Nova Scotia Archives

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Nova Scotia Archives

Parallel form(s) of name

    Other form(s) of name


        Contact area

        Nova Scotia Archives Primary contact



        Street address

        6016 University Ave.




        Nova Scotia

        Country name

        Postal code

        B3H 1W4


        (902) 424-6060


        (902) 424-0628


        Description area


        The Public Archives was established in 1929 as a crown agency separate from and independent of the public service. The Public Archives commenced operations in 1931 on completion of a building to house it and the appointment of a provincial archivist. Its principal role was to provide a home for historical public records, which had been vested in the province in right of Her Majesty since the first Public Records Act was passed in 1861. In 1966 the Public Records Disposal Act was amended to give the Provincial Archivist a statutory role in scheduling the final disposition of modern government records. Until 1981 the minister unofficially responsible for the Public Archives was the Premier, since 1930 an ex officio member of the executive Board of Trustees. In 1981 the Department of Culture, Recreation and Fitness assumed ministerial responsibility for the Public Archives. In 1996 the Government Records Act placed the Provincial Archivist at the head of a new Government Records Committee. In 1997 the Public Archives of Nova Scotia assumed responsibility for records management within government and was renamed Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management. A new Public Archives Act entrenching the position of the Provincial Archivist was passed in 1998, and in 1999 all employees became civil servants. Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management became a division of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage (now Communities, Culture and Heritage) and the Provincial Archivist its executive director. In April 2009, all affairs and matters pertaining to the records management aspect of Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management were transferred to Treasury and Policy Board. The transfer of the records management component to the Chief Information Office within Treasury Board was formally put into place at the end of March 2011, whereupon Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management became known as the Nova Scotia Archives to reflect its changed mandate. The Nova Scotia Archives remains a division within the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

        Geographical and cultural context

        Mandates/Sources of authority

        Authority record based on Statutes of Nova Scotia: 1929 c. 1, 1930 c. 56, 1958 c. 12, 1966 c. 69, 1981 c. 57, 1995-96 c. 7, 1998 c. 24, 2001 c. 4; Order in Council 2003-516 (4 December 2003); Order in Council 2009-169 (2 April 2009).

        Administrative structure

        Records management and collecting policies



        Finding aids, guides and publications

        MemoryNS is an electronic guide to archival holdings at the Nova Scotia Archives. The database includes both archival records of the Government of Nova Scotia and private sector archival records of provincial scope or significance. The database does not make the actual documents available in electronic format, but instead provides descriptions of (i.e. information about) these holdings. These descriptions will enable researchers to identify potential research materials and design appropriate research strategies.

        The database is not a complete inventory of the Nova Scotia Archives holdings. It is updated regularly to provide information about newly available material or older holdings which have been re-described.

        Access area

        Opening times

        Reading Rooms:
        Monday to Friday:
        8:30 am to 4:30 pm
        Wednesday Evening:
        4:30 pm to 8:00 pm
        10:00 am to 3:00 pm

        Administration Office:
        Monday to Friday:
        8:30 am to 4:30 pm

        Access conditions and requirements

        Pre-booking is required for Wednesday evening and Saturday retrieval of hard-copy archival materials, some library items, photographs, maps, or sound and moving image material.

        Closed on Sundays, Statutory Holidays and Saturdays falling within Holiday Weekends.


        Wheel Chair accessible.

        Services area

        Research services

        Reproduction services

        Public areas

        20 Internet-enabled computers are available for public use in the Reading Rooms — and for researchers with laptops or personal communications devices, all public areas of the Archives building have wireless connectivity.

        Control area

        Description identifier

        Institution identifier

        Rules and/or conventions used


        Level of detail

        Dates of creation, revision and deletion




            Maintenance notes

            Access points

            Access Points