Harnessing history: Highlighting CHLA / ABSC capacity building through the Northern Alberta Health Libraries Association (NAHLA), 1985–2007

Trish Chatterley, Marlene Dorgan, Connie Clifford, Liza Chan, Janice Varney, Orvie Dingwall


Objective – The purpose of the Northern Alberta Health Libraries Association (NAHLA) History Project was to capture, collect, and document the history of NAHLA, record and share the process with other Canadian Health Libraries Association / Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada (CHLA / ABSC) chapters, and systematically organize NAHLA documents for delivery to the Provincial Archives of Alberta. Methods – The methodology employed for this project is described in detail in the CHLA / ABSC Fact Sheet “Reporting Your Chapter History: The Process”, available at the CHLA/ABSC Web site (http://www.chla-absc.ca). Results – During the course of the project, the History Group uncovered the very active and successful 23-year history of NAHLA. The History Group captured the story of the chapter’s origins, identified political actions and educational offerings, and learned of members’ perspectives about what NAHLA meant to them personally and professionally. Reviewing the Association chronology revealed changes in the focus of NAHLA over the years; those trends are also discussed. Discussion – The process of compiling and documenting a local association history can be a rewarding and enlightening experience. It leads to the long term preservation of knowledge of the association’s origins and development. The authors hope the present article will inspire other chapters to initiate similar projects to preserve their own local histories.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5596/c08-010


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