It’s that time of year again, the season of giving. Stuck for holiday gift ideas? Why not give the gift of local history? How about creating your own artwork using historical photographs of Vancouver? Sound intriguing? Then read on for a step-by-step guide to downloading hi-res photos from our online database.
The City of Vancouver Archives has approximately 80,000 high-resolution photographs that are available for download from our online database. They are either Public Domain or City of Vancouver copyrighted images, which means that you are free to download and use them for anything your heart desires. The creative possibilities are endless, so let’s get started.
We have a specialized, custom-built freezer to provide the highest standard of care for the storage of our photographic materials. It was the first institutional freezer built to the specifications researched by the Smithsonian Institution and it was officially opened by Mayor Philip Owen on February 20, 2002.
Mayor Owen is offered scissors to cut the ribbon on the freezer in 2002.
Why a Freezer?
Some types of photographic materials are unstable and cold storage will prolong their useful lives. Storage at freezer temperatures will prolong their lives the longest.
Without cold storage, cellulose acetate negatives wrinkle and become brittle
as they give off acetic acid (vinegar). Continue reading →
Thanks to funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program, we’ve recently completed a project to digitize over eight thousand images from the Pacific National Exhibition fonds that you can easily view and re-use. In addition, we’ve digitized another 874 images that are under copyright to other parties, but which can be viewed at the Archives. The dates range from 1914 to 1980.
Man and woman eating foot-long hotdogs from P.N.E. Gayway concession stand, 1953. Photographer unknown. Reference code AM281-S8-: CVA 180-2219.
These photographs were either created for the P.N.E. or collected by the P.N.E. staff. They document a wide variety of activities at the fair, including rides, displays, competitions and performances.
Women on Sky Glider chair lift, 1971. Photographer Bob Tipple. Reference code AM281-S8-: CVA 180-6891.
The newest Merging Time exhibit is now on display in the City of Vancouver Archives’ gallery. Since its initial showing at the Archives three years ago, this annual photography exhibit has become an attraction for both historians and photographers alike. This year, the exhibit features 16 new digital interpretations of our scanned archival photographs.
The creators of this year’s Merging Time show: Langara’s Professional Photo-Imaging Class of 2015.
John Atkin and Michael Kluckner have curated two new “Through the Lens” shows for the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre’s digital Planetarium Star Theatre. Using historic photographs from the early 20th century paired with contemporary shots of the same locations, these “indoor” digital walking tours allow you to experience the changes that have occurred in our city over the past 100 years.
The Canadian Fishing Co. Ltd. and New England Fish Co. building on the Gore Avenue Wharf, 1920. Reference Code: AM54-S4-3-: PAN N163
The historic images come primarily from the Archives’ W. J. Moore panorama negatives, which we’ve featured here before. Remarkably, the Space Centre uses the same high-resolution JPG images that you can download from our online search and projects them to fill the dome of the Star Theatre. They are matched with stunning modern panoramas and other audiovisual elements to produce two unique shows. This year, there will also be some historic aerial views which, on the planetarium dome, promise to provide a unique, if dizzying, perspective on the city.
Aerial view of Kitsilano Beach and Park, 1945 Reference code AM54-S4-: Air P28
Please join us on October 22nd at 7:00 pm at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre for “Vancouver—An Ever-changing City,” a fascinating virtual walking tour of Vancouver then and now, and a chance to support the work of the Archives.
Andy Coupland and John Atkin will explore the changing nature of the city through before-and-after images selected from the blog Changing Vancouver and the Archives’ holdings. Set against the background of selected historic panoramas, they will take you through a hundred or so years of development, displayed on the dome of the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre’s Star Theatre.
West Cordova Street – east from Cambie. From “Changing Vancouver”
Sponsored by the Friends of the Vancouver City Archives, the event is the Friends’ annual fall fundraiser. Founded in 1993, the Friends have played a key role in promoting the Archives and raising funds for various projects. Among their most notable purchases:
The first web publishing software that allowed the Archives to make its database searchable on the Web
The dye-sublimation printer that for years produced 8×10 photo reproductions of images in the Archives’ holdings
A portion of the cost of the Archives’ cold storage facility (for preservation of deteriorating photographic negatives)
The lease of an early public-use photocopier for the Reading Room
Indexing of Major Matthew’s’ 7-volume Early Vancouver
Reproduction of damaged Vancouver City Directories
Most importantly, since 1999, the Friends have received over $98,000 in provincial gaming grants to allow the Archives to describe and digitize images in its holdings. They have contributed over $90,000 of their own funds to the program, as matches on the applications. Tens of thousands of the images you see on the Archives’ website are there due to the generosity and fundraising efforts of the Friends. These include photographs by Williams Bros. Photographers Ltd., Stuart Thomson, James Crookall,John Davidson, and over 18,000 of the images collected by Major Matthews.
Net proceeds of ticket sales and all donations will go toward the Friends’ support of the Archives. We hope to see you at the event, and we sincerely thank you for your support.
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 →