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BC Historical Photographs Online

British Columbia Historical Photographs Online contains annotated links to photograph databases and virtual galleries developed by our member institutions and hosted on various archival web sites throughout the province. We hope you enjoy viewing some of these amazing collections and learning more about British Columbia!

If you would like your archival collection added, please contact the EAS Coordinator at

Online Photograph Databases & Galleries

Alberni Valley Museum Historic Photograph Collection: Provides an online photograph database for historical images of the Alberni Valley.

BC Institute of Technology Archives Historical Photograph Repository: The BCIT Archives holds approximately 250,000 photographic images on film, dating from the founding of the Institute to the present day. They present a visual record of BCIT's growth and development, our relationships with industry and the community, images of student life, and campus events since our founding in 1964.

BC Regional Digitized HistoryAmongst other archival resources, BCRDH provides online access to over 80,000 digitized copies of photographs drawn from 50 partner repositories located throughout the southern interior of the province.

Bella Coola Museum: B.C. Central Coast Archives Photograph Collection: Provides an online photograph database for historical images of the Bella Coola Valley.

Bowen Island Museum and Archives: Photo gallery provides a selection of historical images of people and activities on Bowen Island.

British Columbia Archives (Royal BC Museum) Visual Records Online: Database contains textual descriptions of photographs, paintings, drawings and prints from the British Columbia Archives' visual records collection. Of these over 110,000 items have images on-line for viewing.

Campbell River Museum and Archives"'A Moment in Time', A Collection of Henry Twidle's Photographs" is a virtual exhibit incorporating photographs from the archival holdings of the Museum at Campbell River taken by Henry Twidle at the beginning of the 20th century. Photographs include logging camps, commercial fishing boats and canneries, and pioneer settlements and settlers. Pacific Coast Salmon Fisheries was an earlier online gallery of historical photographs depicting fishing technology and techniques from First Nations to the present day.

Canadian Heritage Photography FoundationA collection of digitized photographs of British Columbia by George Hunter, RCA. 

Chilliwack Museum and Archives: The "Online Exhibits" section of the Museum includes historical photographs of Chilliwack and area.

City of Coquitlam Archives: The City of Coquitlam Archives photograph database includes over 3,000 images of regional history.

City of Richmond Archives Historical Photographs: Just a small portion of the City of Richmond Archives photograph collection has been scanned and published online. View more than 7,000 images depicting farming and fishing, Richmond's bridges, schools, aerial photographs, and citizens from 1880 to the present.

City of Surrey Archives: The City of Surrey Archives' SAMOA (Surrey Archives & Museum Online Access) database provides access to over 30,000 digitized photographs.

City of Vancouver Archives Historical Photographs: The Archives photograph holdings are comprised of more than one million images from private-sector and public-sector records. Approximately 80,000 images described at the item level are available for public reference in the Archives' Reference Room. Roughly 72,000 item-level descriptions are available in the database and of these, about 58,000 have scanned images linked to the description. Photographs depict subjects relating to Vancouver's history, government and culture from the 1860s to the 2000s.

City of Victoria Archives: The City of Victoria Archives provides rotating online photograph galleries, such as the Victoria 150 Archival Photos tribute to Victoria's 150th anniversary in 2012.

Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History (CBIRH)The CBIRH database contains images and textual descriptions for more than 50,000 historical images of the Columbia Basin. Collections from Rossland, Kimberley, Cranbrook, Castlegar, Moyie and Valemount are featured in our Image Bank.

Comox Archives and Museum: Archival photographs of Comox and area are featured in topical pages about the community's history.

Cortes Island Museum and ArchivesThe Online Archives contains a searchable database of Cortes Museum's archival holdings integrated with digitized material.  The site contains more than 4,000 digitized historic photographs, dating from the late 1800s to the present.  A rich variety of images depicts Cortes Island people and places, community events, transportation by steamship and floatplane, and economic activities such as farming, fishing and logging.

