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Cartographic Records include maps, plans, architectural drawings, charts.

The BC Archives has over 63,000 maps, atlases, and architectural drawings relating to the exploration, discovery, and development of the province of British Columbia. The types of maps include: published maps and the cartographic and architectural archives of the provincial government; maps of British Columbia supporting research in history, geography, cartography, genealogy, and the development of geographical knowledge of British Columbia; plans by important architects or plans representative of building types contributing to the study of British Columbia's architectural heritage; maps and plans complementing other collections in the Archives and other Divisions of the Royal BC Museum.

The finding aids and some maps are available on the website for research purposes only. Please note that only a very small sample of the catalogued maps held by the BC Archives are accessible through the website. Access to the majority of the catalogue is through the reference room at 675 Belleville Street, Victoria or through a written enquiry directed to Access Services (see online form). We are unable to provide copies of digital files for individual maps. All maps can be consulted in the reference room of the BC Archives, 675 Belleville Street, Victoria, B.C. Limited copying of original maps is available. Currently, full-size, black and white, paper, black and white semi-gloss, and colour semi-gloss copies can be ordered. For copy order instructions including prices, information about copyright or other restrictions, follow the "Cartographic Records Instructions for Use" link below.

New visitors should take a moment to review Electronic Access and Links to This Site and Cartographic Records Instructions for Use.

Finding Aids and Textual Guides

The Cartographic Records Index is a user searchable index of a very limited number of the total holdings (approximately 700 entries at present).

Also available on-line are the Cartographic Records Finding Aids.

The Orientation Guide to Cartographic Records is being revised and will made available as soon as possible.


Copies of maps can be made from maps that are in good condition, have at least one side 36" or smaller, and have no copyright or other restrictions. Maps can be copied to scale in either black and white or colour and prices vary accordingly. Consult with Archives staff before ordering copies as the age, condition, and quality of some archival maps may prevent copies being made or may result in copies in which the details are not as clear as on the originals. The Archives will try to advise clients on the best option to choose when ordering copies but can accept no responsibility for the final result of the choice made by the client. See the price list for details on costs of copying, packaging and mailing.

Unsure of a geographical name, or its location? See information available from other sites regarding geographical names.

Selected Cartographic Records in Digital Format

British Admiralty Charts, 1848 - 1955

B.C. Government Lithographed Regional Map Series, 1911 - 1991

Geographic Series, 1912-1981*, Sheets: 1A - 1SW
Land Series, 1913-1958, Sheets: 2A - 2F
Pre-emptors' Series, 1911-1969, Sheets: 3A - 3Q
Topographic Series, 1917-1952, Sheets: 5A - 5E
Mineral Reference Maps, 1927-1935, Sheets: MRM1 - MRM8

Other Cartographic Records

British Columbia Geographical Names:

Further information on the assignment of geographical names within British Columbia can be found at the British Columbia Geographic Names Information System (BCGNIS) which is the authoritative source for place names in British Columbia. You may confirm geographical names and obtain other information such as latitude, longitude, NTS Map Number, as well as see a current digital map representation.

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Home Page: http://www.bcarchives.gov.bc.ca This Page: http://www.bcarchives.gov.bc.ca/cartogr/general/maps.htm
Last Modified: Thursday, 17-Aug-2006 08:46:21 PDT Maintained by: webmaster@www.bcarchives.gov.bc.ca
Copyright: Information on this site is provided for research purposes only. Please review Access and Usage.  Unless indicated otherwise, this page and all contents are Copyright ©, BC Archives, Royal BC Museum.
Records Classification: This site is classified and scheduled under ORCS 15100-25