The core function of the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History is to foster research on the natural and human history of the Columbia Basin. We believe that by knowing ourselves and our landscape better, we will understand the impact of events occurring outside the Basin as well as those within. The members of the Columbia Basin Institute are constantly working to encourage new fields of inquiry and to make available the raw materials to support the inquiries.
We have several areas where the Columbia Basin Institute is currently engaged in gathering materials and/or publishing working papers. These are, in brief:
- the impact of the 1918 Spanish Flu on the City of Cranbrook
- fur farming in the Columbia Basin 1920s thru 1960s
- taxidermist C.B. Garrett and his contributions to natural history from the 1920s through the late 1950s
- the history of Gyro Pool, the largest outdoor pool in Western Canada from 1930 through 1970
- the nursing graduates of the St. Eugene Hospital School of Nursing 1911 through 1950
- guides and outfitters on the west slope of the Rockies and the east slope of the Purcell and Selkirk mountains 1900 through 1970
Other portions of our research have recently been made public through a series of heritage interpretation panels that we developed in partnership with the City of Cranbrook. We see this as an ideal way of making the research available and look forward to doing more of this work.
The Columbia Basin Institute also publishes research in print and digital forms. At present the Institute has two volumes in print, When I Was Young... and A Guide to Cranbrook's History - Walking Tour #1. Both are available in local book stores or from the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History.
Another form in which some of the Columbia Basin Institute research collection is becoming public is through storytelling. Several of our members have received research files from which they are building stories to be told in public events.
At the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History we are always looking for collaborative ways of increasing the factual knowledge base of this place we call home. If you have materials to contribute to the database, or if you have a research project that you want to partner on, contact us. We know we cannot take on everyone's proposal, but we are always willing to listen and consider.