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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian: Archival Centres  by Ryan Taylor. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Provincial Archives

Newfoundland and Labrador

Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador
The Rooms, 9 Bonaventure Avenue
P.O. Box 1800, Station C
St. John's, NL A1C 5P9
Telephone: (709) 757-8000
Email: information@therooms.ca

The Newfoundland archives opened in 1959, although interest in preserving government records dates back to the nineteenth century. The archives’ mandate is three-fold: government records, private papers of interest to historians of Newfoundland, and records of “enduring legal, fiscal, evidential or research value” concerning Newfoundland and Labrador. They have considerable private materials in the Manuscripts division, which include business papers of many kinds with a natural emphasis on fisheries. There is a registration fee for the original on-site visit.

Finding aids (Inventories) are accessed electronically in the main reading room by the staff after a request by the researcher. However, the finding aid on vital statistics, organized by community, is available online as is the listing of parish registers. The parish register list is very detailed, organized first by religious denomination, then by locale, then by type of record (baptisms, confirmations, marriages) and then by date. The vital statistics finding aid seems to be a less-detailed look at the same records. (Vital statistics before 1892 in Newfoundland depend on church records.) Many of the church records in the provincial archives are typescript copies rather than originals. In some cases, both the typescripts and originals may be available.

The Family History – Distance Research section of the website, gives clear guidelines regarding the services the archives can offer, fees, and supplies the form which they request you use when applying for a search. There is also a list of private researchers although it is no longer updated.



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