Donating your historical material to the Municipal Archives

Donating your records to an archives is an important contribution to preserving community heritage. The Halifax Municipal Archives gladly considers donations of records that should be preserved and made accessible to the public, including documents, photographs, maps, plans, books, sound recordings, and film created by individuals, families, businesses or community organizations active within the municipality.

In addition to the knowledge that your records will be securely preserved and available to future generations, donors may receive, on request, a receipt for their gift to the municipality, which they can use for an income tax deduction (based on the municipal government’s Monetary Appraisal Policy).

Contact the Municipal Archives to discuss a donation.   

The donation process:

  1. Speak with the Municipal Archivist to discuss the potential donation. The Municipal Archivist will ask about the records: who created them, and in what context, to determine if we are the most appropriate repository. You may be referred to another, more appropriate repository, especially one that is party to the Council of Nova Scotia Archives' Cooperative Acquisition Strategy.
  2. If the material appears to be within the Municipal Archives’ acquisition mandate, the Municipal Archivist will arrange to view your records, or will ask extensive questions about the age, extent, condition, and type of material being offered. If you can bring your material to the archives in person, you will receive a temporary receipt.
  3. The Municipal Archivist will assess your records to determine if they fit the Acquisition Policy and whether the Municipal Archives can adequately resource their preservation and accessibility.
  4. If the municipal government wants to acquire your records, the Municipal Archivist will discuss the terms of the donation with the donor. You’ll get a “Deed of Gift” to formalize the terms that, once signed, becomes a legal document authorizing your gift.
  5. If the records are not already at the Municipal Archives, arrangements will be made to physically acquire the records from you.
  6. Once your records are with the Municipal Archives, they’ll be processed when resources allow: preserved in appropriate archival storage containers; and described in the Archives Database so that researchers will be able to access them.
  7. If you request a tax receipt, your donation will be appraised for its fair market value and you’ll be issued a receipt from the Halifax Regional Municipality.
  8. If the donor agrees, the donation will be acknowledged through appropriate publicity.

Community records are an important complement to the region's historical government records; however the extent of non-government holdings in the Municipal Archives is limited by the resources available to preserve and provide access to them.

The Municipality encourages organizations, businesses and families to care for their own historical records.  Advice is available through the Council of Nova Scotia Archives and the Guide to Archiving for Community Organizations.