Provincial Archives of Alberta

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The Provincial Archives of Alberta is the official archives of the Canadian Province of Alberta. It preserves and makes available for research both private and government records of all media related to Alberta. The Provincial Archives of Alberta also serves as the permanent archival repository of the Government of Alberta.

The organization is situated in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and is headed by Provincial Archivist Leslie Latta.

The North Saskatchewan River at Edmonton, taken sometime in 1913. High Level Bridge under construction in the background.


The collection includes:

  • 44,365 metres (145,554 ft) of government textual records
  • 4,355 metres (14,288 ft) of private textual records
  • 131,363 maps, plans, and architectural drawings
  • 1,472,741 Photographs
  • 58,013 objects of audiovisual holdings including film, video and audio recordings
  • 14,354 volumes of library holdings

Reference services[edit]

Portion of the map British Dominions by William Doyle and J. Prockter, 1770, Provincial Archives of Alberta Accession 71.430/4

Public interaction with the Provincial Archives of Alberta is primarily through the Sandra Thomson Reading Room which is open to the public five days a week and staffed full-time by professional archivists. The archivists are available to give advice on the primary sources that may respond to researchers' inquiries.

The Sandra Thomson Reading Room has the following major sources:

The Provincial Archives of Alberta promotes Alberta's history and in this way makes the Archives relevant to future users through:

  • Special events and exhibits which highlight the holdings;
  • school programs with curriculum ties;
  • teacher resource packages with curriculum ties;
  • website – holdings online and to promote services; and
  • various communication strategies that build awareness of the resources available in the Provincial Archives holdings.


Katharine Hughes, First Provincial Archivist. Ca 1906, Provincial Archives of Alberta Photo A539.

The origin of the Provincial Archives dates back to 1908 when Katharine Hughes served as the first Provincial Archivist within the Provincial Library. Through the years the holdings continued to grow.

In 1962, the Government of Alberta established a Museums Branch under the Department of the Provincial Secretary for the establishment of a Provincial Archives and a Provincial Museum. The Branch began to accept archival records from government and private sources in 1963. In 1965 work began on a new Provincial Museum and Archives building in the Glenora district of Edmonton. Work finished and the building officially opened in 1967.

As the years went by the Provincial Archives of Alberta outgrew its space and began to warehouse collections, and the need for a larger building became apparent. The Provincial Archives officially opened the doors to its new location at 8555 Roper Road NW in Edmonton on October 5, 2003. The custom 11000 m2 building is situated on a six hectare (14.8 acre) site in southeast Edmonton.

Funding for the construction of the new building was made possible through grants from the Alberta Centennial Legacies Grant Program


External links[edit]