Skip to content. Accessibility info.


Public Reference Services

The Municipal Archives facilitates on-site and remote access to its holdings.  Contact Us with your reference request. Drop-in Reference available at specific times

Research Services

The Municipal Archives limits the amount of research (actually consulting archival records), on behalf of public researchers, to one hour per year per researcher. Staff will do all we can to help researchers identify good archival sources - but cannot take the time to do more than minimal research for users.

Users requiring additional research assistance can consult our List of Professional Researchers (pdf).

How can I get copies of archival material?

The Municipal Archives provides copying services subject to copyright legislation, donor agreements, and the physical condition of the records. Copies are provided for research and private study; other use may require authorization from the copyright owner.

If you can specifically identify the material required, contact the archives with your copy request.Staff can advise to get the best copy suited to your needs.

If you are in the Archives’ Reading Room, you can use a hand-held camera, or the microfilm scanner/printer to make your own copies (digital or paper) for research and private study; otherwise all copying is done by Municipal Archives staff or approved external services.

If you see material on the Municipal Archives’ database or website or albums in the Flickr Commons, you may share or download it for personal research and enjoyment. See terms for use beyond research and private study.  This material has no known copyright restrictions, unless noted with the item (eg. that the photographer be acknowledged).  This means that:

  • the material is in the public domain, or
  • the Municipality owns the copyright and is willing to make the images available for research and personal enjoyment, or
  • the copyright holder has given permission for the material to be used, or
  • for material in the Archives’ database, the Archives has been unable to locate the copyright holder.  

If you are a rights holder and wish to contest the use of specific material, please contact the Archives.

Images provided online are sized for web-viewing; higher-quality copies can be requested.

Copying fees

You can pay for your copies by cash, cheque, or money order at the Municipal Archives; or with debit or charge cards in person at a Customer Service Centre.

The following fees apply to all copies made at the Municipal Archives:

  • photocopies (up to 11” x 17”): $0.50 per page, $0.60 per page for more than 50 pages
  • print-outs from microfilm or computer: $0.25 per page if done by researcher; $15 per hour if done by staff
  • large-format (maps, plans from paper or microfilm): outsourced and varies per job + $10 handling fee ($15 handling fee for more 10 items)
  • scans of photos, maps, plans under 11” x 17”: $12 per image ($10 per image for more than 10 items)
  • scans from microfilm: no charge if done by researcher; $15 per hour if done by staff
  • scans from texts: $15 per hour of staff time

Postage and handling fees are based on the cost of the copying service:

  • less than $5.00: no fee
  • $5.00–$50.00: $5.00 fee
  • more than $50.00: $8.00 fee

Harmonized sales tax of 15% applies to all fees.

Courier service is at the expense of the researcher.

Students with valid school identification will receive a 10% discount.

Use beyond research and private study

If you plan to use copies obtained from the Municipal Archives for a project beyond research or private study (eg. a publication, promotional item, or website), you must submit a Permission to Publish Form (fillable pdf). Archives staff will notify you of copyright issues, and determine if commercial use requires a fee  Use fees help fund ongoing efforts to care for our collection

Publication and use fees

  • educational, non-commercial, or not-for-profit use: no fee
  • commercial publication (books, periodicals, electronic publications, websites, CD-ROMs): $15.00 for cover placement, $10.00 for interior
  • commercial broadcasting (video, photos, audio recordings): $50 per image or per minute
  • commercial advertising, merchandising, or display: $50–$100 depending on use or quantity
Projects making use of archival records are asked to credit the Halifax Municipal Archives and refer to the retrieval code provided with the copy, so that future researchers can request the same material.    It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright and other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items.

Outreach Activities

The Municipal Archives promotes awareness of and appreciation for our heritage primarily by providing access to its holdings, but, as resources permit, will also provide:

  • exhibits in-house and on-line
  • tours of the Archives to community groups and school groups
  • presentations to conferences, meetings

Contact Us to discuss your ideas.