Glenbow Archives and Library (National Institute)

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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Research: Alberta Ancestors  by Arlene Borgstede. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Glenbow Archives and Library[edit | edit source]

Glenbow Archives and Library
130 - 9th Avenue South East
Calgary, Alberta T2G 0P3
Library telephone: (403) 268-4197
Archives telephone: (403) 268-4204
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Saturday 1:00 pm-5:00 pm; closed Saturday from mid-May to mid-September

The records in the Glenbow Archives document the social, political and economic history of western Canada, with emphasis on Calgary and southern Alberta. Areas include First Nations, the Mounted Police and military; ranching and agriculture; commerce and industry; land settlement and immigration; communications; cultural pluralism; the petroleum industry and natural resources; politics, labour, women, family and personal life; recreation and leisure; environment; photographers; ranching; societies; sports and transportation. A specialty of the Archives is Métis and First Nations genealogy.

The collection includes textual records, over a million photographs, film footage and sound recordings ranging in date from the 1870s to the 1990s.

Finding aids: Glenbow Archives: a guide to the holdings (Calgary, 1992). Detailed finding aids for some of the most-requested records are also available online (Archives Network of Alberta Database)

Resources[edit | edit source]

  • Canadian census 1881, 1891, 1901 for Alberta, Saskatchewan and part of Manitoba
  • a small collection of genealogical handbooks and guides
  • biographical dictionaries for Canada, Great Britain, U.S.
  • directories for the Northwest Territories and rural Alberta (1881-1928), as well as historical Western  Canada city directories
  • Calgary (1910- )
  • Edmonton (1910- )
  • Lethbridge (1948- )
  • Medicine Hat (1913- )
  • Moose Jaw (1939- )
  • Regina (1910- )
  • plus other from Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
  • published local histories for primarily, Alberta, but also some from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia
  • newspaper clippings of obituaries, anniversaries, marriages, awards, etc., mostly concerning prominent citizens
  • genealogy and family history periodicals
  • microfilm reels of historical Western Canada newspapers most extending back to the early 1900s
  • homestead records index (1880-1930 on microfilm)
  • Henderson directories
  • Cummins Homestead Maps
  • Alberta (1917-1918 on microfilm) 1927
  • Manitoba, Saskatchewan (1923 on microfilm)
  • local family histories/diaries and personal papers
  • microfilm reels of original records of the Federal Department of Immigration dealing with operations in Canada West from 1884-1952
  • Public Archives Treaty Paylists (ca 1880-1930 on microfilm)
  • the Charles Denney Red River collection on microfilm
  • various manuscripts dealing with such divers subjects as individual reminiscences to Canadian Pacific Railroad land settlement records in all western provinces
  • information on the registration of United Mine Workers of America, West Canadian Colleries and Crows Nest Pass Coal Company, as well as other membership lists for the local area
  • numerous cemetery transcription records (primarily for Alberta)
  • photographs and oral history interviews on Western Canadian pioneers
  • script applications (1875-1906)
  • newspapers (on Microfilm) from major communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Records of Genealogical Interest[edit | edit source]

Land Records[edit | edit source]
  • homestead records index (on microfilm—original at Provincial Archives of Alberta)
  • land sales in townsites
  • shows date, lot, purchase, price, contract number, deeds, disposal of unsubdivided land
  • land sales of rural land
  • includes contract number, date, purchaser, description of land (area, price, deeds, payments due and made)
Church Records[edit | edit source]
  • Anglican: Diocese of Calgary
  • Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (Calgary) records (1881-1976) (birth, marriage and death, photocopies)
  • Christ Church (Millardville) records (birth, marriage and death 1895-1975) :*St.James Anglican Church (Priddis) records (1904-1968) (birth, marriage and death—original)
  • St. Paul’s Anglican Church (Midnapore/Fish Creek) records (1884-1962) (birth, marriage and death on microfilm)
  • St. Philip St. James Church (DeWinton) records (1897-1928) (birth, marriage and death—original)
  • Baptist Church (Calgary) records (1910-1968)
  • United Church—Alberta and Northwest Conference
  • Knox United Church (Calgary) records (1884-1973)
  • Samson United Church (Hobbema) records (1897-1976)
School Records[edit | edit source]

(most school districts south of Calgary)

  •  Calgary Board of Education records (1889-1984)
  •  Foothills School Division No. 38 (High River) (1904-1978)
  •  Crowsnest Pass School Division No. 63 (1905-1972)
  •  Bow Valley School Division No. 43 (1909-1948)
  •  Pincher Creek School Division No. 29 (1888-1967)
  •  Rockyview School Division No. 41 (1892-1988)
Business Records[edit | edit source]
  •  Crows Nest Pass Coal Company records (1900-1944)
  •  West Canadian Colleries records (1900-1950)
Associations/Unions[edit | edit source]
  •  Calgary Chamber of Commerce records (1890-1986)
  •  Rotary Club of Calgary records (1916-1987)
  •  Rotary Club of Camrose records (1924-1975)
  •  Bricklayers and Masons International Union of America,  Calgary Local 2 records (1903-1929)
  •  Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, Alberta Lodge No. 633 records (1903-1936)
  •  Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen & Enginemen, Sandstone City Lodge No. 635 records (1903-1968)
  •  International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • Calgary Local 348 records (1906-1915)
  • Calgary Local 410 records (1911-1914)
  • Sheet Metal Workers, Calgary Local 254 records (1911-1957)
  •  United Mine Workers of Alberta
  • District 18 records (1910-1915)
  • Local 2633 records (1912-1979)

Glenbow Archives, as one of its priorities, collect material of native and Métis interest. Foremost in their collection is the:

  • Ÿ Charles Denney Genealogical Collection

Charles Denney was born in 1901 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His teaching career, primarily in Alberta, began 1920 and spanned almost two decades. In 1927 he married Mildred Sherlock, also a teacher, and they had one daughter. From 1940 to 1951 he worked for the Alberta government, then the federal income tax office. From 1951 he had his own accounting business in Edmonton.

Charles was very active in the Amisk Waskahegan Chapter of the Historical Society of Alberta, and was a prime mover in organizing the Alberta Genealogical Society in 1973. In 1967 he began work on his wife’s genealogy which went back to the Red River Settlement of 1867. As his interest grew so did his collected research. By 1985, when he sold this collection to the Glenbow Archives, he had compiled family history files on over 1,200 Métis and fur trade families with ancestors in Red River.

Available on microfilm, and may be borrowed through interlibrary loan. Inventory available.

Also available:

  • Métis Script records
  • Gail Morin’s Métis Database
  • Genealogy of the First Métis Nation
  • Dictionary of Canadian Biography
  • Western Canadian 1600-1900

The Archives will do a basic search of their Métis resources for a fee paid in advance. For further information contact Glenbow by mail, telephone or email.


Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Research: Alberta Ancestors

offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at 

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.