The Nelson Civic Centre was home to the library for five decades. Card catalogues such as the one pictured in this 1938 photo were once a fixture in libraries everywhere. Photo courtesy Touchstones Nelson.

Nelson Public Library seeks historic library artifacts

Possibilities may include library cards, bookmarks, photographs, newspaper articles and souvenirs

Submitted by the Nelson Public Library

In January, the Nelson Public Library held 100th birthday celebration events to packed houses. Next, the library’s history will be showcased at an exhibition at Touchstones Nelson, Museum of Art and History from Sept. 12 to Nov. 15 — and help from the public is requested.

“Our Gallery B exhibition will feature a timeline, photographs, artifacts, and ephemera,” says co-curator Anne DeGrace. “We are looking for anything that people are willing to lend us from their personal collections to help celebrate this milestone anniversary.”

Possibilities may include library cards, bookmarks, photographs, newspaper articles and souvenirs. In particular, the library is seeking a card catalogue. When the Nelson Library moved into a fully online catalogue, the standing catalogues were sold, DeGrace explains.

“Folks bought them to hold screws and nails in a woodworking shop, or craft supplies. We’d love to borrow one back,” she says. While it would be ideal to display one of the library’s original catalogues, an example from another library would also be welcome.

The exhibition is entitled: Turning Pages: The Nelson Public Library at 100 Years.

Anyone with artifacts or ephemera is asked to call the library at 250-352-6333 or email chief librarian Tracey Therrien at

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