Community Heritage and Family History Digital Library

The digital library features several collections which the Calgary Public Library has digitized and made available online. They contain a wide variety of images and maps of Calgary and Alberta.

  • Alison Jackson Collection — In 1988, the estate of former Calgary Public Library librarian Alison Jackson donated an extensive collection of slides and photographs to the Local History Collection. These images, primarily of Calgary's historic buildings and residences, were taken between 1953 and 1977.

  • Calgary Public Library Archives: Our Story in Pictures — This collection of over 3,000 photographs from Calgary Public Library's Archives were added to our digital collection in 2012 as part of our centennial celebrations of 100 years of service to Calgarians.

  • Century Homes Calgary 2012 — The Century Homes Calgary project was a grassroots initiative that celebrated houses built during Calgary's first building boom in 1912. This project was spearheaded by the Calgary Heritage Initiative along with Calgary Public Library, Federation of Calgary Communities, Calgary Heritage Authority, Cliff Bungalow-Mission Community Association, and Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association. Some 508 homeowners signed up to be involved. Most participants researched their homes, showcased banners and created and displayed yard signs with historical information during Historic Calgary Week, July 27 – August 3, 2012.

  • Century Homes Calgary 2013 — The success of Century Homes in 2012 encourage a repeat celebration for Historic Calgary Week in 2013, which ran from July 26 to August 5.  Despite the flooding tragedy in June, 2013, which affected many historic houses in the inner city, 281 participants put up yard signs and banners which were photographed for the legacy database.    

  • City of Calgary Heritage Inventory Collection Calgary Public Library is pleased to partner with the Calgary Heritage Authority in presenting this collection of photographs intended to document items on the City of Calgary’s Inventory of Evaluated Historic Sites. These photographs are an important part of the historic resource documentation process. They can enable future interested researchers access to detailed building information that might otherwise be lost, particularly if the building has been demolished. The initial collection, by local photographers James McMenamin and Michael Knudsen, offers a detailed look at three important buildings in Calgary’s history: The Harvey Block, The Barron Building and Eamon’s Bungalow Camp.

  • Historic Maps of Calgary and Alberta — This collection highlights a sampling of historic Calgary maps from some of the Community Heritage and Family History's map collection. It consists of hundreds of maps ranging in date from the early days of Calgary and Alberta to the present and offer new insights into our city's history and development. We hope to initiate plans to make more of these important resources available in the future with your support.

  • Judith Umbach — Over 3600 photographs have been donated to the Local History Collection since 2005 by Judith Umbach, who gained her appreciation of contemporary history while serving on the Board of Trustees for Calgary Public Library. Most of the pictures depict construction, architecture and development of Calgary with a highlight being the careful photographic record of the construction of the Bow building. This collection, which continues to grow, is grouped into searchable themes.

  • Postcards from the Past — This extensive collection contains almost 2000 postcards. From the early days of the Calgary Stampede to streets in Mount Royal, these postcards offer a fascinating glimpse into more than 100 years of Alberta history. Any writing found on the back of the postcards has also been included.


Community Heritage and Family History Blog

Stay up on the latest of the oldest! See our Community Heritage and Family History blog to learn about the history of Calgary and Southern Alberta.


The Calgary Heritage Triangle

Within a two block radius there are three organizations that collect and preserve the city’s heritage.  Within this Heritage Triangle the Glenbow Library and Archives, the Calgary Public Library and the City of Calgary Archives all work to keep our heritage alive and to make it accessible to Calgarians.