash value is considered for such a donation.
  9. Individuals who loan archival records or items of historical significance for display purposes do so at their own risk. While every precaution is made to prevent theft or damage to the item of display, Northern Lights School Division will not accept responsibility for loss or damage. It is presumed that the owner of such an item will have
    insured the item for loss or damage.