Portage Heritage Museum

Archival Collection

What is an Archival Collection?

The Archival Collection is the compilation of documents, photographs, records and individual/family histories pertaining to the history of the community of Cranberry Portage and its related area.

This collection will be housed in the section of the Museum called the Archives.

At present, Cranberry Portage does not have a museum complex so:

Does it have an Archival Collection?

Yes, we certainly do. Quite a large collection for a Museum in its embryo stages of development.

What does the Museum’s collection consist of?

We have a great number of documents, records, 1200+ photographs accessioned, 125 plus family/individual histories.

Where is it housed?

At present the collection is housed in the Collection Manager’s home. It will be moved to the Museum once a building has been obtained and set up in a manner suitable for collection conservation.

Note: Now that the museum building has been renovated, the collection is held in the museum.

How did the Museum come to have this collection?

Homecoming 1978
Homecoming 2003
Pursuing leads and obtaining information on an on-going basis.

Is anything happening with the collection at this time?

Yes, a great deal. The Collection Manger and assistants are enthusiastically expanding the collection throughout the year.

How is this being done?

We are contacting as many residents and past residents of the community as we can and encouraging them to:

1. Complete a History Questionnaire.

2. Look through their old photographs and find those that pertain to the community.

3. Provide information on the development of the community.

4. Provide contact information for past residents in order for the Museum to contact them.

5. Contact friends or relatives and assist in gathering this information if that is their need.

My parents lived in Cranberry but I was a child when I lived there and my parents are no longer alive, so filling out a questionnaire is not really important for me.

Not true. Anyone who lived in Cranberry Portage contributed to its history. There are different types of questionnaires to cover bases such as that. You would be surprised at how much information you are able to give us…

I really do not remember much of living in Cranberry so there is not much information that I could give you.

Part of the Archival Collection is to complete a resident log for the people that did live here. If for no other reason, you should contact the Museum with what information you do have.

For the 2003 Homecoming I completed a questionnaire and my history was at the Historical Display so I need not bother with it now, correct?

All the history booklets that were completed are in the Archival Collection. However, the Museum has been contacting those people to see if they would like to update their narrative and perhaps make a photo addition. The Museum would be very happy to do so.

I have some photos that I would like to donate to the Museum, as they would be more meaningful to the Museum in Cranberry than they are to the present family situation. Is the Museum interested?

You bet we are! 110% interested! If you would wish to keep the original photo then please consider making copies for us. If you cannot make a copy, then send the photo and we will do so and return the original. Contact us and we will send you information as to how you are able do this.

Okay, so I fill out a questionnaire and send it to you and then what?

The information from the questionnaire is typed into narrative format.
The narrative is sent back to you for revisions. This process is repeated until you are satisfied with the final draft.

At that point you would sign a release form to allow us to place your history in the Archival file. You would also receive a copy for your own records.

* This history is an Archival document and will always be held in the Museum and be available upon request. Many years down the line, should a family member want a copy, it can easily be arranged. *

What about someone that has no family, what are you doing about them?

We are doing our very best to find someone that can provide us with information regarding that person. Should you know of anyone of this nature please contact us. We wish the Archival collection to be as complete as we can make it.

Does that go for community history as well, such as the Radar Site or an old building or maybe some project like the skating rink?

You bet it does! If you have information, please pass it on. It will be appreciated!

I noticed in your Donor Recognition Policy that you give recognition for all sorts of things. Does providing information, photos, or artifacts fall into that?

Absolutely! We wish to acknowledge anyone who makes a contribution.

* Your contribution to the history of this community is a valuable one. Only you can best tell the story of you and/or your family. Your efforts will be greatly appreciated, not only today, but also for generations to come. *

Family History Questionnaire
A detailed question paper has been developed to assist you if you wish to provide information about your family's experience at Cranberry Portage. There are many questions, but they are designed to jog your memory - they do not all have to be answered, just as many as you feel comfortable with.

If you wish to fill in answers on a word processor, an MSWord file is also provided.

Family History Questionnaire in Word format

I’m sold. How do I contact you so I can get started?

Snail Mail:

Cranberry Portage Heritage Museum Corp.
Attn: Museum Curator
Box 310
Cranberry Portage, MB R0B 0H0


If you have email, the complete process of handling the questionnaires and drafts can be done quite simply.

