Archives

The Esquimalt Municipal Archives provides a safe, permanent, and accessible home for municipal records of historical and legal value for both the township and the community. 

Located at 103-1249 Esquimalt Road, the township welcomes visitors to pop in and chat with an archivist or community volunteer. 

The Township of Esquimalt is within the Traditional Territories of the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations.

Hours

  • Tuesday, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday/ Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Mandate

  • Collects, preserves, and makes available to the public, archival material pertaining to the Township of Esquimalt from early settler times to the present and within the current and historical boundaries of the municipality.
  • Promotes public awareness and understanding of Esquimalt’s rich heritage
  • Records current events and acquires present day information.

Holdings

The Archives’ permanent collection includes:

  • Local government records (i.e., inactive and historically valuable records of the Corporation of the Township of Esquimalt)
  • Graphic records (e.g. photographs, slides, drawings, prints, maps, and plans)
  • Manuscripts (e.g. letters, diaries, oral histories, business records, and family papers)
  • Library collection, including books and journals on topics of local historical interest
  • Vertical files (i.e. newspaper clippings, notes, and biographical files)

For information about donating historical materials, please contact the Archives.

Plan a visit

Space is available by appointment for on-site research during the Archives' public hours. Materials may not be removed from the archives; however, copies of unrestricted material may be ordered through the archives at a reasonable cost. 

Please phone or email the Archives to schedule an appointment and request records in advance of your visit. 

Indigenous archives and record-keeping

While the Esquimalt Municipal Archives does not hold Indigenous-specific archival material, we recognize that these lands hold a rich cultural heritage that began long before Esquimalt’s incorporation and extend beyond our municipal borders.

Each of the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations have websites and resources specific to their Nations.

The Archives Association of BC has a selection of resources to support Indigenous organizations, cultural memory-keepers, and Archivists who find themselves working with community records and to further the care, access, and preservation of heritage materials within Indigenous communities. More at aabc.ca

Other learning opportunities and resources

  • The First People’s Cultural Council website contains additional information, including maps, heritage and art resources and language tools that reference the wider area. The FPCC’s mandate is to work with First Nations communities in B.C. to build the vitality of Indigenous Peoples’ cherished Languages, Arts and Cultural Heritage. fpcc.ca/
  • The Royal B.C. Museum Archives collection contains more than 65,000 photographic images and films in a variety of historical and modern formats document the people, communities and ways of life of First Peoples from the 1850s, when photographs were first taken in B.C. to the present. Approximately 3,700 sound recordings made with First Nations people preserve their vocabularies, stories, songs, oratory, traditions and histories for future generations. royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/collections
  • The Indigitization Program is a B.C.-based collaborative initiative between Indigenous communities and organizations working with several post-secondary institutions to facilitate capacity building in Indigenous information management. indigitization.ca

Affiliations

The Esquimalt Municipal Archives is a member of the Archives Association of British Columbia and the Hallmark Heritage Society.