Archives

Looking for historic photographs, information about your property, genealogical records, or an answer to a question about Penticton's past? We have hundreds of thousands of records, photos, documents, media sources, maps, and newspapers that can help.

PLEASE NOTE: Access to all records must be done by appointment only.

Wednesday to Friday, 10am - 5:00pm

Phone: 250-490-2453

Email

To help us help you better, please book an appointment. This allows us to prepare materials before your visit.

Mandate

The purpose of the Penticton Archives Centre is to acquire, arrange, describe, and preserve material of archival and/or informational value to the City of Penticton, and the community as a whole, and to make such records available to the public.

Collection

The Penticton Archives holds an extensive collection of historical records relating to Penticton, and the geographic area bordered by Summerland to the north, Okanagan Falls to the south, Beaverdell/Carmi to the east, and Keremeos to the west. Also preserved are materials concerning the Kettle Valley Railway and the CPR steamships that operated on Okanagan Lake.

The Penticton Archives Centre's collection of  archival items includes:

  • Historic photographs (over 25,000 already digitized)
  • Maps and architectural plans
  • Video and sound recordings
  • Textual records
  • Government: tax rolls, electrical records, fire insurance maps, cemetery records
  • Personal diaries, correspondence, and other manuscripts
  • Business and Social records (churches, clubs, service organizations, public institutions, etc)

For a partial list of our archival holdings, please visit the BC Archival Union List website. For a complete listing or to make inquiries, please contact us directly by phone 250-490-2453, or email.

The Penticton Archives also has a Reference Library containing:

  • Reference books and journals (including BC Ministry of Mines and Okanagan Historical Society reports)
  • Penticton telephone and city directories
  • Newspapers (Penticton Herald issues 1906-1999)
  • Obituaries
  • People Files, containing information about historically significant local persons
  • Information Files, containing information about local places, businesses, organizations, and events.

Services

Newspapers

We have digitized over a hundred years of Penticton Herald newsapers, from 1906-1999 in searchable PDF documents. If you would like to book a time to access this newpaper database, please make an appointment.

Research

The Penticton Archives Centre is a dedicated space for the public to research local history, and so is regularly open on Wednesdays thru Fridays from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Those with archival requests are recommended to call in advance and make an appointment, so that our staff may be better ready to assist you. Fees vary by research purpose (personal or commercial). Please call for our fee schedule (250) 490-2453 or email us.

For the convenience of researchers, the Penticton Archives Centre features a large, bright reading room which also serves periodically as an educational centre and meeting/presentation space.

Photographs

The Penticton Archives possesses an extensive collection of over 25,000 historic photographs of Penticton and area from the late 1800s to present. This collection includes a wealth of images of the Kettle Valley Railway, lake steamships, early pioneers, orcharding, downtown Penticton, local businesses, Peach Festival, and many other subjects. A project to digitize our entire historic photograph collection is currently underway to make it more easily accessible by the public. Over 22,000 photographs have been digitized so far!

Reproductions of photos in our collection can be ordered for a fee. All reproductions are printed by local photographer Stuart Bish using high quality archival materials for long-lasting prints. If you are interested in ordering prints or viewing our photographic collection, please contact us by phone or email with your request.