The Acadian Centre, founded in 1972, has the specific mandate of acquiring and preserving data, documents, and objects pertaining to the history and culture of the Acadians, especially those of Nova Scotia. The centre’s primary and secondary resources, which highlight both the history and contemporary reality of the Acadians, are the most extensive found in the province. In 1997 the Centre was the recipient of the Carmen Carroll Award, the highest award for archival conservation given by the Council of Nova Scotia Archives.
The myriad of genealogical documents, both primary and secondary, found at the Acadian Centre makes it a very popular spot for the people of Acadian descent researching their family lineage. One of the most prestigious primary resource is the original Catalogue of Families of Saint Mary’s Bay (Clare) of 1818-1829, as well as the original Fabric register dating to 1799 as authorized and compiled by the first resident priest of the area, Father Jean Mandé Sigogne. The genealogical collection consists of copies of most of the Acadian church registers of the counties of Digby and Yarmouth (those that were not destroyed by fire), as well as all the nominal and federal censuses that are currently available. Research compiled by such prominent genealogists as Placide Gaudet also enhance our collection, not to mention all the published material for other genealogical sources.