About the Dutch Thompson Collection

Project Background

The Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation has helped us establish a working relationship with Reg “Dutch” Thompson. Mr. Thompson is one of the province’s best-known researchers in the fields of folklore and oral history, thanks largely to his long-running and popular CBC Radio show on PEI oral history, “The Bygone Days”. Mr. Thompson currently has ~700 hours of field recordings stored on audio-cassette in his home, along with an additional ~100 hours recorded on video. This is surely one of the richest single troves of oral history in Eastern Canada – a treasure of both provincial and regional significance -- and Mr. Thompson has partnered with the UPEI Library to digitize this collection and make elements of it available on-line. This has been a matter of some urgency, since the rich content on these recordings was not publically accessible, and there was also no “back-up” for this collection, leaving it vulnerable to calamitous loss or damage, due to the proven instability of magnetic cassette tapes over time and the sub-optimal storage conditions for such media that a domestic household offers. Funding from the  Inukshuk Wireless Foundation has allowed us to transfer this collection from its original audio and videocassette media to digital format, in keeping with established and emerging best practices for the digital archiving of sound and moving image recordings.

Dutch Thompson discusses his interview process and his work with IslandVoices.

Credits, Assistance, and Permissions


Our main funding partner for the first phase of the IslandVoices Project -- digitization and cataloguing of the Dutch Thompson tape archive -- was the Inukshuk Wireless Foundation. Additional funding to assist with the completion of programming and design elements of the project Web site and the transition to the next phase of this initiative (an expanded PEI sound and music digital archive) was drawn from funds donated by Bishop Faber MacDonald and the Maritime Broadcasting System/Robert L. Pace Endowment. 

We thank all our funders, and gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the University of Prince Edward Island's Office of Research and Development and Department of Advancement for facilitating our work with these partners.



University Archives and Special Collections Librarian Simon Lloyd was principal investigator and manager on the Inukshuk-funded phase of the project. Consultation and advice on the Inukshuk application was provided by Boyde Beck, PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation, Edward MacDonald, UPEI Department of History, John Boylan, PEI Public Archives and Record Office, and Donald Moses, Digital Initiatives Librarian, UPEI Library. 

Jerrad Gilbert, hardware support technician at the UPEI Library, assisted in the acquisition and setup of project playback and digitization equipment.

Kris Bulman, UPEI Library Digitization Technician, managed the digitization of the Thompson recordings. Digital transfer and cataloguing of the recordings (and associated material, such as photographs) was done, under Kris' direction, by project lead technician Paul MacKay, with assistance from Tristan Grey and Amanda Creamer, student intern from the History 484 program at UPEI.

Donald Moses led the development and implementation of the project's online archive and learning environment.

Graphic design services were provided by Lisa Bulman-Taylor.



Unless otherwise indicated, all audio recordings and photographic images apprearing on this site are digital copies made from originals loaned to the UPEI Library for this purpose by Reg "Dutch" Thompson.

The cataloguing descriptions of the recordings were created by the UPEI Library, referencing original field notes generously loaned by Thompson and the recordings themselves.

- "Thresing grain, Tryon" [Little girl seated on grain sacks] -- PARO, Millie Gamble fonds, Acc2667/140

- "The old mill, Souris, PEI" -- PARO, PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation collection ; Morley S. Acorn fonds, Acc3466/HF74.285.7.1

- "Scenic country, ca. 1940s" -- PARO, Craswell Portrait Studio fonds, Acc2843/49


Copyright & Permissions

Unless otherwise indicated, all content appearing on this site is copyright of Reg "Dutch" Thompson. It is made available for purposes of research and private study; reuse or reproduction for any other purpose requires the permission of the copyright holder.

Copyright on the site design and cataloguing/metadata information is held by the UPEI Robertson Library.