Dalhousie University Archives

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Dalhousie University Archives

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name


  • University

Contact area


Information Desk Primary contact


Research enquiries


Street address

6225 University Avenue, 5th Floor, Killam Memorial Library




Nova Scotia

Country name


Postal code

B3H 4R2








Description area


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.

Geographical and cultural context

Dalhousie University Archives is located on the 5th Floor of the Killam Memorial Library at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies

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.


Dalhousie University Archives is located on the 5th floor of the Killam Memorial Library.


The Dalhousie University Archives holds approximately seven kilometres of archival materials. The collections include textual records, graphic material, sound recordings, moving images, historic maps, architecture plans and technical drawings, and other media. See the Guide to Permanent Collection for more information about the archival holdings: https://libraries.dal.ca/find/university-archives/collectionsguide.html.

Finding aids, guides and publications

The Dalhousie University Archives publishes guides to its collections, known as finding aids, on its Archives Catalogue and Online Collections at http://findingaids.library.dal.ca. Some finding aids are not available online and many collections are unprocessed and have no finding aid. Contact the University Archives for additional information.

Access area

Opening times

Monday-Friday: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Requests for access to archival materials must be made by 4:00 p.m.

Access conditions and requirements

Materials do not circulate and must be viewed onsite in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room.


The Archives and Special Collections Reading Room is wheelchair accessible. The Killam Memorial Library has an elevator to bring users to the 5th floor. On-street accessible parking is available outside the library.

Services area

Research services

Staff in the Dalhousie University Archives can provide reference services and do limited searching to identify materials of interest to users, but the Archives does not provide research services.

Reproduction services

Visit the University Archives website for information about reproduction services: http://www.dal.ca/archives.

Public areas

The Killam Library atrium has food service and public seating. Additional food service and amenities can be found elsewhere on the Dalhousie University campus.

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Dalhousie University Archives

Rules and/or conventions used

International Standard for Describing Institutions with Archival Holdings



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2023-09-19: Revised by Creighton Barrett
2016-11: Repository description updated
2015-01: Repository description created


  • English


  • Latin


Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Clipboard

Primary contact

6225 University Avenue, 5th Floor, Killam Memorial Library
Halifax, Nova Scotia
CA B3H 4R2