The Cranbrook Archives are housed on the second floor of the Cranbrook History Centre (they are not immediately accessible – an appointment must be made in advance in order to view the archives). The collection was begun in 1976 and presently houses over 45,000 artifacts. The mandate for the collection is to collect and preserve artifacts and archival records of permanent value to the history of Cranbrook and the Canadian Railways. The collection consists of (a) Artifacts related to the history of the city site of Cranbrook; (b) Artifacts associated with Canadian Railway Travel (CPR ONLY); (c) Archive material in the form of photographs, documents, film, and digital information associated with the City of Cranbrook or Canadian Railways.
Internet users are able to search for items in the archive collection by clicking on the link on this webpage. Visitors to the archives are able, subject to advance approval and supervision, to personally view most of the items in the archive collection. Prior arrangements to view items in the collection should be made through the History Centre Main Desk and will be subject to someone being available to supervise the visit.
The public is also able to make requests for limited research being done by volunteers on any of the archive holdings by visiting, phoning or by emailing the Cranbrook History Centre. There are generally no charges made for preliminary investigations although more intensive investigations could be carried out at a previously agreed-to cost.
Housed in the archives is an almost complete collection of newspapers published in Cranbrook between 1898 and 1974. This collection is presently being digitized so that visitors to the History Centre will be able to search on content using computers. This will prove a powerful service for genealogists and historians. These papers hold history that was written at the time of the happenings and in many cases is the only place where these stories have been recorded.
Copies of many of the photographs and documents in the collection are available for purchase. The costs for this service will depend on the material being copied and the end-uses being made of the copies. Requests for the copies will be done on the Cranbrook History Centre Archive form and will be subject to the approval of the History Centre Director.
Staff assisted research: Free for the first 30 minutes.
Additional time: $20 per hour.
- Photocopies 0.35/per page
- Digital Photograph (Non-commercial use & publication) $10.00 each.
- Digital Photograph (One-time Commercial use) $25.00 each.
- 8.5 X 11 black & white photograph $6.00 each
- 8.5 X 11 colour photograph $8.00 each
The Cranbrook History Centre acquires artifacts in the form of a variety of methods. Museum staff accept acquisitions in the most professional and ethical manner. Upon acquisition, The Cranbrook History Centre must take a diligent and documented effort to establish ownership through gift, purchases, or exchange with clear title being transferred to The Cranbrook History Centre.
The Cranbrook History Centre collects and preserves artifacts and archival records of permanent value to the history of Cranbrook, the Canadian Railway, and British Columbia Minerals and Paleontology. Collecting scope currently emphasizes four areas:
1) Artifacts related to the history of the city of Cranbrook.
2) Artifacts associated with Canadian Railway Travel
3) Specimens related to British Columbia minerals and paleontology.
4) Archive material in the form of photographs, documents, film, and digital information associated with the City of Cranbrook, Canadian Railways and British Columbia minerals and paleontology.
Requirements for Acquisition
• Have historical significance for the research, education and expression of Cranbrook, the East Kootenay or Canadian railways
• Items association with an event, person, historical period, or geographic area to Cranbrook, the East Kootenay of Canadian railway.