City of St. John's Archives

Identity area



Authorized form of name

City of St. John's Archives

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name


  • Municipal

Contact area


Neachel Keeping Primary contact



Street address

Third Floor, 495 Water Street


St. John's


Newfoundland and Labrador

Country name


Postal code

A1C 5M2







PO Box 908

Description area


The City of St. John’s Archives was formally established by a Resolution of Council on Jan. 11, 1989. It is official repository for the records of St. John’s City Hall and other records of enduring significance relating to St. John’s history.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

The Archives and Corporate Records Division is part of the Department of Corporate Services and City Clerk.

Records management and collecting policies

Initially located in City Hall, the Archives was relocated to its present location at 495 Water Street in January, 2003. The former railway station was renovated to bring the archival storage areas up to professional standards which include separate climate controls for photographic material.



Government Records
These are predominately the administrative and operational records of the City of St. John’s. Most of this information is post 1892, but some pre Great Fire material has survived. Our holdings also include the records of former municipalities that were amalgamated with the City of St. John’s. They include the Town of Goulds, the Town of Wedgewood Park and development files from the St. John’s Metropolitan Area Board.

Some of the City records include Council Minutes, Assessment Rolls, municipal election material including Voter’s Lists, newspaper clippings of Council activities, information on individual properties and buildings, building permits, deeds relating to City land transactions, the taxi industry, expropriations, engineering and public works, fire department, rebuilding of the city after the 1892 Great Fire, parks and recreation, Bowring Park, Memorial Stadium and other general and operational records of City Departments.

Other Collections
As part of our collection mandate, the City of St. John's Archives also collects material relating to St. John's persons, businesses, community groups and general material on the history of St. John's. Some of our major holdings include records form the St. John's Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of St. John's Northwest, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Commission of Enquiry into the Municipal Parking Garage, St. John's Tourist Commission, Soiree 88, Fifty Plus Outreach Association, St. John's Heritage Foundation and other smaller collections donated by individuals and organizations.

Architectural Drawings
The Archive’s collection of architectural plans for commercial buildings date predominately from the 1960’s forward. For residential properties, the holdings are not as extensive. To determine if a set of plans exist for your house or building, please contact the archives.

The Archives has an extensive collection of photographic material dating from the 1860’s of St. John's buildings, streetscapes, people and events. Our holdings also include a small collection of historic sketches that date back to the 1830s.

Our general map collection dates from the 1830’s and includes a variety of maps of St. John's. this includes property descriptions and layouts, street re-alignments, property expropriations, Fort Pepperrell, Churchill Park, early military maps, infrastructure and subdivisions.

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. pm Monday to Friday, except statutory holidays.

Access conditions and requirements

Access to certain material in the City of St. John's Archives is governed by Federal, Provincial and Municipal privacy laws. Contact the Archives for further information.


Services area

Research services

Reference inquiries by telephone and mail are welcomed.

Reproduction services

Photocopying is available at cost on site. Reproductions of photographs and maps may be ordered at cost.

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created - April 5, 2013


  • English


Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Clipboard

Primary contact

Third Floor, 495 Water Street
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
CA A1C 5M2