What is the Alberta Heritage Survey?
The Alberta Heritage Survey is a program of the Historic Resources Management Branch of Alberta Culture and Community Spirit. It was established in the mid-1970s, with its main function being to administer a collection of information, including photographs, relating to heritage resources across the province. The Alberta Heritage Survey includes data from as early as 1970, when the Canadian Inventory of Historic Building began documenting Alberta's heritage. In the more than 30 years since the Program's inception, the database has been vastly expanded, often in co-operation with communities and heritage groups. Today, over 80,000 individual resources are documented in the Alberta Heritage Survey.
The Alberta Heritage Survey Online
The extensive Alberta Heritage Survey database is a work in progress. With data from many sources, and having already passed through several systems, the format, style and content of the records varies greatly. Whatever it lacks in consistency the Survey makes up for in its diversity and wide coverage of the province. There are grain elevators, outhouses, banks, mines, houses, water towers, ranches, hangars, bridges, barns, train stations and churches, to name just a few of the types of sites represented. From Manyberries to Indian Cabins, and hundreds of communities in between, the Survey includes records that represent a cross-section of Alberta's built heritage.
Querying the Alberta Heritage Survey
It is possible to query the online database in two ways:
- The Basic Search - fill in one or more of the three search criteria boxes - two have pre-determined pick lists, the other is text based.
- The Advanced Search - build a custom search by selecting from a list of fields - some with pre-determined pick lists, and some are text based - and then indicating your search criteria.
Once you have specified your criteria, click on the blue arrow to search the database. When you get your search results, click on View Details to see all the information in a single record, or select one or more records and click on Generate Report to view some or all of the data in a variety of formats.
Be aware that it may be necessary to query the database more than once, using different criteria, to locate all the information you are interested in. Check Need Help? for search tips and hints.