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.

  • 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 40,000 locally relevant images, that can be searched by subject, date, location and keyword.

Online Photo Archive 

The Reach Online Photo Archive contains almost 40,000 local historical images with associated historical context. The archives is searchable across several fields or by keyword. The Reach continues its digitization program adding an additional 5,000 images per year.

Online Object Database

The Reach’s material culture collection is now accessible online, and like the ONLINE PHOTO ARCHIVES is searchable across several fields and by keyword. Unlike the online photo archives, they may not be a photo of each artifact. This is a project we will be working on over the coming years.

The Archives 

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.

Caring for your Artifacts

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

Donating to the Collection 


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.

100 Days of The Reach

The Reach cares for over 4,000 artifacts that preserve the stories and memories of our community. 100 Days of The Reach is an opportunity to select and sponsor one of the many treasures that we house.

For $100 you can sponsor your favourite artifact for 2019. Funds raised will help to preserve the collections in our care.

View Artifacts Here