Spanish Influenza, Covid-19 and the Archer Library

The image for this blog post is a combination of an Influenza card (University of Regina Archives & Special Collections 89-44 Box 157 File 2180 Influenza Card n.d.) from the T. A. Heinrich collection and the decals available from the UofR printing services. As of 2 June 2020, the total confirmed Covid-19 deaths in Saskatchewan is exactly the same as the Spanish Influenza deaths in Regina on Wednesday 16 October 1918 according to “The Leader” newspaper. The number is conspicuous because the armistice of the First World War occurred in 1918 on the 11th month on the 11th day. The Star Phoenix created this interesting video in 2018 about the toll of the Spanish Flu in Saskatchewan. Which makes it clear that the soldiers returning from the Western Front brought the Spanish Flu to Saskatchewan.

On 19th October 1918 “The Leader” newspaper reported the Regina College is in voluntary quarantine, and only resident students are able to attend classes. And it states on December 4th 1918 that the quarantine is lifted and “not a serious case of sickness has developed at the college all the time the epidemic has been raging in the city, and throughout the province”.

During the quarantine outside studios were arranged to accommodate non-resident music teachers and their pupils. And the Orchestra Practice was suspended to ensure no cases of the flu would develop. As you know, currently the University of Regina classes are taking place remotely and online, and on the music front the University of Regina Choir is continuing to sing while maintaining physical distancing.

Did you know that registered students, faculty and staff have access to the electronic full-page newspaper archive of Leader Post? Coverage includes all the stories, images, advertisements, and classifieds dating back to 1883. As this blog shows the perfect source to browse and discover information about the Spanish Influenza. However, also a fun resource to research your family members! If you are interested in current information about Covid-19 check out the Coronavirus Research Database.

And last but not least stay safe and sign up to join the Archer Book Club for virtual Zoom meetings in June, July and August!