The Quinte Educational Museum and Archives
We are currently located in the former Ameliasburgh Council Chambers at 13 Coleman Street in Ameliasburg, with our century-old Victoria Schoolhouse on location at the Ameliasburgh Heritage Village. We are open daily for the season from the Victoria Day Weekend until Labour Day Weekend from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. The Archives are open on Monday mornings. Appointments may be arranged outside these times by calling our office at 613-966-5501.
About the Museum and Archives
The Quinte Educational Museum and Archives was established in 1977 and incorporated in 1978, by a group of educators and other interested people, as an independent, non-profit, charitable organization with a mission: to tell the story of education in Ontario; encourage interest in the history of education; support Canadian Studies (Heritage & Citizenship) and The Ontario Curriculum; preserve artifacts and records, and provide an archives and library for social and educational research. The QEMA Archives at 13 Coleman Street contains thousands of fascinating records from historical documents to anecdotal material about early school life. Financial records provide information ranging from government grants and salaries of school teachers, to small items such as the cost of a cord of wood, and charges for sweeping and making the fire. We also display many photographs, trophies, scrapbooks, and other archival materials. In addition, QEMA has a large collection of school texts and educational reference books. Research facilities are open to everyone from the person looking for pictures of ‘Granddad’s school’ to the serious researcher investigating the evolving story of education in Ontario. Our files are easy to use with the computer database, making record and book retrieval fast and accurate. The recently restored Victoria Schoolhouse offers an excellent learning environment with some artifacts being well over 100 years old, thus providing an opportunity for students and tourists of all ages to experience the ‘good old days’ of the one-room schoolhouse. In 2008, as part of our Outreach Project, we developed interactive and hands-on programs at the Victoria Schoolhouse to connect with students visiting the Ameliasburgh Historical Museum and Pioneer Village. In 2009, as part of this Outreach Project, we created Learning in a One-Room Schoolhouse Boxes with artifacts, archival material and a Teacher Resource that can be loaned to the schools to enhance in-class teaching. Local schools are always welcome to visit the Schoolhouse and Ameliasburgh Heritage Village, to experience pioneer life and schooling at the turn of the century. QEMA’s Board of Directors is committed to making our collection the best it can be. After all, it is the ‘Dynamic Legacy’ that has been entrusted to us by the charter members of QEMA over 39 years ago. As we move forward, we continue to address the challenge of how best to help the County community, and the public beyond our jurisdiction, to understand the importance of the archives and the archival collection. This understanding is central to QEMA’s success! Moreover, shared public commitment to our goals will enable us to develop the resources needed to realize our long-term vision for sustaining and developing this truly dynamic legacy
Long Term Goals
QEMA wants to ensure that future generations continue to learn from the continuum of educational policy reforms that have impacted on the evolution of education in Ontario over the past two centuries. Further, QEMA is committed to the ongoing collection of artifacts and archives that illustrate the many social, cultural, geographical and religious factors that impact on the development of education policy in an ever-changing society.
OUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO:
We consider that our setting offers an excellent learning environment with curriculum connections to The Ontario Curriculum, in particular Social Studies K-6, History and Geography Grades 7 - 12.
Both educational and sociological researchers find information about what was thought useful in understanding trends and values in an emerging nation.
The General Public
The general public is given opportunities to relive their past as well as research family data as it pertains to information found in the educational archives.
QEMA displays have appealed widely both to senior citizens and young people, and outreach initiatives valued by schools and the general public.
The Ameliasburgh Heritage Village
QEMA, and the Ameliasburgh Heritage Village, together with the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre create an appealing and informative focal point for history seekers, as well as for the general interest of tourists.
OUR ACTION PLAN:
We will create a permanent and professional facility for the Museum and Archives that will facilitate educational programs, research needs, artifact displays, and archival storage.
