In 2001, Victoria County celebrated its one hundredth and fiftieth anniversary. Prior to 1851, the area which is now defined as Victoria County was part of Cape Breton County. The county was officially proclaimed in April of 1851, and as Queen Victoria was ruling Britain, it was deemed appropriate to name the newly formed county in her honour.
It was also in 2001, that the Municipal Council made the decision that an archives should be established in order to preserve all the surviving municipal records along with other related materials and that these records be housed in a suitable environment within the Court House in Baddeck.
The mandate of the Victoria County Municipal Heritage and Archives is to identify, collect and preserve all manner of written, photographic, audio, manuscripts, and publications along with other memorabilia pertaining to the history and culture of Victoria County, and that these materials be stored according to proper archival methods, and that access of the collection be made available to the general public.
Also housed within the Archives is the built heritage inventory which has been and is still being recorded throughout the county. This project was commenced, on a part-time basis, in the late 1980’s. To date, nearly all the southern part of the county has been inventoried. Apart from a few buildings, the area of the county north of Cape Smokey remains to be completed.
Since its establishment in 2001, the Archives has been visited by hundreds of people seeking information on various subjects which include genealogical inquiries, research for history projects and publications, and general information pertaining to Victoria County. The Heritage and Archives Dept. publishes a monthly newsletter.
The Archives is staffed by one full time employee and it is open year round five days per week – Monday to Friday – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Closed for lunch 12 noon to 1 pm.)