Category Archives: Holdings

The Yip Sang Correspondence Project 葉生信件翻譯工程

The Project

This project sought to make available Chinese-language documents which are held in a predominantly English-language archives. A selection of correspondence from the Yip family and Yip Sang Ltd. fonds (AM1108) was used. One of the difficulties with making these materials available is that there are so few local people who can read the old-style Chinese writing. We decided to digitize the letters so that they are available to readers of the old script throughout the world, and to invite them to contribute their translations and interpretations.

This work, completed in 2008, was done in cooperation with the Department of History at the University of British Columbia. W. Wang translated some of the letters under the supervision of Dr. Henry Yu. We are grateful for the financial assistance of the Government of Canada for the digitization of photographs and letters.

See the result of the joint digitization project with UBC Library:

Search the Yip Sang materials:











這個翻譯工作,目的在協助一個以英語為主的檔案館 ;例如温哥華檔案館; 找出最可行的方法,令公眾能夠使用館內的中文資料。工作主要是將部份葉氏家族及其公司的信件(館蔵編號: AM1108),翻譯成英文。 其中最困難的地方,是書信的手寫字體較難辨認,以及解讀信中的舊式文體。為求得到世界各地人仕的幫助, 温哥華檔案館決定將信件製成數碼影像,然後將影像透過互聯網發放到世界各地,好讓有識之士,協助完成翻譯工作。




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Improved online search: faster and with new features

We’ve updated our online search and we think you’ll like the changes in both function and design. Here are some of the main ones.

It’s much faster. The search engine is completely new and the difference in search times is noticeable.

Simple search gives suggestions as you type a search term. This gives you another way to find holdings.simple-search-suggestions






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First wave of BC Sugar records now available

The City of Vancouver Archives is pleased to announce the public release of the first batch of records from the British Columbia Sugar Refining Company fonds (BC Sugar), donated to the Archives in 2011 by Lantic Inc.

The records of BC Sugar document the activities of Vancouver’s first large-scale industrial operation that was not a sawmill or related to the railways. The company continues to operate its historic refinery on Vancouver’s waterfront to this day.

Fire insurance plan of the British Columbia Sugar Refining Co. Ld. Vancouver B.C., May 1899, Chas E. Goad. Reference code: AM1572-S8-: 2011-092.0113

Fire insurance plan of the British Columbia Sugar Refining Co. Ld. Vancouver B.C., May 1899, Chas E. Goad. Reference code: AM1572-S8-: 2011-092.0113.

This first release (of three) focuses on the core business records of the company and its subsidiaries, and includes records that cover a wide variety of BC Sugar’s activities, such as: Continue reading

Curated shows available on YouTube

Have you ever seen the curated shows of images and video that are on display in the Archives’ Gallery or across from the elevators in the City Hall Rotunda? We’ve been told that many people have missed their elevator so they could watch more of the show.

We have made all 5 shows available on YouTube for viewing and re-use. Feel free to download the high-resolution version if you have a screen you’d like to program with historical Vancouver content. Continue reading

Wintertime Frolicking

It’s been chilly lately. Let’s see how people in Vancouver enjoyed the cold weather of past years.

In 1929, small bodies of water froze and it was possible to skate.

Skaters with houses in the background

Couples cavorting on Trout Lake, 1929. Stuart Thomson photograph. Reference code AM1535-: CVA 99-1901.

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Hogan’s Alley Before the Demolition

Hogan’s Alley was the colloquial name for the lane between Union and Prior Streets, roughly between Main Street and Jackson Avenue. It was home to Vancouver’s first black community. Many of its buildings were demolished as part of the Georgia Viaduct Replacement project.

Two portraits of Fielding William Spotts, age 78, at 217 1/2 Hogan's Alley, Vancouver. May 28, 1935. Reference code AM54-S4-: Port N3.2.

Two portraits of Fielding William Spotts, age 78, at 217 1/2 Hogan’s Alley, Vancouver. May 28, 1935. Reference code AM54-S4-: Port N3.2.

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The Robert Burns Memorial in Stanley Park

Saturday is Robert Burns’ 255th birthday. In 1928, a memorial to this celebrated Scottish poet was dedicated in Stanley Park. It was the first statue erected in Vancouver.

Robert Burns statue in Stanley Park, 1940s. Jack Lindsay, photographer. Reference code AM1184-S1-: CVA 1184-2705.

Robert Burns statue in Stanley Park, 1940s. Jack Lindsay, photographer. Reference code AM1184-S1-: CVA 1184-2705.

In February 1924, inspired by a recently published critical analysis of Burns’ work, the Vancouver Burns Fellowship was formed to encourage the study of Burns’ life and works and the singing of his songs. The group also hoped to erect a statue of Burns in Stanley Park. Continue reading

New in the Public Domain for 2014

On January 1st, while we were singing Auld Lang Syne, the copyright expired for some of our holdings: they are now in the public domain in Canada. This means that they are no longer restricted to being viewed only at the Archives, but are available online to all. Here’s a quick look at what’s become easier to view and re-use.

This is a 2-reel documentary made by CBC in 1963 to be broadcast as part of The Morning Show. Continue reading

The Two Fronts of War

The First World War left few Canadians untouched. About 8% of the country’s population served during the war. Of those, about 10% died and almost a quarter were wounded. Citizens at home worked to support those fighting overseas.

image of people at cenotaph

1929 Armistice Day ceremonies. The Cenotaph was erected in 1924. Stuart Thomson, photographer. Reference code AM1535-: CVA 99-2010


Many organizations, societies and companies raised money to help the troops. Continue reading

Ghosts of Vancouver: our city’s best-known haunts

Are they really haunted? You’ll have to find out for yourself. These are the stories we’ve heard.

Evoking a medieval French castle, the Chateau-style Hotel Vancouver, complete with steep copper roof (now painted green), ornate dormers, and creepy gargoyles, is alleged to be haunted by an elegant “lady in red” who patrols the 14th floor. This fashionable apparition has reportedly been seen walking on an invisible ledge by hotel guests, employees and film crews. It is said that the hotel’s elevator often stops on the 14th floor, and as the elevator door opens on its own, the lady in red is seen gliding through the hallway . . . .

Hotel Vancouver – Archibald & Schofield, 1928-1939. Reference code AM54-S4-: Hot P70

This medieval style, fortress-like landmark is Vancouver ‘s earliest drill hall. Its notable features include two rounded towers complete with battlements, and rusticated stone trim. Three and a half foot thick walls and a parapet made from Gabriola Island limestone rest solidly on a foundation of huge granite blocks. The Hall has always housed Vancouver’s and British Columbia’s senior militia regiment, The British Columbia Regiment – Duke of Connaught’s Own. Various eerie sounds are the most commonly reported evidence of other-worldly residents: footsteps. . . . voices. . . . books falling from shelves. . . . items falling from walls. However, the image of a man has been observed in the Senior NCO’s and Officer’s messes. Little is known of the identity of those who haunt the Drill Hall, but the military personnel who trained here saw action in the Boer War, as well as the First and Second World Wars. Continue reading