We are the official repository of the permanent records of the City of Edmonton. We also acquire archival material from Edmontonian citizens, organizations and businesses.
Discover our holdings on our!
Looking for information on records restricted by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act?
Civic Government Records
The City of Edmonton Archives acquires, preserves, arranges and describes, and makes accessible civic government records with permanent legal, administrative, financial, and historic value. A significant number of these records date from Edmonton’s incorporation as a town in 1892. Annual deposits continue to grow as a result of the City’s active corporate records management program.
Donations of personal records from individuals, organizations and businesses ensure that Edmonton’s social, political, and cultural history is preserved. We have over 700 private records fonds and collections. Among these are records from:
- H.M.E. Evans
- Edna Kells
- Richard Secord
- John Walter
- Edmonton Horticultural Society
- Northern Alberta Pioneers and Descendants Association
Finding aids to these fonds and collections are available in ourand in our reference room.
We maintain an extensive collection of newspaper clippings files, dating from the 1920s. Clippings files are an excellent place to start your research; many questions can be answered from them and they are a source of keywords and names to enhance your search.
Types of Records
Other types of records you’ll find at the City of Edmonton Archives include:
- Audio/Visual material
- Posters and Calendars
Although we are not an art gallery and we do not publicly display art, we have artworks by 49 Edmonton artists in our collection. This includes work by Margaret Chappelle, Ella May Walker and George Weber. This material is usually donated to the Archives as part of a donation of records, the personal records of the artist for example.
The majority of our blueprints are for commercial properties but we do have a small number of residential blueprints. To see if we have a blueprint of a building, contact us with the address at 780-496-8711 or email@example.com. Please note, you may be asked for identification or written permissions before gaining access to certain blueprints.
We can make copies of blueprints; see our order form for details. We highly recommend viewing the blueprints prior to ordering.
We have many other resources available if you are interested in the history of a building or property.
The Archives has a small non-lending library of books, catalogues and pamphlets.
We have over 700 maps of Edmonton and area starting from 1882. These maps provide a unique geographic guide to Edmonton’s development. A large number have been copied and are available in the Archives’ reference room (original maps can be retrieved upon request). Copies of maps are available for purchase.
We have many Edmonton newspapers on microfilm:
- Numerous small newspapers dating from 1878 to the 1970s.
- The Edmonton Bulletin: 1880 – 1951
- The Edmonton Journal (note: there is a gap in our collection. We are filling it as funding permits). We have:
- November 1903 – December 1975
- January 1982 – most recently available (usually within the last 3 months)
We have a large number of catalogued photographs dating back to the 1880s. Reference copies are available in our reference room and many are digitized and available in our online catalogue (and we’re working to add more). High quality copies are also available for purchase.
One of our larger collection of photographs was donated by the Northern Alberta Pioneer and Oldtimers’ Association (MS-56) and we have several collections from individual photographers, most notably longtime Edmonton photographer, Hubert Hollingworth.
The City of Edmonton Archives houses records created by the City of Edmonton, as well as some of its agencies, boards, and commissions. These records contain material that is protected in alignment with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act, and some material may be restricted in alignment with this Act.
What is the FOIP Act?
The FOIP Act provides for a right of access to records held by public bodies as well as ensuring protections for the personal information of individuals held by the City. The City of Edmonton strives to be a transparent, open and accessible organization. Access to information is one of the core tenets of Archives, and it is your right under the FOIP Act to request any information which is held by the City subject to limited and specific exceptions as set out under the Act.
What records at the City of Edmonton Archives are subject to the FOIP Act?
- All corporate records received by the City of Edmonton Archives since October, 1999 are automatically subject to the Act.
- Corporate records not routinely available prior to October, 1999 are also subject to the Act.
- Records from local public bodies (municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals) are subject to the FOIP Act.
What records at the City of Edmonton Archives are not subject to the FOIP Act?
- All records created by private individuals or groups outside of government or other local public bodies are not subject to the FOIP Act.
- Any records routinely available at the Archives prior to October, 1999 are not restricted by the FOIP Act.
- Any records routinely available prior to coming to the Archives are not subject to the FOIP Act.
Despite not being subject to the FOIP Act, internal restrictions may be placed on records due to conservation concerns, sensitivity of information, or to reflect restrictions requested by the donor.
How do I access records classified as restricted?
If you would like to see records in the Archives' collection that are restricted in alignment with the FOIP Act, please contact the reference desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. An archivist will work with you to identify records of interest, and to determine if the files can be made available, or if redactions are needed. Subject to our workload, and in sensitivity to yours, we will endeavour to review the material as quickly as possible, though this could be up to a week or more depending on the amount of material requested. In certain circumstances inquiries will require a formal Request to Access Information, which can be done through the City’s Corporate Access and Privacy (CAP) Office.