Category Archives: Holdings

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 in the public domain 2016

On January 1st, the copyright expired for some of our holdings: they are now in the public domain in Canada. Digital materials are no longer restricted to being viewed only at the Archives, but are available online to all. Here’s a quick look at some of the digital objects that have become easier to view and re-use.

8 clowns in a group pose

Publicity photo of Polack Bros. Circus 1965 clowns. Reference code AM281-S8-: CVA 180-6027.

Continue reading

Happy Holidays

The Archives will be closed from noon December 24 to 9am Monday, January 4.

Cover of Christmas menu for Hotel Vancouver, 1891

Cover of Christmas menu for Hotel Vancouver, 1891

 

Inside pages of Christmas menu, Hotel Vancouver, 1891

Inside pages of Christmas menu, Hotel Vancouver, 1891

This 1891 Christmas menu from the first Hotel Vancouver (the current one is the third) is in AM108, the Oppenheimer family fonds. It is part of a file called Scrapbook: New Year’s Christmas Greetings.

More improvements to our online search

We’ve recently updated our online search to add a few new features.Date-range-location

DATE SEARCH

In response to your suggestions, we sponsored development of an improved date search. It’s in Advanced Search, on the left sidebar. Continue reading

Our online search has been upgraded

You may have noticed that our SearchArchives database looks a little different. For example, the information for a full record is in a more compact form, reducing the amount of scrolling you’ll have to do.

Illustration of reduced screen area for new results

Screenshots of identical dimensions show the dramatic difference. The old version is on the left and the new one on the right.

The software has recently been upgraded to version 2.1 of AtoM. Most of the changes in the updated version affect how things are handled behind the scenes. Besides the example above, there are other changes that affect users:

Improved search times. Updates to the search index have reduced the time it takes the database to respond to your search query.

Searchable subject and place terms. There is a search box that appears on the Browse Subjects and Browse Places pages that allows you to search for specific terms, rather than just browse them.  Be sure to hit the magnifying glass symbol (indicated below) to search.

Search results for subject term “building*”.

Search results for subject term “building*”.

Better list of search results. There has been a change to the results algorithm that will give you results in a slightly different order.

Results of searching for “dog”. The old version is on the left and the new one on the right.

Results of searching for “dog”. The old version is on the left and the new one on the right.

We are anticipating further improvements to our SearchArchives database with the AtoM 2.2 release later this summer.

Historical zoning maps available

We’ve made a group of zoning maps available online. These are frequently consulted by our researchers, so we’ve made them easily available to everyone.

March 1990 zoning map. Reference code PUB-: PD 2100.6.

March 1990 zoning map. Reference code PUB-: PD 2100.6.

The maps were published:

Created by the City of Vancouver Planning Department, the maps allow you to see the permitted uses of land over time. These maps are used as a first step for an environmental assessment of a site. They are also useful for those studying the history of urban planning.

Detail from March 1990 zoning map. Reference code PUB-: PD 2100.6.

Detail from March 1990 zoning map. Reference code PUB-: PD 2100.6.

Two of the maps include text explaining the zoning and its intended use.

Detail from verso of January 1998 map. Reference code PUB-: PD 2100.8-PD 2100.8.2.

Detail from verso of January 1998 map. Reference code PUB-: PD 2100.8-PD 2100.8.2.

Please let us know if you find these maps useful.

Third wave of BC Sugar records now available

We are pleased to announce the public release of the third 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.

This third release focuses on the holdings of the BC Sugar Museum, founded as a unit at BC Sugar in the mid-1970s. This release predominantly consists of photographs that document the full range of activities at BC Sugar and its Canadian subsidiaries, the life of the Rogers family, and other sugar refineries in Canada, including:

  • photographs documenting construction and renovations at the refineries in Vancouver; Raymond, Taber, and Picture Butte, Alberta and Fort Garry, Manitoba; and photographs of staff and operations in the refineries;
  • photographs acquired from and about the Rogers family;
  • material displayed by the BC Sugar Museum at their purpose-built display rooms at the Vancouver refinery; and
  • small additions to a number of non-photographic records series.

We hope to make most of the photographs available online later this year; for now they are available only in their original format in the Archives’ reading room.

Finds in this third release of records include photographs from the Rogers family, many of them documenting the family’s active social life. These photographs, acquired by the BC Sugar Museum, complement the many photographs in the Rogers family fonds (AM1368).

B.T. [Benjamin Tingley] Rogers and Margaret swimming; Reference code: AM1592-1-S2-F08 : 2011-092.3807.

B.T. [Benjamin Tingley] Rogers and Margaret swimming; Reference code: AM1592-1-S2-F08 : 2011-092.3807.

In the 1940s, BC Sugar embarked on a twenty-year reconstruction program, replacing or expanding many of the original structures at the refinery. These projects are well documented in this release, which includes a large body of progress photographs.

Construction of new office building: framing second floor; Reference code AM1592-1-S2-F06: 2011-092.1976.

Construction of new office building: framing second floor; Reference code AM1592-1-S2-F06: 2011-092.1976.

A variety of photographs which document the staff of the Vancouver and other refineries, both at work and at play, are included in this release. This release includes a number of photographs of staff picnics and other social events, as well as staff at work in the refinery.

Women workers in cube department; Reference code: AM1592-1-S2-F01 : 2011-092.0467.

Women workers in cube department; Reference code: AM1592-1-S2-F01 : 2011-092.0467.

Additions to the fonds will be released over time as the records are processed. These later additions will include the company’s extensive collection of sugar-related publications and periodicals, more architectural drawings of the various refineries and small additions to various records and photograph series. Stay tuned for further information!

The City of Vancouver Archives would like to thank Lantic Inc. for its financial support for the archival processing of the BC Sugar fonds, which has made it possible for the Archives to make these records available to the public at this time.

Lantic corporate logo