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.
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 $6.00 each
8.5 X 11 colour $8.00 each
Staff assisted research: Free for the first 30 minutes
Additional time @ $20 per hour
The Cranbrook History Centre collects and preserves artifacts and archival records of permanent value of the history of Cranbrook, the East Kootenay, and Canadian railways (CPR ONLY). Our collecting scope currently emphasizes three areas:
1) Artifacts related to the history of Cranbrook and the East Kootenay.
2) Artifacts associated with Canadian railways.
3) Archive material in the form of photographs, documents, film, and digital information associated with the City of Cranbrook, the East Kootenay, and Canadian railways.
Requirements for Acquisition
• Have historical significances 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, or Canadian railways.