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Build 2000



Trent University Archives Contributes to Lift Lock 100th Anniversary Celebration

Richard Rogers' collection of papers paints a historical portrait of the construction of the Peterborough Lift Lock

Thursday, June 3, 2004, Peterborough

There are close to three cubic metres of history on the man behind the construction of the world's largest hydraulic Lift Lock housed within the Trent University Archives in Bata Library. This extensive collection creates an anthology of Richard B. Rogers' life and is a compilation of diaries, letters, maps, photographs, reports and, drawings and plans.

Trent's Archives department is home to the Richard B. Rogers' papers - part of a larger collection entrusted to Trent University by descendents of the family in 1982. As the Lift Lock celebrates its centennial year, University Archivist Dr. Bernadine Dodge says it's an ideal time to look beyond the structure to its superintendent engineer as a part of a historical portrait.

"These structures don't come out of nowhere," says Ms. Dodge. "In order to realize the Lift Lock's importance to the region, to communication, to time and place, you should know the person behind it."

That person, she says, was all consumed by the construction of the Lift Lock; he rarely wrote a diary entry or letter without reference to the "Hyd Lock." The collection, special in its variety of components, is very detailed and, after having worked with it for several months, Ms. Dodge says she feels like she is personally acquainted with Richard Rogers and his wife Mina.

An on-line exhibit of the collection has been created to mark the Lift Lock's centennial year and is located at The exhibit, titled Richard Birdsall Rogers: Life and Times of a Canadian Engineer, includes complete transcriptions of all 19 of Rogers' diaries and a textual representation of the life and times of Rogers - husband, father, friend and engineer.

"This is absolutely a wonderful collection and we are so grateful to have these papers at Trent," says Ms. Dodge. "It's a great honour that the family entrusted them to us."


For further information, please contact:

Bernadine Dodge, University Archivist, 748-1011, Ext. 1413


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Last Updated June 3, 2004