National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


1912 Goad Fire Insurance Plan now available in Vanmap

Vanmap, a geomatics tool from the City of Vancouver, now includes a layer representing Goad’s 1912 Fire Insurance Plan contributed by the City of Vancouver Archives. The fire insurance plan data is also available through the city's Open Data Catalogue. You can read an extensive description by the city archives about the fire insurance plan.


Royal BC Museum launches crowd-sourcing transcription project

From the announcement circulated to mailing lists such as ARCAN-L:

Today, to celebrate National Volunteer Week, the Royal BC Museum launched Transcribe (, a crowd-sourcing website that invites the public to transcribe valuable historical records from our archival collection.


Wonder becomes reality: BC Government reaches agreement with Royal BC Museum on transfer of thousands of boxes to the BC Archives

You read it here first when I posted in early March 02015 a reflection about Bill 5, the Government Information Act that is working its way through the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia:
I wonder too whether with this new legislation the door may be opening for the payment of a one-time fee and transfer of thousands of boxes to the "museum archives of government" as the bill styles the Royal BC Museum.
On April 15, 02015 the BC Government announced that it had reached an agreement with the Royal BC Museum to begin funding the transfer of government records to the BC Archives.

According to the BC Government news release,

The agreement includes:
  • Commitment to fund storage of government records being transferred to RBCM now and in the future (up-front payment for first 20 years).
  • Government will provide up to $400,000/yr. funding to the RBCM for the costs of arranging, cataloguing and preserving newly transferred and future records (to be reviewed after five years).
  • The RBCM will cover storage, arrangement, cataloguing and preservation costs relating to previously transferred archival records from its existing budget.
The agreement (memorandum of understanding) is included as part of the news release at 

Congratulations to all involved in accomplishing this agreement, far more than I thought would be possible. I know from having worked at the BC Archives after it was amalgamated with the Royal BC Museum that there was a great deal of skepticism that any kind of accommodation with government would ever be reached. Thankfully, that goal has now been achieved.


"Tackling the wicked problem of managing records in the digital environment" lecture, Victoria, BC, April 21, 02015

As part of the Archives Association of British Columbia's pre-conference, Dr. Julie McLeod,  Professor in Records Management, iSchool, Northumbria University, United Kingdom, will present a lecture titled "Tackling the wicked problem of managing records in the digital environment".

The lecture will be held on April 21, 02015 at St. Ann's Academy Auditorium, 835 Humboldt St., Victoria, BC, from 10 am to 11 am. Pre-registration at a cost of $10 is required by April 20. You can pre-register at

Further details and updates are at


British Columbia Government Information Act begins second reading in Legislative Assembly

Update for March 3, 02015: The second reading of Bill, the Government Information Act, began on March 2, 02015 in the British Columbia Legislative Assembly. The Hansard transcript is here:

In speaking about the bill, opposition member Doug Routley gave a lengthy critique and highlighted the 33,000 boxes of records in government warehouses awaiting transfer to the BC Archives, part of the Royal BC Museum.

 Original post: British Columbia government introduces legislation to create government digital archives

The British Columbia government introduced Bill 5, the Government Information Act, on February 12, 02015. The main purpose of the act is to repeal the 1936 Document Disposal Act. The new act will also establish a "digital archives for government information" and mandate a new position, the chief records officer, who will be "responsible for managing, securing and preserving the digital archives." The digitization of government information will become mandatory under this legislation unless the information is exempt from being digitized. Information in a non-digital form "must be digitized before it is archived."

Although it is open for interpretation and clarification, section 20(2)(e) appears to lay the groundwork for the government to begin paying fees to the Royal BC Museum for archival services. Except in a few very special circumstances, the Royal BC Museum has not taken in government records for over a decade. The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner highlighted this situation in its July 02014 special report A Failure to Archive: Recommendations to Modernize Government Information Management. Could this bill be a response to the OIPCBC's report?

I wonder too whether with this new legislation the door may be opening for the payment of a one-time fee and transfer of thousands of boxes to the "museum archives of government" as the bill styles the Royal BC Museum.

The first reading version of the bill is at

A news release offers some additional information: the "digital archives will be open to the public and searchable online" and "The transition to digital information management will begin in the spring of 2015 and is expected to take three years."

The Victoria newspaper Times-Colonist's article about Bill 5 is here.