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.