Primary contact6225 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Prior to July 1970 the University Archives existed only as a small collection of manuscripts (including some of the early records of the Board of Governors) in the Special Collections department of the University Library. While these records were available to researchers, they had not been properly catalogued.
In July 1970 the first University Archivist, Dr. Charles Armour, was appointed and was placed in charge of the Archives as part of the Special Collections department. The Archivist's responsibilities included acquiring and organizing the extensive university records, which were scattered throughout the many administrative and faculty offices on campus. In addition, the Archivist was to set up a new Theatre Archives and a Business Archives; to catalogue the private manuscripts which had been donated to the University, and to solicit papers from former Dalhousie administrative and Academic staff. Within a year a Music Archives was added.
In the early 1970s the Archives moved to its current location on the fifth floor of the Killam Library, and in the fall of 1975 the Archives became a separate department within the University Library. New collections were added over the next few years including the Nova Scotia Labour History Archives, a Medical Archives section, a collection of papers of Citizen Action Groups, and an expanded collection of Canadian and British shipping records. The Archives' collection of private manuscripts also grew to include the papers of both Dalhousie and local individuals, including professors, historians, and writers. In addition to the above archival collections the Archives has also acquired an extensive collection of Dalhousie memorabilia, a large collection of theatre and music programmes, business brochures and catalogues (including an excellent collection of Eaton's and Simpson's catalogues from 1894 onward), and copies of Dunn and Bradstreet's business ratings (1882-1950). The Archives has also compiled extensive reference files related to its major acquisitions areas, a huge collection of photographs relating to both Dalhousie and Nova Scotia, and numerous video and audio tapes.
In October 2000, Michael Moosberger was appointed the second University Archivist. Since that time the Archives has made a number of significant acquisitions, including the records of imX Communications, literary papers of Catherine Banks, theatre company records from Two Planks and a Passion, Jest in Time, Upstart, and records from Eye Level Gallery and the Centre for Art Tapes, two of Canada's oldest artist-run centres.
Dalhousie University Archives serves as the University’s corporate memory by identifying, preserving and making available institutional records of enduring value, including textural, photographic, audiovisual and electronic materials. The Archives also acquires records of independent student, alumni and employee organizations, private papers from prominent faculty and alumni, and University publications. Together these records document the work of the University, and tell the story of the Dalhousie community and its people over time.
The University Archives will acquire records in all media formats, regardless of physical form or characteristics. However, this does not include the regular acquisition of artifacts or similar museum materials; these will only be acquired selectively if they relate directly to, and support the understanding, use and/or display of, a specific archival document.
Monday-Friday: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Requests for access to archival materials must be made by 4:00 p.m.