British Columbia Archives

Identity area

Identifier

BCA

Authorized form of name

British Columbia Archives

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

Type

  • Provincial/state
  • Government
  • Museum

Contact area

Type

Address

Street address

655 Belleville Street

Locality

Victoria

Region

British Columbia

Country name

Canada

Postal code

Telephone

Reference Room: (250) 387-1952

Fax

Reference Room: (250) 387-2072

Note

Type

Mailing Address

Address

Street address

675 Belleville Street

Locality

Victoria

Region

BC

Country name

Canada

Postal code

V8W 9W2

Telephone

Fax

Email

URL

Note

Description area

History

The BC Archives is one of the oldest archival institutions in Canada. Its origins date back to 1894 when R.E. Gosnell, the first permanent Legislative Librarian, started to collect “manuscript statements and narratives, old letters, journals, files of newspapers, books, pamphlets, reports, charts, maps, photographs, sketches” which would “illustrate the history of the North West and the Pacific Coast, and more particularly of British Columbia”. In 1908, Gosnell’s services “as archivist” were engaged marking the beginning of the Archives as a distinct identity. Gosnell is considered the first Provincial Archivist. With the exception of 1940-1946, until 1974 the Archives was administratively part of the Provincial (now Legislative) Library. The position of Provincial Archivist from 1910-1940 and 1946-1974 was held by the Provincial Librarian. In 1974 the Library and Archives were separated as well as the two positions. In 1989, the Records Management Branch (established in 1982) was merged with the Archives. In 2002 the two were separated when the BC Archives became part of the new Royal BC Museum Corporation and the records management functions were retained by government.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Royal BC Museum Corporation

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies

Holdings consist of archived records of the Government of British Columbia, and historical records of provincial significance relating to British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.

Buildings

Holdings

Total Volume: 6900 m of textual records; 5 million photographs; 10,000 art works; 68,000 cartographic and architectural items; 29,000 sound and moving holdings; 80,000 library items.
Inclusive Dates: ca. 1530 to present
Predominant Dates: 1850-1990

Finding aids, guides and publications

Website provides information on services available and conditions of use of facilities and holdings; direct e-mail provision for collection inquiries; searchable descriptions of library resources, government and non-government textual records, sound and moving images, and visual and cartographic records with a capability to view selected photographic images and maps, research guides, a list of newspapers on microfilm at the BC Archives.

Access area

Opening times

Full Service Hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Partial Service Hours: Monday to Friday 16:00 - 20:00; Saturday, 13:00-17:00.

Access conditions and requirements

Accessibility

Services area

Research services

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Revised

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised November 2009.
Updated by BCANS Coordinator, January 10, 2016.

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Clipboard

Primary contact

655 Belleville Street
Victoria, British Columbia
CA