Council minutes are often the best starting place for historical research into municipal decisions and events. The Municipal Archives has digitized all pre-amalgamation (before April 1, 1996) council minutes. This incredible wealth of documentation of the decisions, events, developments, and actors - citizens and councillors - that have shaped our region can now be searched and viewed on-line.
Start your search in one of the former municipalities; the indexes can be useful for some time-periods:
City of Halifax, 1841-1996
Town/City of Dartmouth, 1873-1996
County of Halifax, 1878-1996
Town of Bedford, 1979-1996
Halifax Regional Municipality, 1996-present
Council Reports or Submissions
Before every meeting of Council the Clerk provided councillors and aldermen with documentation submitted by staff or others that was relevant to the agenda. These reports, petitions, correspondence, plans, etc., are often needed to fully understand the issue discussed, and are available through the Municipal Archives.
To request council reports:
- Note the date of the meeting, and the agenda item.
- Contact the Archives to request the report or submission; copies of specific submissions can be requested.
Halifax's Council Minute Digitizaton Project was awarded the Council of Nova Scotia Archives' 2015 Dr. Phyllis P. Blakely Award for outstanding accomplishment in archival work. The three-year project involved scanning each page of the original minute-books, or the microfilm of minutes when the quality was adequate. Those images were then indexed into pdf files and run through optical character recognition (OCR) software to render the text keyword searchable. The earliest minutes are hand-written and the OCR software does not recognize the beautiful cursive writing. For these years, the Archives is transcribing indexes created by the Clerk's Office at the time, to enable at least that level of on-line searchability.
View a 2014 Global TV News story about the Council Minutes Digitization Project.
Halifax Municipal Archives is very appreciative of project funding provided though the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage's Provincial Archival Development Program.