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Search Help

Welcome to the Help page! Here, you’ll find information on basic searching, advanced searching, and additional features that can be found on the search interface.

About this Site

This site contains the combined records from our archives, museum and library.

Our Library contains 1000+ books and other publications including primary sources:

  • school textbooks
  • technical manuals
  • medical texts
  • reports by early explorers and travelers such as Palliser, G.M. Dawson and John Macoun

and secondary sources:

  • community histories
  • topical histories [i.e. irrigation, Native people, the Mounted Police and coal mining]
  • numerous other secondary sources

Our Archives contains resources such as:

Audio Recordings: 400 audio recordings centre on the lives of residents of the region, and contain a wealth of historical information based on personal experiences [interviews]. Also a small holdings of broadcast and popular music recordings.

Films, Negatives, Photographs, Slides and Videos: over 250,000 still and moving images are in our holdings! These images record almost every aspect of the history of Lethbridge and southwestern Alberta since photography was introduced here. Collections of note include:

  • The Lethbridge Herald
  • de Jourdan Studio
  • Terry Bland Photography
  • a portion of the work of A.E. Cross Studio

Government and Government Agency Records: historical records of the City of Lethbridge are maintained at the Archives. At present, these include:

  • early tax rolls
  • City Council minutes
  • Fire and Police Department records
  • cemetery records
  • early records of the City Manager

The early records of the Town of Magrath, and of the Oldman River Regional Planning Commission are also maintained here.

The City of Lethbridge maintains a records centre under the direction of a Records Manager. Inquiries regarding municipal records can be directed there: 403.320-7383

Maps and Technical Drawings:

  • topographical sheets
  • architectural drawings of commercial and public buildings
  • fire insurance maps for Lethbridge
  • land ownership maps
  • technical drawings dealing with aspects of urban and rural planning and delivery of services

Museum:The Galt Museum & Archives has been collecting artifacts for over 50 years. In that time, some 20,000 human history objects have been collected, each with its own compelling story.

This public, tangible and intellectual resource is an important means by which we can illuminate the culture and history of Lethbridge and southwestern Alberta, providing residents and visitors with "a sense of place".

Distinct facets of southwestern Alberta’s history are all represented to varying degrees in the collection, including:

  • the indigenous population
  • ethnic diversity
  • industry
  • agriculture
  • art and culture

This resource exists for the enjoyment and education of the public. We invite you to search our holdings. Should you wish to see or acquire additional information about an artifact, please contact us.


Historical information related to artifacts in this database is changing on an ongoing basis – sometimes dramatically – as new information becomes available. It is possible that some information recorded is incorrect. If you have information to share about one of the objects or corrections to recommend, please contact the Galt's Collections Department – we would be happy to hear from you.


You can conduct searches by entering search terms into the main search bar. The main search bar can be used to search all collections at the same time. Type in your search terms and then click the "Search" button or hit the "Enter" key.


While searching, keep in mind that you have access to the following helpful features.

Automatic Spelling Corrections and "Did you mean" Search Suggestions

As you enter search terms in the main search bar, suggested topics or names will come up automatically for you to choose from. If your initial search does not bring up any results, the system will suggest alternate searches that are known to bring back results.

Narrowing Down Your Search

If you run a search and get a lot of search results, you can choose to refine your search by using the "Refine By" options. The search results will automatically update as you narrow your search, and your results can be refined by using any combination of the "Refine By" menu options, as well as by adding more keywords to your search.

Brief and Detailed Views

You can view more information about each item in your search results by clicking on the name of the item. Clicking on the item name a second time will bring back the brief view of the item.

Selection List

You can save items that you’re interested in to a temporary list by clicking on the "Add to list" button. If you would like to remove an item from the list, click on the "Remove" button. Multiple items can be added to the list, across different searches. To view your list, select the "View Selections" link.

Advanced Searching

There is an Advanced Search form to help you build more complex searches if you are looking for a particular item or researching a very specific topic. To access the Advanced Search form, click on the "Advanced Search" link under the main search bar, and select the "Advanced Search" tab if it's not already selected.

To create an advanced search, use the "Select a field" drop down menu to select a field that you would like to search, and then type in your search terms. You can search up to 3 fields at once to help narrow down your search results.