The Victoria Schoolhouse
We will develop the Victoria Schoolhouse into an on-going, interactive activity centre for educational and public use with appropriate programs to support The Ontario Curriculum.
World Wide Access
We will provide a set of short tours on the QEMA website that will allow the virtual visitor access to the Museum for preliminary research that can be followed by a visit to our facility to complete the research or a request for search results can be sent for a fee.
We will provide facilities and tools for the research of information concerning our educational past and related history in Prince Edward County and its relationship to other communities in Ontario and Canada.
We will provide outreach programs to schools and community groups. We will continue to promote the Quinte Educational Museum and Archives through displays at events throughout Prince Edward County and neighbouring areas.
History - A Dynamic Legacy
When the doors of the one-room schoolhouses closed in the 60s, an era in public education ended. From the 1830s to the 1960s, 76 rural schools and 5 urban schools were built to serve the needs of the children in Prince Edward County. In the beginning, the townships of Prince Edward County were divided into school sections, each with their own board of trustees. Most rural one-room schoolhouses were small; those in the towns and villages were larger. Some of these schools had relatively short lives and were closed when the children of the farm families they served grew up, or when families moved away to more prosperous parts of the County. At the same time, some of the one-room schoolhouses fulfilled their educational role for many decades. In order to implement the more sophisticated curriculums mandated by the Ministry of Education and create equality for rural children, additional specialized teachers, materials and equipment were eventually required. Consequently, the centralization of school sections and the building of larger schools, along with the use of school buses for transportation, became a reality in the 1960s. In 1969, a single Board of Education was instituted to govern the public education system in Prince Edward County. “In 1977, a group of educators and other interested people founded Quinte Educational Museum and Archives (QEMA). Originally located in Prince Edward County Board of Education building (formerly the Bloomfield School, S.S. #7), the Museum will house (housed) artifacts, photographs, books and documents relating to the history of education in the County, particularly during the years of the one-room schoolhouse”. (QEMA, 1984) On April 7, 1978, the Museum was incorporated as a non-profit corporation and a registered charity. Quinte Educational Museum and Archives (QEMA) opened officially in early 1979 with the goal to embrace all categories of education, including the separate school system, private schools and colleges. Between 1979 and 1998, QEMA offered student-education programs to complement units of the school curriculum, as well as guided tours through the displays to the many visitors and tourists. In its original location in the old Bloomfield school, many people accessed the Archives on a regular basis, as they carried out their own research into social and educational history, or simply tracked down family roots. In 1998, when the Prince Edward County Board of Education amalgamated with the Hastings Board of Education, the old Bloomfield School was declared surplus to the new amalgamated Board’s requirements; hence the facility was sold, leaving QEMA without a home. During this time, the Museum set up a temporary home at the Prince Edward Region Conservation Authority Office. QEMA hired summer students through Human Resources Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). Summer students, and two longer job terms through the Job Creation Program maintained the public face for the Museum, during its years without a home. Outreach programs included traveling displays for local libraries, nursing and retirement homes, special community and school events. In 2003, the Montgomery family donated the Victoria Schoolhouse, which they had purchased when the one-room school closed in 1966. QEMA was pleased when the schoolhouse was given a space at the Ameliasburgh Heritage Village. The little schoolhouse was moved in 2005, a distance of 5.5 km from 115 Weese side road to the Museum site. The necessary funding of $60,000 was realized through the generous support of the Parrott and Stark Foundations, the Retired Teachers' of Ontario Association, in addition to municipal, corporate and individual donors. At the same time, The Corporation for the County of Prince Edward rented the former Ameliasburgh council chambers to QEMA to provide storage for our archives and artifacts and a research centre for the public use. Early in 2006, QEMA Board of Directors and volunteers were able to relocate QEMA's collection of archival materials and artifacts that had been in storage facilities for an eight year period, to our new location at 13 Coleman Street. This outstanding collection is truly QEMA's Dynamic Legacy.
'Preserving Educational History for Future Generations'