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City of Calgary Papers fonds
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City of Calgary Papers fonds

  • CA ccg ccg-2068
  • Fonds
  • 1884-1951

The fonds consists of records from several different civic departments and offices dating as far back as the 1880s. These are among the earliest records held at the City of Calgary Archives. The collection was created through a unique custodial history: they were retrieved from a garbage truck after The City disposed of them, and were preserved at the Glenbow Archives. Before construction began on the Civic Administration Building in 1960 and 1961, some civic records were stored in one of the City-owned buildings east of City Hall. When the buildings were emptied to prepare for demolition, a City employee observed workers removing old records and throwing them into a garbage truck. The employee phoned the archivist at the Glenbow, Hugh Dempsey. Dr. Dempsey went immediately to the scene, went into the building and looked at the records on the shelf. Most were in Shannon boxes, and they dated back to the 1880s. He asked the foreman to delay the work so he could take a look through the files. The foreman responded that he had no authority to do so, but agreed to let Dr. Dempsey do whatever he wanted while the men went on coffee break. Dr. Dempsey worked as methodically as he could, selecting boxes simply by the label on the side of the box, tossing the ones he selected from the truck onto the ground. The men took a long break, but when they returned they finished loading and drove off to the dump. Dr. Dempsey took everything he saved back to the Glenbow, and this material became known as the City of Calgary Papers. Sue Baptie of the Glenbow Archives processed the records and produced an inventory in 1970. Series I: Consists of City Council Minutes, 1884-1897. Series II: Consists of petitions to the Mayor and Council, 1884-1897. Series III: Consists of financial records, including assessment and taxation records, 1886-1925. Series IV: Consists of the City Solicitor's files, 1905-1928. Series V: Consists of the City Engineer's correspondence, 1924-1930. Series VI: Consists of the City Comptroller's correspondence, 1925-1941. Series VII: Consists of licence Department records, 1906-1951. Series VIII: Consists of building permit ledger, 1907-1913. Series IX: Consists of those records whose provenance could not be clearly identified, as well as single files from various departments of offices that did not warrant being designated a series unto themselves.

City of Calgary Papers