The Vancouver Public Library has extensive primary and secondary resources on the history of British Columbia. This guide is designed to help you begin your research on this topic and use library resources effectively.
The BC Archives is the archives of the Government of British Columbia, and provides research access to records of enduring value to the province for both the provincial government and public researchers.
Museum of Anthropology, a place of world arts and cultures with a special emphasis on the First Nations peoples and other cultural communities of British Columbia, Canada. The Museum is built on traditional, ancestral, unceded land of the Musqueam people and it is fitting that the first artworks and words you encounter outside the Museum are a welcome from our generous First Nations hosts.
Use the following VPL resources to find historical photographs of Vancouver and BC; research names and city streets; listen to reminiscences about the West End; find articles and stories on BC history; learn about the history of the Vancouver Public Library; or dip into a lively, short-lived weekly newspaper from the early twentieth century.
Northwest History Index
This card index in Special Collection provides access to the Northwest History Collection, a heritage collection covering the early history and exploration of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.
The collection includes:
magazine and newspaper articles
chapters in books
many other resources
As of August 1998, no new material has been added to the Northwest History Index. It is continued by the British Columbia Index.
Although still early into the 21st Century, British Columbia has been at the centre of some remarkable historical shifts as a result of changing demographics, technological change, and increasing ties to the Asia-Pacific region.
In March 2006, BC Ferries MV Queen of the North ran aground then sank near Hartley Bay. Two missing passengers were never found.
In December 2006, a severe windstorm battered British Columbia's southwest coast, causing significant damage and forever changing iconic Stanley Park.
In 2008, the Canadian government issued a formal apology for abuse suffered by Indigenous students attending residential schools, many of which were located in B.C.
In 2010, Vancouver and Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics.
In 2011, the Vancouver Canucks reached the final of the Stanley Cup play-offs. The final game was marred by violence and rioting in the streets.
In 2012, a 7.7 earthquake was registered just offshore the archipelago of Haida Gwaii, stemming the flow of some of the islands' sacred hot springs.
In 2013, the City of Vancouver embarked upon a year of reconciliation to "form a sustained relationship of mutual respect and understanding with local First Nations and the Urban Indigenous community." A walk for reconciliation was attended by over 70,000 participants.
In 2014, the British Columbia government issued a formal apology for historical wrongs against members of the Chinese community.
In 2015, the impact of a summer drought and wildfires were felt throughout a large portion of the province.
Arno Kopecky and his companions travel aboard a forty-one-foot sailboat exploring the pristine route--a profoundly volatile marine environment that registered 1,275 marine vessel incidents--mechanical failures, collisions, explosions, groundings, and sinkings--between 1999 and 2009 alone.
The book begins with glimpses of foods, medicines, and cultural practices North America’s indigenous peoples have contributed to the rest of the world. It documents the dark period of regulation by racist laws during the twentieth century, and then discusses new emergence in the twenty-first century into a re-establishment of Indigenous land and resource rights.
Just after midnight on March 22, 2006, the Queen of the North—carrying 101 passengers—struck an underwater ledge off Gil Island, 135 kilometres south of Prince Rupert. The impact tore open the ship's bottom and ripped out the propellers. In less than an hour, it sank to the bottom of Wright Sound, 427 metres below the surface.