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On July 2nd, 2020, we are excited to reopen the Prince of Wales Armouries and the City of Edmonton Archives but things may look different from your previous visits. We have put some adjustments in place for the health and safety of our staff and visitors. These adjustments are designed to comply with public health orders and guidelines. Please call 780-496-5989 at least two days in advance to make an appointment for your visit to the Archives. The appointment will have a specific time for you to enter the building to help with physical distancing and allow us time to pull the materials you want to view. Plan your visit accordingly.
 

Please note: the Archives has a Scent-Free policy for staff and visitors.

Search Our Online Catalogue

Our online catalogue features digitized images and finding aids for our civic and private fonds and collections. It’s a good idea to search our catalogue ahead of your visit. When you find something you’d like to have a closer look at you can contact us and we’ll put the material on hold for you.

We’ve prepared a guide to searching our catalogue. Unfortunately, although we’re adding content to our online catalogue as quickly as we can, it still is only a fraction of our holdings.

Contact Us

During the post-COVID-19 reopening, we encourage you to search our online catalogue before talking to an archivist. Due to limited appointment hours, we would like to ensure that your material is ready for you when you arrive.

Did you know that until relatively recently an Edmonton councillor was called an alderman? Try searching our online catalogue for councillor and then for alderman and see the difference. We can’t retroactively change the catalogue every time a term changes but it’s our job to know this sort of thing and our familiarity with our material is often more powerful than a search engine.

When you contact us with your research questions we do a preliminary search for you and when we have material of interest we can retrieve it and have it on hold ready for your visit. Another good reason to contact us prior to your visit: there are times of limited service where we don’t do retrievals.

In addition, we might not have the records you are looking for and then we can let you know who does. For example, we don’t have homestead records as they are at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

We may also be able to answer simple research questions for you directly. This is also a possibility for researchers who are unable to come to the Archives. Although for complex questions, requiring more than a half hour of searching, a research fee may apply.

What to Expect When You Get Here

Archives are a little different than other cultural institutions like museums and libraries. On the one hand, you are able to use original records directly (unlike a museum). On the other, our stacks are closed (unlike a library) which means you can’t browse the shelves or take anything out on loan.

There are also rules to using the records and some of them may seem strict. But everything we do is based on common sense and is grounded on care for the records. Basically, the care of the records trump everything because they are unique and irreplaceable (some are even valuable), and we don’t get second chances with them.

Sign In

Bags and all items are checked at the frontWhen you arrive at the Archives you must sign in (in case of emergency evacuation) and leave a contact number. Put your coat, bag, pens, water bottles and so on into a secure locker. This applies to everyone and there are no exceptions.

You are required to wear a mask, but we are unable to provide masks.

We have two reasons to limit what goes into the reference room:

Accidents happen. Archivists at the City of Edmonton Archives don’t even have food or drink in their offices. There are areas in the Prince of Wales Armouries for researchers to take breaks and food and drink is allowed there.

We need to make sure documents aren’t being stolen in bags or folders. So, we have a blanket ban on personal items in the reference room.

After depositing everything except pencils and paper in a locker, you will be referred to the table where your material has been placed.

Amenities & Self Service

There is no admission charge to the Prince of Wales Armouries and the City of Edmonton Archives provides researchers with parking, a lunch area, and wireless internet. There is also a small exhibit area.

There are several self-serve research options available in our reference room including:

  • Finding aids
  • Access to our online catalogue
  • Card catalogues – for our photographs, library & some archives collections
  • Aerial photographs of the City of Edmonton (1924-1997)
  • Fire insurance maps
  • Copies of historic maps of Edmonton and area (originals are available on request)
  • Henderson’s Directories
  • Newspapers on microfilm
  • Phone books and yellow pages

Some material is temporarily unavailable for health reasons, and we can provide gloves.

Hours

Mon - Fri 8:30am-4:30pm
Weekends & Holidays Closed
Note: There are certain periods of limited service.

For More Information

City of Edmonton Archives

10440 108 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T5H 3Z9

Telephone

780-496-8711

Email cms.archives@edmonton.ca
Website http://cityarchives.edmonton.ca/

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