Locating Archives

Researching the Visual Arts in Canada

| Discussion Lists | Finding Art-Related Archives in Canada |
| Directories to General Archives in Canada |
| Associations |
| Directories and Guides to Archives Outside Canada |

Before visiting and working in an archive, consult the Concordia University Archives Guide for answers to common questions about archives in general.  It is necessary to consult several resources for finding primary source material relevant to the study of the visual arts in Canada. Use a combination of the virtual and printed directories listed on this page.


E-mail Discussion Lists (for Locating Archives)

The first step in searching for archives is to post a question to some of the Discussion Lists on the Internet -- many archives hold unpublished materials that have not yet been indexed and therefore only the archivist or those who have consulted the archives themselves know what it contains! See the Discussion Lists page on this Website for a guide to many more art-related lists and for information on lists in general.

ARCAN-L: Candian Archival List

The Archives Association of Ontario hosts a discussion forum, see http://aao.fis.utoronto.ca/aa/AAOLIST.html

For finding archives in the UK, see http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/archives-nra.html


Directories to Art-Related Archives in Canada

Artefacts Canada -- Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)

Artefacts Canada provides access to information on millions of museum objects, natural history specimens and archaeological sites. These records have been contributed by museums and heritage organizations across Canada.

Directory of Canadian theatre archives. Compiled by Heather McCallum and Ruth Pincoe. Halifax, NS: School of Library and Information Studies, Dalhousie University, 1992. Concordia Library Call # Reference PN 2075 M23x 1992.

Guide to Canadian photographic archives / Guide des archives photographiques canadiennes. By Christopher Seifried, editor. Ottawa: Public Archives Canada, 1984. Concordia Library Concordia Library Call # Reference TR 6 C2G8X 1984.


Directories and Guides to General Archives in Canada

The resources below list all types of archives (for example medical, administrative, etc) not just those specific to the visual arts.

CHIN's Library and Archives List

Canadian Archival Resources on the Internet

Provides a comprehensive list of links to Canadian archives and associated resources on the Internet. These include links to individual repositories, multi-repository databases, archival listservs, archival associations, educational opportunities, and other related sites. Links are generally limited to archival repositories, but museums and library special collections departments have been included when they contain reference to non-published materials. This is a very general archival site -- contains more than just art-related archives.

Canadian Council of Archives' Directory of Archives in Canada

Lists numerous archives and short descriptions by subject (see in particular those listed under Arts and Culture). Although listings of archives include summaries of holdings, the visual arts material may not be listed, therefore it is best to consult with the respective archivist directly. This Association also produces a printed version (for the current year) titled Directory of Archives in Canada available for consultation at the Concordia University Archives (Room H-1015) or consult your own university archivist for a copy.

Library and Archives Canada

Directory of Canadian Archives / Annuaire des depots d'archives canadiens. Ottawa: Bureau of Canadian Archivists, 1981. Concordia Library Concordia University Library Call # CD 3620 D57X (to 1986).

Directory of Canadian records and manuscript repositories. Ottawa: Association of Canadian Archivists. Concordia University Library Call # Reference CD 3620 D57X [to 1977].

Directory of special collections of research value in Canadian libraries. Ottawa, ON: National Library of Canada, 1992. Concordia University Library Call # Reference Z 883 A1D57 1992.

Manuscripts and government records in the United Kingdom and Ireland relating to Canada / Manuscrits et documents gouvernement aux au Royaume-Uni et Irlande concernant le Canada. Edited by Bruce G. Wilson with Anita Burdett. Ottawa: National Archives Canada, 1992. Concordia University Library Call # Reference Z 1382 W55 1992 and in  Govt Pubs.

Union list of manuscripts in Canadian repositories / Catalogue collectif des manuscrits des archives canadiennes. By Robert S. Gordon, director; E. Grace Maurice, editor. Ottawa: Public Archives, 1975. Concordia University Library Call # Reference CD 3622 U5 [to 1982].

Women's archives guide: manuscript sources for the history of women. By Joanna Dean and David Fraser. Ottawa: National Archives of Canada, c1991. Concordia University Library Call # Reference HQ 1453 D43 1991.


Archive Associations

Association of Canadian Archivists

See especially the Special Interest Section for Aboriginal archives and religious archives. The ACA also produces Archivaria. Ottawa : [Journal of the] Association of Canadian Archivists. Concordia University Library Call # Periodical CD 1 A6X 1975\76-ONWARD.

The Archives Association of Ontario

Consists of over 600 members and represents archival institutions, all those working in archives, as well as users and supporters of archives. Established in 1993 as a result of the amalgamation of the Ontario Association of Archivists and the Ontario Council of Archives.


Directories and Guides to Archives Outside Canada

General archives outside Canada may hold Canadian material. Use the resources listed below to search for art-related archives:

Archives of American Art (Smithsonian)

Columbia University's Guide to Archive and Manuscript Collections

This guide provides access to information about the archives and manuscript holdings of more than 200 repositories world-wide (including Canada).

Directory of archives and manuscript repositories in the United States (DAMRUS). National Historical Publications and Records Commission. 2nd ed. Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1988. Concordia University Library Call # Reference CD 3020 D49 1988.

National Archives and Records Administration of the United States

The National Archives and Records Administration, est. in 1934, includes nearly 14 million still pictures and posters, and more than 9 million aerial photographs.

National Archives (UK)

National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC). Washington, DC: Library of Congress. Concordia University Library Call # Reference Z 663.74 N3 (1959 to 1993) 

Smithsonian Institution Archives

SIRIS Smithsonian Institution Research Information System

See Archival, Manuscript and Photographic Collections.



Last updated: 24 septembre 2007


Additions or dead links: kdl@alumni.concordia.ca