The St. Mary's Genealogy Research Centre at Sherbrooke Village is a relative newcomer to the Nova Scotia archival community. It was founded in 2011 by a dedicated group of local genealogists and historians in response to the need to provide a place to collect, preserve, and share historic records and resources of the Municipality of the District of St. Mary's, which is the western portion of Guysborough County. Local historians had talked for decades about the need for a community-based archives, there being no such facility between Lake Charlotte in Halifax County, Antigonish, and the town of Guysborough. While the area was fortunate to have Historic Sherbrooke Village, a living history museum that is part of the Nova Scotia Museum system, it lacked an archives and research centre.
When approached by the volunteer group in 2012, the Sherbrooke Restoration Commission, the body that governs Historic Sherbrooke Village, agreed to provide space for the Centre. As the name implies, the Centre is within Sherbrooke Village, but is not owned or administered by the museum, although the museum generously supplies maintenance and support services.
Historic Sherbrooke Village was established in 1969, and over the years, many historical materials were collected for eventual archiving, but remained unsorted and in storage. The first step towards turning a storeroom filled with boxes into a research centre and archives was taken during the winter of 2014-15, when a Job Creation Partnership grant allowed two workers to organize and index a large portion of the stored materials. Since then, institutional membership in the Council of Nova Scotia Archives has been achieved; volunteers have taken archival training workshops and continue to move the facility forward in its mission.
The Research Centre is currently housed in the upstairs of the museum gift shop, just inside the gates of Historic Sherbrooke Village. We welcome all visitors and researchers interested in learning more about the history and culture of the St. Mary’s region through our growing collection.