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Animals in Archives

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As a species, we humans tend to separate ourselves from the rest of the “animals”. Our lives are consumed by matters that seem unique to humans in many cases, we have our complex cultures and societies and live in built environments that are designed to shield us from the elements and often the rest of the natural environment. Our lives often seem to run parallel, and sometimes in conflict with, the other species that call Earth their home.

Yet, despite the great divide that separates us from the rest of the “animal kingdom” we find ourselves, as a species, finding ways to live harmoniously with animals. Evidence of this can be found in archives worldwide, particularly through photographs. The photographs and written records in our own holdings at the Oxford County Archives provide us some insight into how local residents lived alongside and interacted with animals in their daily lives, for better or worse, and the value animals add to humans’ lives. 

In the exhibit, you will discover our archival records relating to animals and the stories contained within them. We invite you to examine what they can tell us about the human-animal relationship, and how animals and humans impact one another today and historically. 

Click through the exhibit sections below to learn more!