Search Public Archives Material Online
Archival material can be searched online through our databases: the PARO Collections Database and Memory PEI.
What is the PARO Collections Database?
The PARO Collections Database can be searched for item-level access to vital statistics records, census material, and some of our most popular archival content, including maps, architectural plans, photographs, and other material. Where available, a digital scan of the original can also be accessed through the online database. Some of the major collections currently available online include:
Vital Statistics Records
- Baptisms (including the former PEI Baptismal Index, 1777-1923)
- Marriage licences, 1827-1919 (includes digitized originals, 1827-1888)
- Marriage registrations, 1920-1936
- Deaths, pre-1906
- Death registrations, 1906-1968
Census records for 1841, 1881, 1891, and 1901 (formerly the Census Documents Data Search)
- Architectural plans
- Petitions (formerly the PEI Petition Index, 1780-1915; includes digitized originals)
- Supreme Court case files, 1770-1959
How do I search the PARO Collections database?
You can search with standard search or advanced search using keyword, name, date or accession number. Search tip: Use the Advanced Search when doing genealogical research.
For a more successful search for individuals, try variations of name spellings, nicknames, or in the case of given names, possible second or third names as well as initials. Refer to the list of common abbreviations and nicknames.
Use the wildcard “*” within search terms to broaden search results and account for spelling variations in names. For instance, a search for “m*cneil*” will retrieve MacNeil, McNeil, MacNeill, and McNeill results. You can also use the wildcard to separate multiple search terms when doing a keyword search (eg. “charlottetown*park”) or to search a date range (eg. “191*”).
What is Memory PEI?
Memory PEI is the archival description database for the Public Archives. The database contains close to 1200 archival descriptions or “finding aids,” including government records and private sector material, held by the Archives. Using Memory PEI you can learn about specific collections that might be of interest to your research, as well as information about the people and organizations that created those records. In many cases file or item lists are also available in PDF format through the database.
How do I search Memory PEI?
To begin searching Memory PEI, enter a keyword in the banner search box, or use the browse options to begin exploring PEI's documentary heritage. More information and search tips can be found on the About Memory PEI page.
What else does the Public Archives provide online?
In addition to the PARO Collections Database and Memory PEI, the Public Archives offers:
- a collection of online exhibits
- digitized copies of several hundred maps at IslandImagined.ca
What if I need help finding information on my topic?
Only a fraction of the Public Archives' holdings are available online. Visit the Archives in person to access the complete collection. If you're not able to visit, you can submit a question by mail, email or phone. Staff can undertake limited research in response to specific inquiries. Requests will be processed in the order in which they are received. A response may take two to four weeks but is usually completed sooner.