In late 1992, a couple of concerned people decided that there was a possibility of approval for an application to the federal New Horizon grant program. A group of about 50 people indicated that they were willing to volunteer time and effort to a New Horizon program. The application was approved in late 1993 and a grant of almost $9000 was received. So began the project of the inventory of the Scott-Sefton negatives collection of the Elgin County Library. Money from the grant was used to purchase acid-free envelopes to store and protect the negatives, and to produce forms to record the details about each negative. The County of Elgin donated a room for work space for the volunteers.
Workers were scheduled for a half-day shift once a week to once a month on a volunteer basis. they recorded on the inventory sheets the box number, the envelope number, the name on the original envelope flap, the size and type of negative, the physical condition of the negative, and a brief description of the picture. They transferred the negatives from the original acidic envelopes to acid-free envelopes.
As the inventory progressed, other volunteers created a computerized index so that the search for a particular negative could be easier.
In December 1995, the New Horizons grant was exhausted with approximately 40,000 negatives inventoried. The Elgin Photographic Heritage Society decided to continue the project, requesting donations from the public to support the group. Slides were prepared and shown to various community organizations. The newspaper, the St. Thomas Times-Journal, printed some of the more interesting pictures in the Bygone Days section, with a request for further information.
By November 1998, the Society had completed the inventory of about 75 percent of the collection of Scott-Sefton negatives. At the annual meeting on November 1998, it was decided to explore the possibility of making the Society's index to the negatives available to the public.
By 2002, the society, under the direction of its Chairman Mr. Ken Verrell, had completed the transfer of negatives to acid-free sleeves and had created an item-level database. With the opening of the Elgin County Archives in November 2002, all of the negatives were transferred to the Archives, and the item-level database was integrated into the Archives' database.