In the 1940s, the Archives and Landmarks Committee, together with the Northern Alberta Pioneers and Old Timer’s Association, began keeping subject based clippings files. Another collection of clippings files was started by the Legislative Library, donated to the Provincial Archives of Alberta and then transferred to the Archives and Landmarks Committee. When it was formed in 1971, the City of Edmonton Archives took over the Committee’s textual collections, including the clippings files. The Archives continued to add to the clippings files until 2017.
Over the years, diverse arrays of materials ranging from original documents to publications were kept in these files. This type of cataloguing was common, however archival best practice has moved away from this method. Many archives no longer maintain clippings files and when they do, they generally contain only published materials.
Currently, there are three distinct types of material located within the City of Edmonton Archives Clippings Files:
Clippings: Materials removed, or clipped, from a larger piece, usually a newspaper or periodical.
Ephemera: Materials, usually printed documents, created for a specific, limited purpose, and generally designed to be discarded after use. Examples include advertisements, tickets, brochures, and receipts.
Discrete Item: An item, usually unique and original, that is not part of a larger body of material (e.g., a fonds or collection). Repositories sometimes acquire materials that do not form a part of a larger fonds, collection or series. Context of creation, accumulation and use may or may not be known and, even if they are known, no other materials of the same provenance may be held by the repository. At the City of Edmonton Archives some discrete items were once part of a larger body and were moved to a clippings file.
This series consists of over 26,000 clipping files. The series has been divided into the following subseries:
- Subseries 1: Biography clippings files
- Subseries 2: City clippings files
- Subseries 3: General clippings files