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British Columbia Archives

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Vital Events ~ Exhibitions ~ Library ~ Maps ~ RIM ~ Textual Records ~ Visual Records

About the B.C. Archives

Welcome to the British Columbia Archives, located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  The British Columbia Archives is the central archives service for the government of British Columbia, and provides research access to records of enduring value to the province for both the provincial government and public clientele.

Our archival holdings include: government documents and records; private historical manuscripts and papers; maps, charts and architectural plans; photographs; paintings, drawings and prints; audio and video tapes; film; newspapers; and an extensive library of publications with a strong emphasis on the social and political history of British Columbia and the Pacific North West.

British Columbia has numerous community archives, whose addresses can be obtained through the Archives Association of British Columbia.  Additional information on the holdings of these archives can be accessed through the B.C. Archival Union List (BCAUL).

The British Columbia Archives is part of Information Management and Corporate Services Branch, Information, Science and Technology Agency, Government of British Columbia


In the News

A July 17th headline in the Times Colonist read, "Sale of B.C. Archives the latest in string of provincial sell-offs". This headline is wrong. The B.C. Archives would like to set the record straight and provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on this topic.

  1. Notice: Proposed Inventory Week Closure
  2. Notice: Reference Room Renovations start December 9, 1997.
  3. Beginning October 1, 1997 the Reference Room re-opened Wednesdays to provide limited services to registered researchers.
and Use

  1. Electronic Access - Please review Conditions For Electronic Access
  2. Research Access - Conditions for non-commercial use of archival materials
  3. Commercial Use - Pan Video Productions Limited is the marketing agent for the B.C. Archives regarding the commercial use of B.C. Archives information resources.

Web Site Highlights

What's New New Additions, Enhancements, and Initiatives to this on-line service. Last updated 97/11/27.
Historical Vital Event Indexes Consists of a searchable database of indexes to British Columbia marriage registrations for the years 1872 to 1921, and British Columbia death registrations for the years 1872 to 1976.
Visual Records Collections Covering photographs, paintings, drawings, and prints), and providing access to the Visual Records Database (containing over 105,000 textual descriptions, and featuring over 30,000 images on-line). See also: Images Added Recently.
Cartographic Records Consisting of selected images of historical maps with related textual information.
Research Library Including the North West Collection, with over 10,000 publications catalogued on-line currently. In addition to full text searching through the master index, specific subject, author, and title search indexes are available from the overview page. Also available is a listing of holdings of British Columbia newspapers on microfilm.
Textual Records Primarily related to textual material, including both government and non-government records holdings, consisting of approximately 3300 catalogue descriptions with hypertext subject cross references and over 1100 related finding aids.
Virtual Reference Room A hypertext orientation image map, a Research Orientation Guide, and Reference Room Research Guides.
Network Exhibitions Including: Victoria, 1889, Paintings, Drawings, and Prints, Hannah and Richard Maynard - Biographies, Governors / Premiers of British Columbia, Panoramic Views, Moving Image Collections

Information for New Visitors

Reference Services
  1. Access and Use;
  2. Location and Contacts;
  3. Hours of Operation;
  4. Registration Procedures for Onsite Visitors;
  5. Research Orientation Guide;
  6. Copying and Reproduction Services
Notice to Researchers Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy.


Research Inquiries Inquiries related to collections may be directed to through email to:, or through the on-line form.
Comments or Suggestions We appreciate your comments and suggestions on this service, and welcome any feedback you may have for improving it.
Electronic Access Project Project Background, Site Statistics

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Last Modified: Thursday, 28-Aug-97 11:14:00 PDT Maintained by:
Disclaimer: Information on this site is provided for research purposes only.  Unless indicated otherwise, this page and all contents are Copyright (C) 1997 British Columbia Archives, Province of British Columbia.