We partnered with the Lake Country Museum and Archives to digitize the Rainbow Ranche Collection. It consists of over 1,300 items which include correspondence and financial ledgers, documenting the operation of fruit ranches managed by onsite partner James Goldie in the Okanagan, as well as diary entries and clippings of newspaper articles.
To gain a better sense of these collection items, we can use the assigned subject headings as a starting point. According to the Library of Congress, subject headings are controlled vocabularies used to describe library resources. There are more than 150 subject headings in this collection and we will explore a few of them in today’s blog post.
Let us check out five commonly used subjects in this collection.
About two thirds of the collection items are classified with the “Agriculture” subject. Since this letter was sent from S.T. Elliott, an importer and dealer in agricultural implements, discussing the payments of agricultural implements with Rainbow Ranche, this letter is classified with “Agriculture.”
Letter from S.T. Elliott to Rainbow Ranche, August 11, 1908
We have 828 items labelled with “Orchards” and the following invoice is one of them. M. J. Henry, a nurseryman and seedsman, thanked Rainbow Ranche Ltd. for enquiring about his products for its orchards and issued this invoice to Rainbow Ranche.
Invoice from M. J. Henry to Rainbow Ranche, October 25, 1909, 1909-10-25
This correspondence together with the remaining 725 items are found if we limit our subject search to “Ranches.” In this letter, W. R. Megaw Departmental Stores informed “Gentlemen” at Rainbow Ranch that their order for John Deere equipment would be delivered to its ranches as soon as possible.
Letter from W. R. Megaw to “Gentlemen” at Rainbow Ranche, April 5, 1910, 1910-04-05
473 items are tagged with “Farms”, including this letter. James of the Farmers’ Institutes discussed with Frank in this correspondence concerning how to become a member of the Farmers’ Institute.
Letter from James A. Hick (Farmers’ Institutes) to [Frank] Hewer, March 20, 1909, 1909-03-20
This handwritten note from James Goldie is one of 419 items classified with “Irrigation.” James mentions the history of irrigation problems, described the formation of the district and explained the construction of a ByPass.
Handwritten History of Irrigation Problems – OK Center, 1930-35, 1935
Subject heading plays an important role in assisting us to provide access to and retrieve resources efficiently. What is more, we can select more than one subjects to narrow down our search results. For example, if we select all 5 subjects, only 58 results are shown, including the newspaper article and legal document.
We hope you find the controlled vocabulary helpful. If you are interested in other subject headings, please check out our digital objects in Open Collections.