Collection Policy

[The following is an abridged version. The original document will always be the official version.]


1.01 The intent of this policy is to define the purposes, standards, and procedures by which the collection will be acquired, documented, maintained, utilized and deaccessed by the Cranberry Portage Heritage Museum Corporation in order that its public trust responsibilities be carried out in an orderly, practical and professional manner.


The purposes of the Cranberry Portage Heritage Museum Corporation are:
2.01 To identify, collect, preserve, document, manage and study the historical records or objects from the community of Cranberry Portage including the historical sites in the immediate vicinity that are relevant to the history of Cranberry Portage.
2.02 To collect, preserve, document and study the history of the peoples of Cranberry Portage and surrounding area.
2.03 To collect, preserve, document and study the history of the buildings of Cranberry Portage.
2.04 To maximize the educational use of and enjoyment of the collection by the public with emphasis placed on an active role of the museum in pertinent school programming.
2.05 To promote heritage preservation and help educate collectors within the community regarding the importance of preserving their heritage, historical objects or the information about them so that it remains available to future generations.
2.06 To develop a Research Collection for the purpose of ‘hands on’ interpretive and education center.


3.01 The Cranberry Portage Heritage Museum Corporation, which shall hereafter be referred to as the “Museum”, shall acquire heritage objects and supporting documentation in a manner consistent with its stated purposes.
3.02 The priorities for acquisition are as follows:
A. Objects that best illustrate man and nature in the district.
B. Objects that best illustrate the development of Cranberry Portage as a community.
C. Written documentation and oral histories of those peoples who were instrumental to the development of Cranberry Portage.
D. Objects from and written documentation of the immediate vicinity that are relevant to the development of the community of Cranberry Portage.
E. Objects and written documentation that relates to the pre-community development and are historically relevant of Cranberry Portage; native ethnological material, fur trade and pioneer artifacts.
3.03 The Museum shall accept authentic replicas of significant artifacts that express the human life-ways of its history upon the recommendation of the Curator, subject to final approval of the Acquisitions Committee.
3.04 The Museum shall only collect those objects that can be adequately documented and to which ethical and legal ownership can be established.
3.05 The Museum shall base its collection on those objects to which it can acquire a valid, free and clear legal title. Exceptions to this policy will be made upon the recommendation of the Curator and subject to final approval of the Acquisitions Committee.
3.06 The Museum shall exhibit only those objects for which it can provide proper care and space in accord with professional museum standards.
3.07 Loans shall be accepted only at the discretion of the Curator with a stated time limitation. See Collection Policy Statement. Article V.
3.08 The Museum shall acquire its collection in accordance with the laws of the provincial and federal governments of Canada and the international agreements between Canada and other countries.
3.09 Every permanent acquisition shall be formalized with a legal receipt transferring ownership to the Cranberry Portage Heritage Museum Corp.
3.10 The Museum shall encourage donation (bequest, gift) as the primary method of acquisition, but it may purchase objects or exchange for objects that are of a particular significance and will do so in a manner consistent with this policy.
3.11 Every donation will be formalized with a signed ‘Deed of Gift’ document and shall be followed up with a written expression of appreciation on behalf of the Museum. This letter of appreciation shall include the catalogue number assigned, the intended utilization, as well as a brief statement of the place and cultural value of the acquisition to the collection.
3.12 The authority to acquire objects through purchase, exchange, individual gift/loan, conditional gift/loan or field collection shall be the responsibility of the Curator, subject to final approval of the Acquisitions Committee.
3.13 The Museum reserves the right to utilize acquisitions to the collection as best suits its purpose, without necessarily placing them on public display. Objects not on exhibition will be considered part of the reserve. These objects shall be made available to researchers and school classes. See Collection Policy Statement, Article VII.


4.01 The Museum shall make every reasonable effort to systematically document the existing collection and new acquisitions as fully as possible with regard to provenance, significance to the collection and any other pertinent information regarding the object/document.
4.02 For each new acquisition the Museum shall issue a receipt, retain a duplicate of it, enter a permanent record in the accession register and donor file, and assign a unique number to each. See Collection Policy Statement, Article VIII.
4.03 The objects, their documentation, and all additional written reports or interpretive copy produced by the Museum from the study of the collection or oral histories obtained through initiated Museum programs are the property of the Cranberry Portage Heritage Museum Corporation. The Museum Curator and Acquisitions Committee shall determine the distribution and /or sharing of any proceeds from such research and publication.


