Nova Scotia Archives

Government Administrative Histories

Nova Scotia Archives

Other forms of name:
Public Archives of Nova Scotia (1929)
Nova Scotia. Public Archives
Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management (1997)

The Public Archives was established in 1929 as a crown agency separate from and independent of the public service. The Public Archives commenced operations in 1931 on completion of a building to house it and the appointment of a provincial archivist. Its principal role was to provide a home for historical public records, which had been vested in the province in right of Her Majesty since the first Public Records Act was passed in 1861. In 1966 the Public Records Disposal Act was amended to give the Provincial Archivist a statutory role in scheduling the final disposition of modern government records. Until 1981 the minister unofficially responsible for the Public Archives was the Premier, since 1930 an ex officio member of the executive Board of Trustees. In 1981 the Department of Culture, Recreation and Fitness assumed ministerial responsibility for the Public Archives. In 1996 the Government Records Act placed the Provincial Archivist at the head of a new Government Records Committee. In 1997 the Public Archives of Nova Scotia assumed responsibility for records management within government and was renamed Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management (NSARM). A new Public Archives Act entrenching the position of the Provincial Archivist was passed in 1998, and in 1999 all employees became civil servants. Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management became a division of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage (now Communities, Culture and Heritage) and the Provincial Archivist its executive director. In April 2009, all affairs and matters pertaining to the records management aspect of Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management were transferred to Treasury and Policy Board. The transfer of NSARM's records management component to the Chief Information Office within Treasury Board was formally put into place at the end of March 2011, whereupon NSARM became known as the Nova Scotia Archives to reflect its changed mandate. Under the revised Public Archives Act of 2016, the objects and functions of the Archives are to acquire, preserve and facilitate access to the archival records of public bodies and the courts of the Province, and archival records from the private sector that are provincial in scope or significance; develop and implement policies, standards, procedures and services for the effective management of archival records in the Archives' control and custody; provide advice, direction and guidance on the care, handling and disposition of the archival records of public bodies and the courts of the Province throughout the archival records' life cycle; be responsible for the permanent care of, and control of access to, the archival records in its control and custody; support, encourage and assist archival activities and the archival community; and promote the usability, visibility and relevance of archives in the Province. Since 2011, the Nova Scotia Archives has been part of the heritage division of the

Notes: Authority record based on Statutes of Nova Scotia: 1929 c. 1, 1930 c. 56, 1958 c. 12, 1966 c. 69, 1981 c. 57, 1995-96 c. 7, 1998 c. 24, 2001 c. 4, 2016 c. 15; Orders in Council 2003-516 (4 Dec. 2003), 2009-169 (2 Apr. 2009).

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