Courtenay and District Museum: The Courtenay and District Museum features many photographs on their website.

Delta Museum and Archives: The Archives Collection database includes over 3,600 digitized historical photographs integrated with the catalog record.

Enderby and District Museum and Archives: Online exhibit "Snapshots from the Past" of historical photographs organized by theme documenting the history of Enderby and surrounding areas.

Exploration Place Museum & Science Centre (Fraser-Fort George Regional Museum). Several online exhibits document the history of Prince George and the surrounding region, including two the lives and work of two photographers: Jacob Simonson and Wally West .

First Metropolitan United Church Archives: Thanks to a digitization project completed in 2016, The First Met Archives (Victoria, BC) now has over 550 historic photographs available via Flickr.

Heritage Burnaby: Online database of the City of Burnaby's collections of photographs, artifacts, textual records and heritage landmarks.

Kitimat Museum & Archives: The history of the town of Kitimat and region.

Langley Centennial Museum Photograph Collection: Provides an online database of nearly 7,000 historical photographs in the holdings of the Langley Centennial Museum and National Exhibition Centre.

Nelson Museum Archives & Gallery: Nelson's digitization activities relating to its photographs holdings include:

New Westminster Museum and Archives: Provides an online database that includes a historical photograph collection.

North Vancouver Museum and Archives: Integrated database of archival holdings includes descriptions and scanned images from the 45,000 historic photographs of North Vancouver and area preserved in the Archives Collection.

Oak Bay Archives: Photo gallery provides a selection of historical images of people and activities in the municipality of Oak Bay (Victoria). 

Point Ellis House: A photo gallery of the site, including the O'Reilly family, local landmarks and other individuals.

Powell River Historical Museum and Archives: The LeMay Lane Photos exhibit features over 2500 of early photos of Powell River taken by Rod LeMay and Maud Lane.

Prince Rupert City and Regional Archives Photograph Gallery: Gallery provides sample images of historical photographs from the archives' holdings depicting scenes of Prince Rupert and area.

R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum (Salmon Arm): The Photo Archives is a database searchable by keyword and date ranges between 1900 and 2012.

Revelstoke Museum and Archives Historical Photographs: Gallery provides samples of historical images from the archives' photograph holdings.

Salt Spring Island Archives: The Our Collections sections contains links to many examples of historical photographs of Salt Spring Island from a variety of collections in the archives' holdings.

    Trail City Archives: The Photo Gallery features images grouped into 27 themed collections depicting scenes of Trail from ca. 1896 to the early 1990s. The gallery is also searchable by keyword and topic.

    UBC Library Open Collections: This site provides an overview of digital collections created and maintained by the University of British Columbia Library, including the holdings of UBC Library's Rare Books and Special Collections and the University Archives, as well as various other branches of UBC Library.

    University of Victoria Archives Historical Photograph Collection: The database provides access to images from the University of Victoria Archives historical photograph collection, most depicting persons, events and facilities at the University of Victoria and its predecessor body, Victoria College.

    Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs Collection: The collection was established by Ron D'Altroy in the early 1960s. Over time, the number of photographs housed in the Special Collections Division has increased through the acquisition of a number of major collections, some of which have been digitized and made available through an online Historical Photographs database.

    Wells Archives Photograph Collection: This online database contains 200 historical images from the Wells Archives (Wells Historical Society) depicting people, activity, industry and scenes around Wells and Barkerville.

    West Vancouver Archives: Searchable database includes more than 2,000 scanned historic photographs and documents

    Whistler Museum and Archives: The website contains several thematic collections offering a variety of historical photographs documenting the development of the Whistler community and surrounding region. 

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    The Archives Association of British Columbia acknowledges that it carries out its work on the land of Indigenous nations throughout British Columbia. We are grateful for the continuing relationships with Indigenous people in B.C. that develop through our work together.  

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