About Us

For 50 years, the City of Victoria Archives has been home to unique stories about Victoria's past.

Victoria’s rich history is visible all around us in the many historic buildings that line our streets. But behind this built heritage is a documentary heritage of equal importance: building plans, street maps, family photographs, personal letters, business ledgers, annual reports, and Council minutes. These and many more records in the Archives show how Victorians have lived, worked, and governed themselves for the last 150 years.

As caretakers of the City’s documentary heritage, the Archives does more than just collect and protect one-of-a-kind records. We also make this material available to the public in our reading room. Whether you’re a student, a researcher, or simply curious about Victoria’s past, the Archives is here for you! You don’t need an appointment to visit us and access is free. Archives staff will be pleased to guide you to relevant material and assist you with our search tools.

In providing these services, the Archives continues the legacy left by Ainslie Helmcken, who became the City’s first archivist in 1967. With strong support from City Council, the Archives was established as part of the core administration of the City of Victoria, where it still resides today. The farsightedness of these individuals has resulted in responsible stewardship of the City’s historical records and enabled open access to this material – now, and for the years to come.

History of the Archives

The Archives has been in existence since 1967. Learn more about our history.


Do you have historical family, business, or organizational records that you think may be of interest to the Archives? Learn more about donating material to us.


Curious about some of the technical terms used on this site? Have a look at our glossary.


Image above: Ainslie Helmcken and Linda Eversole at work in the Archives, ca. 1974-1976 [CVA M09256]