Plan A Visit
Hours of Operation
The Archives’ Reading Room is open by appointment. See below for more information on how to book an appointment.
The Archives' reading room is located at 8 Centennial Square.
The Archives preserves older City of Victoria government records, as well as records of Victoria's businesses, organizations, and people. Access is provided free of charge. Archives staff are available to guide researchers to the various sources and to assist them in understanding and using the finding aids and the records.
Please note that City government records maintained by the Archives are subject to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation and restrictions may apply.
Appointments can be made for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday with two time slots available to book: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Before you book an appointment, we recommend doing some planning to make the most of your time at the Archives. For example, you may want to review our online reference guides to get a better idea of the kinds of records and resources we have on commonly researched topics:
You can also search descriptions of records in the Archives through the Archives' Online Search. View our introduction to searching [PDF - 1.4 MB] or watch our introductory video:
As well, Archives staff are available by email or phone to discuss the focus of your research and help you identify potentially relevant records.
After you have identified which records you’d like to view during your appointment you may email the Archives at Archives@victoria.ca, or phone us at 250.361.0375 to book a time. We will require your topic(s) of research, the date and timeslot you’d like to visit on, and any reference codes for the records (e.g., PR-0013 or CR-0181).
Visitors to the Archives will be required to complete an Archives Researcher Registration Form [PDF - 191 KB] on their first visit to the Archives each year. You may print the form and bring it with you, or we will have forms on hand for you to complete when you arrive. Along with your completed, signed form, we will require you to provide one piece of government issued photo identification (e.g., a drivers’ license, passport, status card, etc.). Archives staff will then give you a Registration Card which you will be required to bring on each subsequent visit to the Archives for the calendar year.
If You Can't Visit the Archives...
The Archives will respond to enquiries by mail, phone, fax, and email. Although resources limit the amount of research we can do for you, we will try to provide basic answers and information regarding research tools and sources. We also encourage you to explore the Archives' Online Search, which has descriptions of records in our collection, as well as thousands of scanned photographs.
Copying Archival Material
Photocopies of many of the records may be obtained, but some records are subject to conservation, copyright, and legal restrictions. Copies are made by staff and are available as quickly as time allows.
Photocopies are $0.25 per letter/legal page and $0.50 for 11x17" pages.
Self-serve Digital Copying
Researchers may take digital, photographic copies of archival material under the following conditions:
Non-restricted material may be copied for personal use upon verbal agreement of the Archivist as long as it is properly handled and identified as City of Victoria property.
Time limits or copy limits may on occasion be required to ensure that the Reference Room remains quiet and comfortable for all researchers.
For further information, please email the Archives at Archives@victoria.ca.
Image above: Front door of 613 Pandora Avenue which housed the Parks Department office, City Archives, and Greater Victoria Celebration Association, ca. 1974-1976 [CVA M09247]