Archives / Heritage

The Argyle Township Court House Archives was the first municipal archives in Nova Scotia, and remains one of a handful of such archives established in the province. Its primary function is the ongoing collection, appraisal, arrangement & description and preservation of the records generated by a municipal government, namely the Municipality of the District of Argyle.

This archive is also actively engaged in the collection and preservation of a wide range of private sector records pertaining to the communities, families and institutions that make up the Municipality of Argyle in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. These records include family records, genealogies, land records, business records, church records and much more.

The Argyle Township Court House Archives was established around 1982, at the time of the restoration of the Argyle Township Court House. This is the oldest standing courthouse and jail in Canada, built in 1805. The Court House had served as the Municipal Offices for the Municipality of Argyle from 1945 to 1976, when those offices moved to more modern premises nearby. The Court House remained the property of the Municipality when a group of three private citizens took on the task of restoring the building in 1982. The Court House was reopened in 1983 as a museum, historic site and archives.

The archives was formed around the important body of original municipal records that remained in the building at the time, and soon directed its attention to the more current records being held and generated by the Municipality.

The collection of private sector records attracted a wide range of genealogists and local historians to the facility, who appreciated the value and use of the wide range of records being collected. By 1989 the need for wider community support for the museum and archives was felt. At that time the Argyle Municipality Historical & Genealogical Society was established and incorporated, specifically to support the activities of the museum and archives. With over 500 current members, this is now one of the largest local historical societies in Nova Scotia.

Peter Crowell - Municipal Archivist
Phone: (902) 648-2493
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Judy Frotten - Heritage Development Officer
Phone: (902) 648-2493
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Kaitlin Wood - Municipal Archivist
Phone: (902) 648-2493
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