Historical Legislation at Your Fingertips

Our Future, Our Past: The Alberta Heritage Digitization Project (AHDP) is an ongoing, not-for-profit endeavor to provide all those interested in Alberta’s history free, online access to cultural and heritage materials. Don Sanders, librarian at the University of Calgary Law School headed up the legislative project, and the steering committee which I belonged to.

The University of Calgary Press with the support of the Alberta Law Foundation are behind the project, which has now digitized all of the documents that form Alberta’s legislative history. Here you will find all of the Statutes up to 1990, Legislative Assembly Bills, Debates and Journals, the Alberta Gazette and the Ordinances of the Northwest Territories prior to the birth of Alberta. Current and historical municipal bylaws from across Alberta will be added in 2006-07.

The search template is designed for anyone to use, and I have found it quite good. You may Browse the collection or Search by keyword. Help screens are available for information about the documents and about how to search these pages. The collection is organized as follows:

Searching in: Statutes of Alberta (1905 – 1990)
Revised Statutes of Alberta (1922, 1942, 1955, 1970, 1980)
Ordinances of the Northwest Territories (1877 – 1905)
Bills of the Alberta Legislature (1906 – 1990)
Debates of the Alberta Legislature (Hansards) (1972 – 1993)
Journals of the Alberta Legislature (1906 – 1989)
Alberta Gazette (includes Regulations) (1905 – 1990)

For pure personal interest, and for those closet historical writers, you can also browse newspapers from 1885, read entire books about local communities, and view historic photographs.

Have a look, if you haven’t done so already:

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