The public once again has access to the vast resources of the Stockmen's Memorial Foundation.

The doors reopened today, Mar. 9, thanks to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. It will now be open Tuesdays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"Today is officially our first day open, and we're looking forward to seeing people," says Foundation executive director Scott Grattidge.  "We're still at a bit of reduced capacity to meet guidelines, but we're usually not that busy so we can easily accommodate anyone that wants to come and look up a brand or take out a book."

Those entering will be required to wear face coverings and stay in their cohorts.

Located in the Cochrane RancheHouse, 101 RancheHouse Rd., the foundation's Bert Sheppard Library & Archives collects and preserves the history of Western ranching and the livestock industry. 

Its collection includes 100-plus cowboy hats worn at one time by various Alberta ranchers. There are also community history books, cowboy poetry and novels, western art (bronzes and paintings), brand books, historical and agricultural periodicals, and assorted western histories of ranchers and ranches.

The library contains over 13,000 books related to Western heritage from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. It includes a complete collection of Brand Books for Alberta from 1888 to the present as well as some from the other provinces.

Soon, too, its Branding Experience will be launched that offers the opportunity to create your own brand and burn its image onto a piece of barn wood. Depending upon COVID-19 restrictions, Grattidge says they hope to launch it sometime in May.

Admission to the Stockmen's is by donation.