Canadian Architectural Archives

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Canadian Architectural Archives

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    Other form(s) of name


        Contact area

        Robb Gilbert Primary contact



        Street address

        Glenbow Western Research Centre, Taylor Family Digital Library, University of Calgary, 410 University Court NW





        Country name


        Postal code

        T2N 1N4






        Description area


        The Canadian Architectural Archives was established in 1975 as a joint initiative between the University Library and the Faculty of Environmental Design. The Shrinking Maze: Report of the University Program Review Committee, 1980 recommended that the Library continue its collecting activities with an emphasis on the archives of Canadian creativity which included architecture and design. Distinguished professor Michael McMordie was instrumental to the growth and development of the CAA into a collection of national significance. The records of the Toronto firm John B. Parkin Associates were the inaugural collection acquired by the archives in 1975. Additional donations to the archives have expanded the holdings to represent many of the major figures in Canadian modern and contemporary architecture.

        Geographical and cultural context

        Mandates/Sources of authority

        The mandate of the Canadian Architectural Archives is to collect the work of Canadian architects and architectural firms of regional, national, and international significance.

        Administrative structure

        The Canadian Architectural Archives is one of five repositories in Archives and Special Collections, Libraries and Cultural Resources.

        Records management and collecting policies


        The Canadian Architectural Archives is located in the LEED Gold certified Taylor Family Digital Library with holdings in state-of-the-art storage facilities in both the Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL) and the High Density Library (HDL).


        The CAA houses the archives of several of the most important figures in Canadian architectural history. Collections include those of renowned architects Douglas Cardinal, Ron Thom, Arthur Erickson, Raymond Moriyama, Diamond Schmitt, Patricia and John Patkau, and Bing Thom. The CAA holdings are particularly strong in the work of modern architects based in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto, though holdings also include the work of architects from throughout Canada. Archival records such as sketches, drawings, photographs, and project files provide valuable documentation for Canadian and international scholars.

        The development of modern architecture in Alberta is well represented in the CAA holdings. The archives of important Alberta architects and firms include those of Rule Wynn Rule, Peter Hemingway, Gordon Atkins, Douglas Cardinal, Cohos Evamy, Jack Long, Hugh McMillan, Donald Bittorf, Jeremy Sturgess, and Barry Johns.

        The archives holds significant historical records from early Vancouver firms McCarter and Nairne and Thompson, Berwick, Pratt & Partners, as well as the records of the Stevenson Raines firm in Calgary and F. Bruce Brown in Toronto. These collections document practices that started in the first half of the twentieth century. The Thomas H. Mawson collection is also notable for its twenty-five City Beautiful urban design plans for Calgary and Regina in the early 1910s.

        The West Coast Modernist architecture of the greater Vancouver area is a particular strength of the CAA holdings, represented in the collections of Arthur Erickson, Geoffrey Massey, Ron Thom, Thompson Berwick Pratt, and several lesser-known but significant architects such as Dick Mann, Henry Yorke Mann, Roger Kemble, and Richard Hunter.

        The archives includes the work of many important architects and firms based in Toronto including John B. Parkin Associates, Jerome Markson, Gordon Adamson, John Andrews, George Baird, Baird Sampson Neuert, Carmen and Elin Corneil, Diamond Schmitt, Roger du Toit, Raymond Moriyama, Mathers and Haldenby, and William Grierson.

        The CAA houses the Panda Associates photography collection spanning 1946 to 1992 with over 170,000 photographs, one of the largest collections of architectural photography in the world. Notable landscape architecture archives held in the CAA include the collections of Lombard North Group and Richard Strong. The CAA also houses the records of Montreal designer Jeffrey Lindsay. The Lindsay collection documents his association with R. Buckminster Fuller, the Canadian Fuller Research Foundation, and geodesic dome design.

        Among the relevant collections in the Glenbow Library and Archives are the E.T. Brown architectural records, the William Stanley Bates fonds, the Harold Hanen fonds, and the William G. Hames Rule Wynn Rule photographs. The Glenbow architectural holdings are particularly strong on regional architecture of Calgary and Southern Alberta.

        Relevant collections in the University Archives include the papers of Graham Livesey, distinguished architect, author, and professor in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape at the University of Calgary. The University Archives also houses the Faculty of Environmental Design fonds, spanning 1966 to 2011. Records relating to the construction of buildings on campus are held in the Department of Facilities Management fonds, which spans 1961 to 2009.

        Finding aids, guides and publications

        A list of holdings is available at:
        Digital collections are available at:

        Access area

        Opening times

        Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
        Monday – Friday 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 pm (summer hours)
        Closed statutory holidays and between Christmas and the New Year.

        Access conditions and requirements

        Please contact the archives at least 1 business day prior to visiting. Many of our collections are offsite and we require time to retrieve them from our vaults prior to clients accessing them.


        Services area

        Research services

        Materials can be accessed in the Glenbow Western Research Centre (GWRC) on the second floor of the Taylor Family Digital Library.

        The GWRC has several computers that researchers can use to access the internet. One of these computers has a microform reader to view materials.

        Reproduction services

        Information regarding reproduction services is available at:

        Public areas

        The Taylor Family Digital Library has a cafe and vending machines on the first floor. More food options are available in MacEwan Hall.

        Control area

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