Government of Yukon

December 12, 2017

New vault opened on Yukon Archives’ anniversary

Yukon Archives celebrated its 45th anniversary yesterday with the opening of its new vault. Members of the public, heritage community and media were guided around the facility by Archives staff, who shared their knowledge and dedication to caring for Yukon’s past.

The Government of Yukon designed the addition to provide much needed storage space—including specialized frozen storage for unstable materials such as colour photographs and film—as well as a separate vault for digital records. It also improves the facility’s energy efficiency.

The original Yukon Archives was opened in 1972 by James Smith, then-Commissioner and a strong advocate for a territorial archive. It was located in the former Whitehorse Public Library building on Second Avenue in Whitehorse. The move to the current location alongside Yukon College took place in 1990.


“For 45 years, Yukon Archives has preserved Yukon’s written, visual and audio records. This highly-specialized addition will help to ensure that the territory’s irreplaceable documentary heritage is preserved and accessible for generations to come.”

–Minister of Tourism and Culture Jeanie Dendys

“The completion of this technical and very important archival storage space is a fantastic accomplishment. I am proud that the Government of Yukon has delivered a project that will benefit Yukon and Yukon history for years to come.”

–Minister of Highways and Public Works Richard Mostyn

“As a historian who has used Yukon Archives for over 30 years, I have developed a profound appreciation for the depth and variety of the collections, the very useful finding aids, and the extremely knowledgeable and helpful staff. Yukon Archives is truly a territorial treasure, benefiting Yukoners, Canadians and researchers worldwide.”

–Historian Helene Dobrowolsky

Quick facts

  • The current Yukon Archives building was purpose-built and designed for 20 years of storage growth. The vault expansion project has increased storage capacity from approximately 1,000 square metres to 1,550 square metres.
  • A detailed account of Yukon Archives’ history can be found in For the Record: Yukon Archives 1972–2012, available on the Yukon Archives website.
  • Yukon Archives was established to acquire, preserve and make available the territory’s documentary resources including textual, photographic, audiovisual and cartographic records regardless of physical form or characteristic.
  • Yukon Archives receives record donations from individuals, families, businesses and organizations, as well as transfers of records from government departments.

Learn more:
Yukon Archives
For the Record: Yukon Archives 1972–2012


Sunny Patch
Cabinet Communications

Linnea Blum
Communications, Tourism and Culture

Alicia Debreceni
Communications, Highways and Public Works

News Release #17-267