5.01 Long-Term Loan conditions:
A. The Museum shall accept long-term loans when the loan will benefit the collection within the same guidelines that govern acquisition.
B. All parties must understand the conditions of the loan and the date of return or renewal.
C. Signed loan agreement forms must accompany the loan.
D. A long-term loan requires recommendation by the Curator, subject to final approval of the Acquisitions Committee.
E. A long-term loan should not exceed a five-year period at which time it should become open for re- negotiation.
5.02 Short-term loan conditions:
A. The Museum shall accept short-term incoming loans for educational, research and /or exhibit purposes as determined by the initiated Museum programs.
B. All parties must understand the conditions of the loan and the dates of duration.
C. Signed loan agreement forms must accompany the loan.
D. A short-term loan shall be the responsibility of the Curator.
5.03 Outgoing loan conditions:
A. Loans are made only from the Museum’s permanent collection.
B. Loans shall be made only to public institutions for the purpose of legitimate research and/or educational programs.
C. Loans shall be made upon the authority of Curator subject to final approval of the Acquisitions Committee.
D. Loans shall at all times be subject to such conditions as are consistent with Museum policy and public trust obligation to ensure the proper preservation and safety of the object(s) while outside the confines of the Museum complex.
E. Loans shall be documented on an official loan agreement form where each object is itemized with all pertinent data regarding it, the duration of and conditions specified, and signed by the borrower and the Curator.
F. Loans to institutions using the object(s) for commercial purposes shall in addition be conditional on acknowledgement of the Cranberry Portage Heritage Museum Corporation, a cash donation and/or a percentage for any monies gained as a result of displaying Museum artifacts.
5.04 Any object leaving the direct supervision of the Museum/or the Curator shall be recorded on a loan form.
5.05 Any object on loan shall be insured in accordance with the amount stipulated on the insurance list and/or the accession file. Both borrower and lender shall determine insurance coverage and document an agreement as to responsibility for the article while on loan. All arrangements referred to above will be completed prior to removal or the acceptance of the object on loan. This information shall be included as part of the Loan Agreement form.
5.06 Prior to acceptance or removal of any object on loan an agreement shall be reached as to the responsibility of additional costs regarding repair or preservation of object. This information shall be included on the Loan Agreement Form.
5.07 In a situation where transportation costs are involved a written agreement prior to shipping shall be obtained. This agreement shall state mode of transport and responsibility of all costs. This information shall be included on the Loan Agreement form.


6.01 The criteria for deaccession consideration are as follows:
A. Removal of an object in order to strengthen the collection.
B. Does not fit within the scope of the collection.
C. The object has lost its authenticity.
D. The object is redundant to the museums purpose.
E. The Museum is unable to care for or store the object.
F. The object is in poor physical condition.
G. There has been accidental loss or destruction of the object.
H. The object has greater relevancy to another museum.


7.01 The Curator shall be responsible for controlling access to, and use of, the exhibit and study collections.
7.02 Subject to the primary consideration of the preservation and safety of the collection, the Museum shall permit any legitimate researcher (including elementary and secondary students) under appropriate supervision to have access to the collection for study purposes.


8.01 The purposes of the Cranberry Portage Heritage Museum Corporation’s Collection Management Procedures Manual are as follows:
A. To provide a logical system for the processing and management of temporary and permanent acquisitions, loans and deaccessions.
B. To provide written procedures which will guide Museum personnel with record keeping and artifact control.
C. To provide consistent standards that will be utilized over the years.
D. To provide on a daily basis, means of effective implementation of the Museum’s Collection Management Policy.


9.01 On said date, the Museum shall conduct an accurate intensive inventory of all objects belonging to or on loan to the Museum.

DONE, PASSED AND ENACTED this 19th day of May 2004.

Do you have an artifact that you wish to donate to the Museum?
Please contact:

Cranberry Portage Heritage Museum
Attn: Curator
Box 71
Cranberry Portage, MB R0B 0H0