Halifax Municipal Archives
One Region, Many Memories
Halifax Municipal Archives is a relative newcomer to the Nova Scotian archival community, officially opening in 2006. Since the 1970s, the Public Archives of Nova Scotia had acquired historical records from the cities of Halifax and Dartmouth, and to a lesser extent from the County of Halifax. As records management matured in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), there were internal attempts to add an archival component. But it wasn’t until 2005, when the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management returned its municipal records holdings to municipalities across the province, that HRM created its own municipal archives.
Until the Municipal Records Centre in Burnside was properly outfitted for archival storage, dozens of shrink-wrapped pallets of boxes of records and ledgers and 36 wooden cabinets full of maps and plans filled the aisles. Susan McClure was hired as Municipal Archivist and the Information Management team embraced its added mandate of acquiring and providing access to the municipality’s historical records. The Archives' mandate was formally passed by Regional Council in 2006. Since then, the Archives has doubled its storage capacity and become a regional historical research centre.
The Municipal Archives is located at 81 Ilsley Avenue in Burnside Industrial Park of Dartmouth. There is free parking and 3 public transit routes stop just past the door. A quiet, comfortable reading room is wheelchair accessible with gender-neutral washrooms. It’s not a historic building, but its historic contents are secure and accessible.
At the Halifax Municipal Archives, you will discover records (documents, maps, plans, photos, and audio-visual materials) from as early as the late-18th century but primarily from 1900–2000. All relate to the history of the Halifax region, and especially the five municipal governments that were amalgamated into HRM in 1996:
City of Halifax, 1841–1996
County of Halifax, 1879–1996
Town/City of Dartmouth, 1870–1996
Town of Bedford, 1979–1996
Metropolitan Authority, 1963–1996
Community records are an important complement to historical government records. The Municipal Archives considers donations from organizations and individuals who were active in the region. It also holds published materials that were created by the municipal government or that are directly related to the region’s history, as well as historical artifacts and documentary art that were gifted to the Municipality.
Halifax Municipal Archives ~ One Region, Many Memories.