Collections & Research

An integral part of our mandate is our community Archives. Focused on research materials related to the history of Abbotsford, the Archives provides a resource to students and the general public on our diverse and engaging history.

  • The Archival Collection includes: 20 linear metres of original documents; approximately 15,000 original photographs and negatives; a research collection that includes the full run of the Abbotsford Post (1910-1924) and the Abbotsford Times (1992-2008). We also own all the microfilmed editions of the Abbotsford, Sumas and Matsqui/Abbotsford News (1922-2008) and collect hard copies to keep the collection up to date.
  • Genealogical information contained in the local newspapers has been made easily accessible through indexes listing obituary, marriage and some birth announcements, searchable by family name.
  • We have undertaken digitization of the Photograph Collection and begun to make them fully accessible on our website. Currently there are about 10,000 locally relevant images, that can be searched by subject, date, location and keyword.


Online Photo Archive 

Donating to the Collection

Caring for Your Artefacts

Do you have a question about caring for or preserving a family heirloom or photograph? Contact the Curator of Historical Collections with your question.




People of the valley

Research Appointments & Requests

There is no charge for the use of the archives and staff are available to help you when you make a research appointment.

To book an appointment contact the Curator of Historical Collections.


Historic Downtown Walking Tour

The historic downtown Abbotsford Walking Tour, created by WA Fraser Middle School students in 2010, leads you through a tour of 31 heritage sites in the village of Abbotsford. Site listings include historic photos and histories that will transport you to the time when the village was the place to stop, shop and catch up with neighbours. Available at The Reach for $5.


In 2013 , students from Abbotsford used the The Reach archives to research, script and  perform six one-minute vignettes based on the popular Historica Heritage Minutes.

VIEW History Minutes videos.

Funding for this program was provided by the Abbotsford Rotary Club.