Calgary Public Library Archives: Our Story in Pictures

This post was contributed by Carolyn Ryder, Librarian with the Community Heritage and Family History Collection of the Calgary Public Library.

Calgary Public Library and Central Park, circa 1915, Calgary Public Library Archives.

Nineteen-twelve was a very big year for Calgary and for us here at Calgary Public Library. On January 2nd, in Central Park, the new Carnegie public library opened its doors to the public and today is still a proud branch of Calgary Public Library.  As part of the celebrations for our 100 years of service, we are thrilled to announce the launch of  Calgary Public Library Archives:  Our Story In Pictures.  With a generous grant from the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation,  a collection of over 3,000 photographs from Calgary Public Library’s Archives have been digitized and are now accessible to all.  The Library has been an integral part of Calgary’s historical fabric thanks to the remarkable efforts of individuals such as first chief librarian Alexander Calhoun, authors and librarians Louise Riley and Georgina Thomson, and photographer and librarian Alison Jackson.

Alexander Calhoun and staff, 1912, Calgary Public Library Archives.

This legacy will find a permanent home in the Calgary Public Library’s  Community Heritage and Family History Digital Library as our newest collection.  The  Community Heritage and Family History Digital Library is a wonderful resource of over 6,000 images of Calgary and Alberta which come from three significant collections.  Postcards from the Past, the Alison Jackson Photograph Collection and the Judith Umbach Photography Collection contain a wide variety of images ranging from early historic postcards  of Calgary and Alberta, including the Canadian Rockies, to recent images  focusing on Calgary’s built heritage. Many of the pictures are geo-tagged and can be browsed using Google Maps.  Along with the pictures, many entries include Calgary Herald newspaper articles that give in-depth architectural and historic information about the locale.

Please come and check out  these wonderful pictures  and explore a century’s worth of evolution here at the Library at

Empty Shelves in Calgary Public Library Prior to Opening, 1911, Calgary Public Library Archives.

One thought on “Calgary Public Library Archives: Our Story in Pictures

  1. Wonderful work! This is the kind of info that should be
    shared around the internet. Disgrace on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

    Come on over and visit my website . Thank you =)

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