Sooke Region Museum’s Archives houses some 8,000 historic photographs, and more than 6,000 historical documents and a range of newspaper clippings.
Collections of colour photographs document local flora and scenery, from beaches, to the trees of the rainforest, to wildflowers. Bound volumes contain original issues of the region’s local newspaper, The Sooke News Mirror, and its predecessor, The Grapevine, dating from the first issue in 1959. Genealogical charts record the origins and interconnections of many of the early families. A collection of early maps relay the geography and history of the area. A collection of tape recordings dating from the 1970s have captured the voices and stories of members of pioneer families and of elders of the T’Sou-ke and Pacheedaht Nations in an aural history of the area.
Our videotape collections document many of the events of the region from the 1970s to the present.
A 40-minute slideshow produced for the museum in 1977 tells a story of the history of the Sooke area from First Nations elders’ memories to modern times, illustrating a way of life recollected with fondness, while currently undergoing much change. A 20 minute 16 mm movie from 1983, provides the only complete documentation of an important historic industry long gone –The Fishtraps of Sooke. A copy of this film production is now held in Canada’s National Archives, and showings are held at the museum.In 1986 a 29 minute 16 mm movie The All Sooke Day Storywas produced by the museum, graphically illustrating historic logging skills carried out by loggers in the forests, and their evolvement to the competitive logger sports competitions of current times. Showings of this production are given regularly at the museum. Both of these videos are available as DVD’s.
Books published by the museum include:
- “101 Historical Buildings of the Sooke Region” (1984)
- “4000 Years, A History of the Rainforest of Vancouver Island’s Southwest Coast” (1989)
- “T’Sou-ke – A Festival of Community Spirit – 1790 – 1990” (1991)
“The Sooke Story – The History and the Heartbeat” (1999)
- “A Guide to the Sooke Region” (2001)
- “Bringing Water to Victoria” (2015), Charles Tolman Author
- Co-published with the Municipality of Sooke, “Profiles of a Community”
And two booklets, “Legends of T’Sou-ke and West Coast Bands” (1978) and
“That Was the Way it Was” (1990)