St. Andrew’s is fortunate to have an extensive archival collection dating back to the foundation of the church in 1828. While the archives focus mostly on the church itself there is also considerable material related to the surrounding community. The archives are mostly paper documents, but also include other types of records such as photographs, architectural drawings, and microfilms. The Memorials Committee of the church is responsible for creating and maintaining the church archives under the direction of Session and Appendix G of the Book of Forms of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
City of Ottawa Archives
The main archival collection is at the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Nepean, and consists of over 100 boxes of materials in ‘fonds’ MG223. This collection is ‘on deposit’ with the city meaning that ownership of the records remains with the church. However, the bulk of the deposit at the City Archives is open to the public, while a few records such as Session minutes within the past 50 years are subject to restricted access. (‘Session’ is the governing body of the church.)
The ‘finding aid’ or index to the City Archives holdings may be viewed at the following link: City of Ottawa finding aid. If you wish to view records in this collection, you need to register at the City Archives location, which is a simple process, and then City Archives staff will make unrestricted records available to you for viewing, as well as restricted records for which you have access authorization.
The Memorials Committee plans to create a digital archive of electronic files on a hard drive dedicated for that purpose at the church. Once created, an index of the files in the digital archive will be published on this web site. Access will be by request to the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org. For larger files a requester may need to supply a USB memory stick to the church office.
There is a cupboard in the Pottinger Room at the church which is used to hold some archival materials as well as other artifacts. An index to the archival materials in the cupboard will eventually be created and published on this web site.
The Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC) maintains an archive for the national church at the head office location at 50 Wynford Drive in Toronto. The normal policy of the PCC Archives is not to maintain archives for functioning churches, as distinct from churches that have closed. However, they do encourage the microfilming of key records such as Session minutes and birth/marriage/death registers. Over the years, St. Andrew’s has had its key records microfilmed by the PCC Archives, where the resulting microfilms are then held. Some other St. Andrew’s archival material has also been collected by PCC Archives. The contents of their collection of St. Andrew’s archives is described in the following document: PCC Archives finding aid. You will need to search through the document for ‘Ottawa’ churches, and then look for St. Andrew’s in Ottawa.
Normally, publications are considered the domain of libraries rather than archives. However, for completeness, we list here a number of the books related to the history of St. Andrew’s that have been published over the years. A given book may be found in one or more locations including the church, the City Archives, the PCC Archives, or the National Library.
- Macphail, John G., ‘St. Andrew’s Church, Ottawa: The First Hundred Years 1828 – 1928’, 1931.
- Hill, O. Mary, ‘Fifty Years at St. Andrew’s 1928 – 1978’, 1978.
- Hill, O. Mary, ‘The Road to Reconstruction’, 1987.
- Lamont, Sheila, ‘From Where I Sit: A living history of the congregation of St. Andrew’s Church, Ottawa’, 2003.
- Moir, John S., ‘Unto the Hills Around: A History of St. Andrew’s Church, Ottawa’, 2003.
- Brearley, David, ‘Presbyterians in Ottawa-Carleton from 1823’, 2005.
- McKenzie, Donald, ‘St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Ottawa: Baptism, Marriage and Death Records 1829 – 1949’. ©2011 British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.
In addition, the National Library has bound volumes of some St. Andrew’s publications such as annual reports and the ‘Church Magazine’.