You can also click and drag the stoppers on the timeline to narrow down your results by date, or manually enter a date range in the "From Date" and "To Date" boxes.

Additional options may be available, such as selecting which collection(s) you are interested in searching and what media types you wish to find (e.g., limiting your results to images only).

Once you have finished filling out the form, click the "Search" button to run your search. Alternatively, you can choose to start over by clicking the "Clear Form" button.

Browsing Indexes

Browsing indexes is a way of exploring the collections if you do not have a specific topic in mind. To access the Browsing options, click on the "Advanced Search" link under the main search bar, then select one of the "Browse" tabs. For example, if you want to explore all the different subjects that are covered in the collections, click on the "Browse Subjects" tab.

Each Browse tab is displayed alphabetically. You can scroll down the page to look through all the possibilities, or you can narrow down the options by selecting a letter from the alphabet menu at the top of the list. The number next to each option tells you how many matching items there are in the collections. To view the matching items, click on the option and the results will open up automatically.

Additional Search Options

The additional search options listed here can be used as described, on their own, or in combination.

Combining Search Terms with Boolean Operators

You can combine search terms with the AND, OR, and NOT Boolean operators (typed out in all capitals).

Multiple search terms are automatically assumed to be combined with AND, but you can combine the search terms explicitly by typing out AND between the terms. Use AND for searching when you want results that match both (or more) search terms.

e.g., to search for documents that contain both forest and rock, in the search bar, type:

forest AND rock

To look for records that match any one of your search terms, use OR.

e.g., to search for documents that contain either forest or rock, in the search bar, type:

forest OR rock

Use NOT if you would like to include one search term but exclude another.

e.g., to search for documents that contain forest but do not contain rock, in the search bar, type:

forest NOT rock

Grouping Terms

You can use parentheses to group terms and phrases. This can be very useful if you want to control the boolean logic for a query.

e.g., to search for documents that contain both forest and rock, but not water, in the search bar, type:

(forest AND rock) NOT water

Phrase Searches

To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks in the search bar.

e.g., to search for documents that contain the exact words rock in a forest, type:

"rock in a forest"

Wildcard Searches

Wildcard searches can be used when you do not know the exact term you are searching for, or if you wish to look at variations of your search term.

e.g., to find results that match text or test, you can use the ? symbol and search for:


The ? symbol is used in place of a single character. To search for multiple unknown characters, use the * symbol.

e.g., to find results that match test, tests, tester, testing, or any other variation that begins with test, search for:


The * symbol can be used in the middle of a term.

e.g., to find test, tempest, tenet, etc. (i.e., any words that begin with "te-" and end in "-t"), search for:


You can also use the ? and * symbols at the start of a term.

e.g., to search for test, harvest, forest, etc. (i.e., any words that end in "-est"), search for:


Proximity Searches

To search for documents that have two terms within a certain number of words of each other, use the ~ symbol with a number.

e.g., to search for the terms forest and rock within 10 words of each other, search for:

"forest rock"~10

where the desired terms are in quotation marks, followed immediately by the ~ symbol and a number.

Fuzzy Searches

The ~ symbol can also be used for approximate searches, but only when a single word is being searched.

e.g., to search for terms that are similar in spelling to cat, search for:


This will bring back results that match terms like bat, rat, mat and hat, in addition to cat.

Range Searches

To perform a range search, use the [ ] symbols and the word TO (in all capitals).

e.g., if you’re searching for names that fall alphabetically between Hudson and Gibson, search for:

[Hudson TO Gibson]

You can also search a range of numbers using the same method.

e.g., if you’re searching for documents from between 2006 to 2008, search for:

[2006 TO 2008]

Boosting a Term

To give one search term more importance over another, you can use the ^ symbol followed by a number.

e.g., if you want to search for documents with both forest and rock, but forest is the more important search term, search for:

rock forest^5

which will give the term forest 5 times the value of the term rock.

Contact Us

If you need assistance with the database, cannot find what you are looking for, or wish to place an order, please email or call 1.866.320-3898 ext. 4 or 403.329-7302. We also welcome your comments and suggestions!

Please click to download our fee schedule.