The Archives Act sets out the mandate for Yukon Archives. Our mandate reflects a total archives strategy, meaning that the Archives holds government and non-government records. The Archives Act also mandates the acquisition of library/published material.
In order to be accepted, materials offered to the archives must be consistent with our mandate. Yukon Archives collects donations from citizens, corporations, societies, associations and municipalities, as well as items from library sources such as publishers or retail outlets. The Yukon government’s records management program oversees the transfer of government records to the archives.
Over past decades, our acquisition efforts have focused upon several subjects or themes, including:
- the Klondike Gold Rush
- the Alaska Highway and Canol Road
- northern oil and gas research and development
- cold climate research
- the ethnography, science, and development of the circumpolar north, where there is relevance to Yukon and Yukon issues
We hold unique and original records of all types, including:
- sound recordings
- architectural drawings.
In addition, the archives library acquires a wide assortment of current and retrospective materials in all media and formats, including:
- fiction and non-fiction books
- community newspapers
- federal, territorial and municipal government publications.
Yukon Archives acquires significant Yukon records continuously, through the government's records management program. From the central registry, documents date back to 1896 and relate to a wide range of subjects, including education, elections, wildlife, transportation, legislation and land.
Also among government records are the Territorial Court and the Gold Commissioner's Court records, estate files of the public administrator, and a wide range of contemporary records from government departments dating from the 1980s through to the early 2000s.
The archives also acquires the records of Yukon municipalities, including the City of Dawson, Faro, Haines Junction, Mayo, Teslin, the Town of Watson Lake, and the City of Whitehorse.
Please contact the reference desk for help if the material you are researching is not available on the website.
Yukon Archives acquires private records through donations from citizens, corporations, societies and associations.
Holdings at Yukon Archives vary widely in their scope. They include, for example, the papers of the White Pass & Yukon Route from 1898 to 1980, the founding documents of the Yukon Order of Pioneers, the Erik Nielsen fonds, as well as numerous smaller photograph and manuscript collections from all over the territory.
Yukon Archives maintains a library of over 37,000 titles, which includes books, pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals. The archives library includes 1,500 historical, archival and scientific newspapers, newsletters and periodicals. These sources are supplemented by a pamphlet collection of over 21,614 extracted, ephemeral and small items. The newspaper collection consists of over 120 individual mastheads, and more than 30 northern-oriented current newspapers, including Yukon community papers.
The library holds government reports as well as Yukon Hansard, Yukon Gazette, Yukon ordinances and statutes, and Yukon financial and annual reports. The library also has in its collection the federal Hansard (Debates and Journals of the House & Senate) from 1875/1980 and the federal Statutes of Canada, 1870-1971.
Yukon Archives has a newspaper and archival microfilm collection that is available for loan to libraries. First priority is given to Yukon libraries but other libraries are welcome to request materials.