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Historic Buildings

Historic Buildings: A Research Guide


This guide outlines some of the sources available at the Public Archives and Records Office of P.E.I. which may be useful in researching an historic home or building in Prince Edward Island. Each source has been annotated providing geographical areas, dates of material and the type of information the researcher can expect to find within the collection. This listing includes references to printed materials on the styles and history of architecture of homes in Prince Edward Island, collections of architectural drawings and papers, insurance maps, fire insurance underwriter minute books, land conveyances, maps and other land documents, business and city directories, community histories, photographic collections, and genealogical sources.

As very few records of individual houses exist, the researcher must consult many different and varied sources in an attempt to piece together the story of a building and/or its owners or builders. Unfortunately, in some cases there may be no documentation of the house or buildings. It is possible that by researching the individuals who built, owned or occupied the house, one may discover interesting details of the types of activities (business, political, social, etc.) that may have been associated with the residence.

Acc3466/HF72.66.20.8 - click for a larger image
PARO Acc3466/HF72.66.20.8
A.W. Mitch
ell, Photographer
Brehaut ho
me, Alexandra

Unfortunately, very few architects' or builders' records exist. Many homes would have been built by local carpenters and tradesmen, seldom keeping any records of construction.

Land documents including conveyances, leases, maps and plans can provide information on when an individual acquired property or appears to be living at a particular place at a certain time; however, these types of documents do not usually provide many specific details concerning buildings.

Interviews with former owners or occupants of the home, neighbours and elderly residents in the area may be helpful in providing clues for research. As with all research, one should consider the reliability and value of the sources consulted.

The records and collections herein mentioned are available for consultation at the Public Archives and Records Office of P.E.I. Some of the printed materials should be available at public libraries and may possibly be available for purchase.


Research Guides Sources to Consult
Research Guides Sources to Consult


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