8555 Roper Road
CA T6E 5W1
Provincial Archives of Alberta
In 1908, the Government of Alberta created an archival program as part of its Legislative Library with the appointment of the first Provincial Archivist of Alberta. Acquisitions were primarily oral histories and some private records. In 1925, the Government passed the Preservation of Public Documents Act to establish processes for the transfer and destruction of public records. There is no record of transfers of government records to the Legislative Library's archival program.
In 1963, the Department of Provincial Secretary established the Museum and Archives Branch to oversee the creation of a Provincial Museum and Archives, which began acquiring records. The passage of the Provincial Archives Act in 1966 established the Provincial Archives of Alberta (PAA), which reported to the Department of Provincial Secretary. The Act also repealed the Preservation of Public Documents Act and established the Public Documents Committee, with the PAA as its secretariat. In 1995, the Public Records Committee (the successor to the Public Documents Committee) was replaced by the Alberta Records Management Committee, and representatives of the Department of Public Works, Supply and Services became its Secretariat.
Starting in 1967, the PAA was co-located with the Royal Alberta Museum until the PAA moved to its current building in 2003.
The PAA operates under Section 9(h) of the Historic Resources Act (RSA 2000, c. H-9). The PAA also has responsibilities under the authority of the Government Organization Act, Records Management Regulation (A.R. 224/2001), which provides for archival appraisals as part of the records management process within the Government of Alberta.
Headed by the Executive Director/Provincial Archivist, the PAA is divided into an Access and Conservation Section and a Collections Management Section.
The PAA collects records that reflect Alberta's history. The PAA is a 'total archives', preserving the documented heritage of the Government of Alberta and individual Albertans including the records of businesses, organizations, associations and communities of Alberta.
-Sound recordings and
-Cartographic records such as maps and plans.
The building currently housing the PAA was formerly a patient services building operated by a local health authority. It was retrofitted as a state of the art archival facility and opened to the public in 2003.
The PAA acquires records through donations of material from the private sector and transfers of records through the Government of Alberta's records management program.
Dating primarily from the 1880s to the 2010s, the holdings of the PAA include:
-53,700 metres of government textual records
-4,540 metres of private textual records
-154,330 maps, plans and drawings
-71,835 objects of audiovisual holdings including film, video and audio recordings, and
-14,825 resource library books.
The PAA produces unpublished finding aids for the majority of its fonds and collections. It has also produced publications such as Documenting Francophone Alberta; Your Archives, Your Project; An Administrative History of the Government of Alberta, 1905-2005; and Family Histories. It has also created research guides to its holdings of Ukrainian, Francophone, Indigenous and First World War records.
Tue: 9:00am - 4:30pm
Wed: 9:00am - 9:00pm
Thu: 9:00am - 4:30pm
Fri: 9:00am - 4:30pm
Sat: 9:00am - 4:30pm
*There is no retrieval of archival material from 11:30am - 1pm and from 3:30pm onwards.
Closed on provincial statutory holidays.
Researchers complete a registration form to access the reading room. There are no fees for admission or requirements for letters of introduction or appointments.
The Sandra Thomson Reading Room and other public areas of the building are accessible to persons with disabilities.
The Sandra Thomson Reading Room is available for research by the public. A separate research room is available for employees of the Government of Alberta using materials subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. A non-circulating reference library, microfilm and microfiche readers, audiovisual facilities, and public computer terminals are available.
Reference staff are able to provide 15 minutes of research for public inquiries. Research services through contract researchers are available for more in-depth questions.
Photocopying and photo reproduction services are available for a fee The price list is available at .https://provincialarchives.alberta.ca/sites/default/files/2018-12/current-price-list.pdf.
The PAA features a temporary exhibit area, a store selling archival supplies and other merchandise, a volunteer lounge with vending machines, and wifi.
Interlibrary Loan Code
Created as part of the 2020 AtoM pilot project.