University Archives & Special Collections (UASC)

January 2022 UPDATE: In keeping with UPEI's direction that extra precautions are required in view of the prevailing COVID-Omicron situation, online consultations are strongly recommended, but in-Library requests will be accommodated, if possible. Please contact University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Simon Lloyd with appointment requests and questions. 

PEI Collection  |  University Archives

Prince Edward Island Collection

PEI NEWSPAPER ARTICLES:  The Library subscribes to the Eureka database **, which provides online access to articles from The Guardian (1997 - present; one day embargo on most recent issue) and The Journal-Pioneer (1999 - present; one day embargo on most recent issue).

** As a subscription product, off-campus access to Eureka is limited to current UPEI faculty, students, and staff. Others may use the database on the Library's public-access computers. 

Selected historical newspaper content -- including back issues of The Guardian (1890-1958; 1962-1964) -- is freely available through the Library's digitization project.

The Prince Edward Island Collection was established in 1971. It was made possible by the transfer of the assets of the St. Dunstan's University Alumni Association to the University of Prince Edward Island. The interest on this fund is now used to purchase many of the PEI Collection materials. The PEI Collection works to acquire all Island-related publications, including books, newspapers and periodicals, PEI government documents, and more. 

The Collection includes:

  • A book and periodical component, containing more than 13,000 volumes. These are either about Prince Edward Island, written by PEI authors or published on the Island. Included is a large number of government reports.
  • A collection of maps and charts pertaining to the Province some of which is on display throughout the Library.
  • A large collection of current and historical PEI newspapers and periodicals (newspapers are mainly available as microfilm and -- increasingly -- digitally; periodicals are mainly in print). This is partially indexed.


Newspaper, book, pamphlet and other vertical file material references (up to and including December 1997) are combined in a Subject card Catalogue which is a supplement to the main Library Catalogue. Journal articles can also be searched by author in the Author card Catalogue. The unique features of these card Catalogues include the references to local newspapers and other local periodicals, pamphlets, etc. which may not be indexed in any other indexing or abstracting source. The card Catalogues also give access to books and journal articles containing some reference to PEI which may be held elsewhere in the library (in the circulating and federal government document collections for example).

In early 2005, references to PEI articles from the years 1998 through 2004 were moved from the Library's on-line Catalogue, into a new PEI Articles Database (PEI PAD). It is still possible, however, to search the Library's on-line catalogue and the PEI Articles Database simultaneously for PEI books and articles together: select the "Also search in the Robertson Library Catalogue" option on the PEI PAD search screen to do this. For the years 1998 through 2000, PEI PAD also includes limited coverage of the Island's two daily newspapers, The Guardian and The Journal-Pioneer, although searchable full-text of both of these newspapers (Guardian, 1997 - present; Journal-Pioneer, 1999 - present) is now available on-line through the PEI Daily Newspapers database (Eureka) . References to all pre-1997 articles - whether in newspapers or other periodicals - must still be searched via the PEI Collection Card Catalogue.

The PEI Collection is housed, along with the University's Archives and a collection of rare books, in the climate-controlled Special Collections facility on the main level of the Robertson Library (past the Media Centre). Requests for PEI Collection materials must be directed to Special Collections staff (except for course reserve materials, which may be retrieved through the Service Desk). Materials must be used within the Library, and some photocopying and viewing restrictions may apply to particularly rare and/or fragile items.  For further assistance in relating to the PEI Collection, please contact Simon Lloyd.

University Archives

The Robertson Library houses the University Archives which are located in the Special Collections Area which also houses the Prince Edward Island Collection and Rare Book Collection. This is a small collection of materials relating to the University of Prince Edward Island and its two predecessors: Prince of Wales College and St. Dunstan's University. It includes yearbooks, class pictures, calendars, newspapers and newsletters, newspaper clippings, faculty publications, audiocassettes, videocassettes, and vertical file items.

Archival material may only be used within the Library, and photocopying and/or viewing restrictions may apply to especially valuable and/or fragile items. For further assistance relating to the University Archives, please contact Simon Lloyd.


Search Tips


During Fall 2020, University Archives & Special Collections will be open from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday - Friday. "Walk-ins" will be accommodated where possible, but appointments are strongly recommended. 

Find Recent PEI Articles:

Full-text articles from The Guardian (1997 - present) and The Journal-Pioneer (1999 -present) can be accessed through the Eureka (formerly Newscan) database on the Library’s  “News and Newspapers” page. Here's a tip sheet for searching within the Guardian or Journal Pioneer using Eureka.

Articles from other PEI periodicals (1999 - present) can be searched via the PEI Periodical Articles Database (PEI PAD).

Find PEI Books:

Library Catalogue

All PEI Collection and University Archives’ books, reports, government documents, etc. are catalogued in the Robertson Library’s main on-line catalogue.

  • Try adding the phrase prince edward island to PEI-related searches, and university of prince edward island to searches for material relating to UPEI. Avoid acronyms, such as P.E.I./PEI or U.P.E.I./UPEI.
  • When viewing the full catalogue record, check under Location for duplicate copies, as some PEI titles may have copies available in STACKS for borrowing - those can leave the building.
    Remember, however, that any PEI Collection and University Archives’ titles housed in Special Collections can only be used in the Library.
  • The Special Collections Room is closed-stack  (you must ask staff to retrieve materials) so note clearly the following information and bring it with you to the University Archives and Special Collections Help Desk:

Book Title, Call #, and Location

(i) SPEC-PEI = PEI Collection
(ii) SPEC-ARCH = University Archives


Finding Older non-book material: PEI Collection Card Catalogue and PEI Article Databases

The PEI card catalogue in the Special Collections’ Reading Room is arranged by subject: ask for assistance if you’re not sure which heading to check. The card catalogue provides access to pre-1997 P.E.I. periodical indexing, to the thousands of pamphlets, clippings, etc. in the PEI Vertical File, and to other information resources not found in the online library catalogue.

If you find a heading with lots of cards under it, remember that cards within a particular heading are sorted alphabetically by author name, or by item title where no author is credited. Some popular subject headings are also subdivided, as shown below.

P.E.I. - Biography - [name of person - last name first]
P.E.I. - Business Firms - [name of business]
P.E.I. - Local History - [name of community]

If you are not sure what information to record from an index card, flag the card with a slip of scrap paper and show it to Special Collections’ staff.

Digitized PEI materials:

While it still represents only a fraction of the content available in the University Archives and Special Collections, this large and and ever-growing digital repository of PEI-related books, maps, sound recordings, and periodicals is always worth a look! This is still a work-in-progress, so don't hesitate to ask for assistance (see below).

Ask for Help

The UASC Librarian, whose office is located in the Special Collections reading area, may also be available to assist you (appointment recommended -- 566-0536  Simon Lloyd Appointments with UASC staff for visits outside of scheduled hours and for in-depth reference consultations may be arranged.