Kuo Kong Silk Company fonds

Researchers often point to the Sam Kee Company fonds or the Yip Sang family fonds as important records in our holdings that document Chinatown’s history. However, the first group of Chinese records acquired by the Archives was the Kuo Kong Silk Company (國光絲髮公司) fonds. Kuo Kong Silk Company was a retail shop located in Chinatown that operated for over 70 years.

Cover of 1935-1936 catalogue. Reference code AM369-S1--Catalogues of goods for sale.

Cover of 1935-1936 catalogue. Reference code AM369-S1–Catalogues of goods for sale.

The records were donated by Mrs. S. Jackman, proprietor of the company, in 1975 and include business correspondence, financial records and statements, personal correspondence, silk samples and product catalogues. Continue reading

Early City heritage program records now available

We are pleased to announce the availability of additional records relating to the history of Vancouver’s built heritage.

Records of the Planning Department’s early heritage planning and beautification programs have been transferred to the Archives and are now available to researchers, as series COV-S682 Built heritage research files and COV-S684 Heritage planning subject files. These records complement the Archives’ existing holdings related to the City’s Heritage Inventories and other heritage planning activities.

Drawing of Gilford Court from file COV-S682-F206 Pendrell Street

Drawing of Gilford Court from file COV-S682-F206 Pendrell Street

Continue reading

Green & Huckvale Advertising Ltd. fonds

Ever wonder about Vancouver’s advertising past? One piece of the city’s advertising history is the Green & Huckvale Advertising Ltd. fonds. At its height, Green & Huckvale Advertising Ltd. was a Vancouver advertising and public relations agency that handled a mix of corporate, service, retail, government, and manufacturing clients. It was formed in 1975 as Sprackman, Green & Huckvale Advertising, with Joan Green as President and Creative Director Mel Sprackman as Director of Client Services (in charge of accounts and business development), and Marnie Huckvale as Public Relations Director.

Green & Huckvale graphic design for Calona “Tiffany” wine. Reference code: AM1453-S3--Calona Tiffany, Box 972-E-4 folder 1

Design for Calona “Tiffany” wine. From file AM1453-S4–Calona Tiffany

The fonds consists of textual records, photographs, audio tapes of radio advertisements, and graphic design materials relating to the agency’s early advertising and public relations projects for various local clients. Continue reading

More digitized maps are available in TIF format

This post is of special interest to the mapping community and may be too technical for some researchers.

This is an update to our previous post on the availability of digitized maps as TIF files. More than 2100 of the maps that we digitized in 2015 have also been made available as TIF.

Researchers can access a JPG copy by clicking on the image of the map in the database.

Researchers can access a JPG copy by clicking on the image of the map in the database.

Scrolling down to the Notes area of a map description, the link will automatically start an ftp download. So that you can verify that the file downloaded correctly and completely, we’ve included the full file size and the MD5 checksum.

Scroll down the description to find the link to the TIFF on the City’s FTP site.

Scroll down the description to find the link to the TIFF on the City’s FTP site.

We’d love to hear what you discover or create with these maps!

Our Expo 86 holdings

Thirty years ago on May 2, 1986, Vancouver’s World’s Fair, Expo 86, was officially opened by TRH Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales. Originally known as Transpo, Expo 86’s theme was “Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch”. The 173-acre exposition site featured 65 pavilions representing countries, provinces and territories, and corporations.

Expo Centre, August 1986. Photo: CoV Archives, Ernie Reksten, 2010-006.440

Expo Centre, August 1986, Ernie Reksten. Reference code: AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.440

Expo 86 Information Board, August 1986. Reference code: AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.396

Expo 86 Information Board, Ernie Reksten. Reference code: AM1551-S1-: 2010-006.396

While the official records of the Expo Corporation are part of the holdings of the BC Archives, we do have some related materials in our holdings. Here’s an overview of what we have. Continue reading

Happy Birthday, City of Vancouver

Today is Incorporation Day, marking 130 years since the City was officially incorporated. The City of Vancouver is 130 years old!

Tillicum the otter, mascot for the Vancouver Centennial Commission's celebrations. Identifier 2011-010.2218.

Tillicum the otter, mascot for the Vancouver Centennial Commission’s celebrations. Identifier 2011-010.2218.

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve recently been given funding from the B.C. History Digitization Program to digitize photographs and some graphics from the Vancouver Centennial Commission fonds. The Centennial Commission was formed in 1979 and was responsible for organizing Vancouver’s Centennial celebrations in 1986.

1980s-style bike racks, a Vancouver Legacies project. Identifier CVA 775-3.

1980s-style bike racks, a Vancouver Legacies project. Identifier CVA 775-3.

In addition to that project, we will be digitizing photographs from the City’s Legacy Program. This program was designed to enhance civic infrastructure (for example, by painting and lighting the Burrard Bridge) and to embellish the City with public art, amenities and signage.

Totem pole carving in progress. A Vancouver Legacies project. Identifier CVA 775-9.1.

Totem pole carving in progress. A Vancouver Legacies project. Identifier CVA 775-9.1.

We’ll be making these available as quickly as we can, releasing them in batches as they are ready, so that you can use them as soon as possible. Watch this space—we’ll let you know!

Over 2100 more maps are now online

Thanks to funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program, we’ve recently completed a project to digitize over 2100 maps and plans and made them available online for you to use and re-use. We’ve tried to digitize these maps with enough resolution to support future types of re-use and processing, including optical character recognition and feature extraction.

These maps and plans hold quite a variety of information. We have put a small selection of images on flickr as a sample.

Want to see how the city was reshaped? You can see the before and after of a section of Point Grey in 1925, before it was part of the City of Vancouver.

Plan of government subdivision at Point Grey, B.C. Reference code AM1594-: MAP 359.

Plan of government subdivision at Point Grey, B.C. Reference code AM1594-: MAP 359.

Continue reading

Happy Easter

The Archives will be closed for the long weekend and open again on Tuesday.

Two girls looking at rabbit on table, Pacific National Exhibition, 1952. Reference code AM281-S8-: CVA 180-1765.

Two girls looking at rabbit on table, Pacific National Exhibition, 1952, detail. Reference code AM281-S8-: CVA 180-1765.

New Gallery Exhibit – Postcard Views

A new exhibit, titled Postcard Views: Classic Vancouver Postcards in Drawings and Paintings, is now showing at the City of Vancouver Archives’ Gallery. The exhibit is by Robert Sandilands, a retired Vancouver architect with long standing interests in the histories of art, photography, Vancouver and, more recently, postcards.

Marine Building by Night (ca. 1940) – 2016, Painting: Acrylic on canvas. Photo: C.Hagemoen

Marine Building by Night (c.1940) – 2016.  Photo:C.Hagemoen

Inspired by the “Golden Age” of vintage picture postcards (ca. 1905-1940), Sandilands uses postcards, mainly from his collection, as “interesting models” for the creation of drawings and paintings. Sandilands believes that these postcards “can be viewed as miniature icons deserving of a larger representation… both for their material qualities as ink or photographic emulsion on card as well as their pictorial ambition”. Continue reading

Association of Moving Image Archivists Conference 2015

In late November, I attended the annual conference of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) in Portland, Oregon. Here are a few of the highlights.

Portlandia at night

Portlandia at night

HACK DAY

Once again, AMIA partnered with the Digital Library Foundation (DLF) on a one-day event where archivists and developers could work together on digital problems. This year’s award-winning projects were: Continue reading