With financial and technical support from Nova Scotia Tourism and Culture and the Canadian Council of Archives

Welcome to ArchWay

ArchWay is the CNSA members’ on-line guide to archival records in Nova Scotia. Searching Archway helps users identify records pertinent to their research regardless of where the records are located in the province.

ArchWay works best when using MS Internet Explorer as your internet browser.

The ArchWay Descriptive Database offers detailed information about the records and their creators as well as contact information for the contributing archives. Here you will find biographical sketches, institutional histories, dates of records’ creation, number of files/boxes, and any access restrictions. CNSA members may submit descriptions to the ArchWay Descriptive Database online through the members only section.

The CNSA also maintains the ArchWay Photographic Database, which is similar to the Descriptive Database, however it contains information only about photographs and includes digitized images of each entry.

To search the holdings of archives across Canada, please visit Archives Canada External link.

Goals of the ArchWay Project

  • To raise accessibility of archival holdings in Nova Scotia.
  • To make detailed information on the valuable holdings of Nova Scotian archives accessible to researchers around the world.
  • To increase public awareness of CNSA members' holdings and of archives in Nova Scotia.
  • To increase the digital content of CNSA members' holdings on the web.
  • To increase Nova Scotia's contribution to Archives Canada.
  • To create and collect fonds level descriptions for the holdings of all CNSA member institutions and to enter them in to the ArchWay database.
  • To increase training, knowledge, and arrangement and description skills of CNSA members.

ArchWay Time Line Past to Present

Early 1990's

  • Plans for an on-line database of archival finding aids from archives across Nova Scotia began to be formed. The founding of the database was driven by a national goal to have all archival resources available on a central on-line database (the Canadian Archival Information network or CAIN), lead by the Canadian Council of Archives (CCA)


  • Active work begins towards realizing an on-line database.

Jan. 1998

  • ArchWay Archivist is hired.


  • The prototype of the database is available on-line.


  • Annual Spring Conference - ArchWay database is formally launched
  • Descriptive records from the ArchWay database are first imported into CAIN database.


  • Itinerant Description Archivist is hired.
  • CAIN is official launched and contains over 600 descriptions from over 30 Nova Scotian archives.


  • The new CNSA web site is launched
  • The new ArchWay photographic database is launched.
  • The new ArchWay virtual exhibit "Holidays & Celebrations" is launched.


  • Plans for the upgrading of the ArchWay Descriptive Database are put in place and developement work commenced.


  • A new project archivist is hired to take on the task of developing help documentation for the new software.
  • CAIN gets a new name: Archives Canada.


  • New ArchWay software (WebArchives by Eloquent Systems) is launched at the Spring Conference, allowing members to enter their descriptions remotely via the internet.
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