Council of Nova Scotia Archives

The CNSA promotes archival excellence among institutions entrusted with the care of Nova Scotia's documentary heritage, and provides a network for co-operation, support and promotion of the use of archives.

Workshops & Courses

CNSA offers a 6 courses within our Core Curriculum which, when paired with an assignment for each, results in a Archival Certificate of Completion. Read More...


Members are eligible to apply for any of three annual awards for archival excellence.

Acquisition Strategy

One of our ongoing projects is the CNSA’s “Acquisition Strategy” which provides a blueprint for cooperative acquisitition practices in Nova Scotian archives. Read More...

Our Mandate

The Council of Nova Scotia Archives (CNSA) is a professional association for archives and archivists in Nova Scotia. The Council advocates for the proper preservation of archives and the importance of public access to these records, through our member institutions. A number of dedicated professional archivists, drawn from member institutions, occupy positions on our administrative committees. Through these committees, the CNSA endeavors to promote archival standards, procedures and practices among its members and those institutions and organizations entrusted with the care of Nova Scotia’s documentary heritage.


The CNSA was founded in 1983 by a core group of 25 institutions, organizations and individuals interested in creating a network of archives throughout the province.

Today there are nearly 100 members, representing community archives and museums, university and religious archives, the provincial archives, aboriginal archives and heritage associations.

Presently the CNSA staff consists of one professional archivist who facilitates educational programs, maintains on-line databases and travels to member institutions to provide on-site assistance.

What We Do

We provide members with a common meeting ground and network for discussion of archival issues, and provide liaison with the Canadian Council of Archives.

The CNSA also offers a variety of training and advisory services, whether you are setting up a new archives, or dealing with a specific archival management issue, staff are available to make a visit to your archives.

Members are also eligible to apply for any of three annual awards for archival excellence. The CNSA offers a suite of core workshops which offer a grounding in the basics of archival education and from time to time offers advanced workshops on more specific archival topics.

Various tools are available on-line including policy and form examples and links to other useful websites. There is funding support available for archival work through a variety of granting agencies.

The CNSA maintains a searchable on-line database:

While the CNSA does not provide genealogy research services, many of our member archives have genealogical resources among their holdings.