The BC Archives has announced plans to re-open its reference room. This comes after originally announcing that it would remain closed until 2021.
The BCHF is pleased the BC Archives is reversing its decision to open sooner, in a safe way.
Here is the press release from the BC Archives:
July 2, 2020 —The Reference Room of the BC Archives will offer expanded in-person services beginning July 30, 2020, in strict adherence to archival best practices and following the guidelines of the Province’s “Restart Plan.”
“As we reopen to the public in phases, our priority continues to be the health and safety of our staff and visitors,” said Joanne Orr, Deputy CEO and VP of Collections, Research and International Programs at the Royal BC Museum. “After much study of our space and how archival materials are typically handled, and following the advice of the Provincial health authorities and WorkSafeBC, we have determined it is safe to expand access to in-person services in the Reference Room.”
The Royal BC Museum reopened its second floor to the public on June 19, after closing its doors on March 17 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will gradually open the rest of its galleries incrementally, throughout the summer.
The BC Archives continued to provide archival services throughout the pandemic, with archivists and access technicians offering on-site services for court requests and legal matters. BC Archives staff have also offered remote services throughout the pandemic, connecting with researchers digitally.
To ready itself for reopening, the Royal BC Museum implemented numerous physical distancing measures, engineered controls and administrative changes to help limit the resurgence of the virus and protect staff and visitors.
The BC Archives will take similar steps in the Reference Room. As the Reference Room is a high-touch area, staff have carefully considered the expansion of in-person service, balancing access to materials with the need to protect staff and researchers from possible infection.
More information about the Reference Room’s expansion of services will be available at royalbcmuseum.bc.ca in mid-July.
The museum’s re-opening schedule follows the Province’s phased approach, which permits museums, art galleries and libraries to re-open under enhanced protocols.