Searching Archives PEI

Archives PEI contains archival descriptions or "finding aids" of over 1400 fonds or collections from institutions across Prince Edward Island.

You can search Archives PEI using the basic search box at the top of each page or by using the Advanced Search. You may use the asterisk (*) sign as a wild card to broaden your search (eg. "m*cneil*" will retrieve "MacNeil", "McNeil", "MacNeill", and "McNeill" results).

Users can also browse archival descriptions, people and organizations, archival institutions, subjects, and places.

The search results list can be sorted alphabetically, by reference code, or by most recently added. You can also narrow your results using the facet filters (eg. language, archival institution, creator, subject, level of description, etc.) on the left side of the search results screen. To view an individual description, click on the title of the fonds or collection. The archival description will open and the full description will be made available. File and item lists, where available, are linked as PDFs in the "Finding Aid" section of the descriptions.

To access or obtain copies of a particular archival collection, please contact the archival institution associated with the description.

What information do Archives PEI descriptions contain?

Most descriptions in Archives PEI include the following:

Title and Statement of Responsibility area
This section includes the title of the fonds or collection which often takes the form of the name of the creator or collector followed by the word "fonds" or "collection" (eg: John Smith and Mary Brown fonds; Smith,Alley collection). Title notes, level of description, the name of the repository that holds the material and the reference code (identifier) will also be noted here.

Dates of Creation area
The dates when the actual material in the fonds or collection was created, not the date of the subject matter.

Physical Description area
The amount and type of material in the fonds or collection. This includes the extent of textual material in linear meters and the total amount other types of material.

Archival Description area
This area includes the name of the creator, as well as brief biographical or administrative details, providing information on the context in which the records were created and used. Custodial history indicates the history of the past ownership of the fonds or collection if the material was not received directly from the creator of the material. The scope and content is a description of the contents of the fonds or collection and may include: the functions or kinds of activities generating the records; the period of time and geographical area to which they pertain; the arrangement of the material; a summary of the principal documentary forms; and the subject content of the material.

Notes area
A variety of notes may be included in this section. Most descriptions including the following:

  • Language of material - Language of the material in question
  • Restrictions on access - Indicates any restrictions on physical access to the material
  • Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication - Terms relating to use and reproduction of material.
  • Finding aids - Indicates whether or not further finding aids are available for this material, i.e., series descriptions, file listing, etc. If a further finding aid is available, a list of hyperlinks to the sous fonds, series, and subseries descriptions will appear on the left side the screen or this note itself may be a hyperlink to a volume or file listing available online in PDF format.
  • General notes - Other general notes on location within the repository, etc.

Access Points
A list of the subject, place, and name access points assigned to the fonds or collection. The items in these lists hyperlink to lists of other fonds or collections with the same access point.