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Beaton Institute archive at CBU

What is the Beaton Institute?

The Beaton Institute is the official archive for historically significant records of Cape Breton University. Additionally, the Institute is a cultural heritage archive mandated to preserve the social, economic, political and cultural history of Cape Breton Island. It is a centre for local, regional, national and international research and strives to promote inquiry through innovative public programming and community based initiatives.

What are Archival Materials?

Archival Materials are:

  • Materials created or received by a person, family, organization, or business, in the conduct of their affairs 
  • Usually considered primary sources that serve as evidence of past actions and events
  • Memory aids that allow us to recall and relive historical activities and events, or to reference information about them for future generations

How to Find Information?

Archives use "finding aids" which are tools that help a user find information in a specific record group, collection, or series of archival materials. 

Three unique elements of finding aids that researchers should examine for relevancy in a given collection/fonds are:

  • Who created the collection
  • Date Range
  • Contents 

Learn about the Beaton Institute Archives at Cape Breton University

What are Primary Sources?

A few different types of primary sources that an archive may have are:

  • Architectural plans
  • Audiovisual records (e.g. tapes, films, video, etc.)
  • Blueprints
  • Computer files (e.g. word documents, spreadsheets, etc.)
  • Data sets (e.g. databases, GIS data, etc.)
  • Maps
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Textual records (e.g. correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, etc.) 

Archive Rules

There are a few rules to follow when visiting the Beaton Institute:

  • Place bookbags on the floor
  • To prevent staining of materials, use pencils
  • Don’t bring in food or drinks
  • For safekeeping, our materials cannot be removed from the Beaton
  • When using reading room computers, back up your work with portable drives

Subject Guide