About the Friends

The Friends of the Vancouver City Archives Society was founded on April 7, 1993. Its purposes are:

  • To promote and improve public awareness of the Vancouver City Archives and its services and projects.
  • To encourage the association of persons interested in Archives and the retention of archival materials.
  • To promote the use of the resources and services of the Archives by the general public and the professions.
  • To receive gifts, endowments and bequests.
  • To encourage development of the archival services and facilities of the City of Vancouver.
  • To support legislation whether municipal, provincial or federal, where it will enhance and further interest in archival matters.
  • To cooperate with other organizations or individuals in the furtherance of the aims of this Society, such as by exchange, loan or purchase of relevant material.
  • To encourage appreciation of the history of the City of Vancouver.

The Friends of the Vancouver City Archives Society works to raise funds to support the ongoing work of the Archives.

With the support of funds raised by the Friends a 1600 cubic foot cold storage facility was constructed to preserve the Archives’ deteriorating photographs, chiefly cellulose acetate, cellulose nitrate and colour materials. The walk-in frozen storage unit holds two negative collections (totalling 113,000 negatives). Only three public Archives in Canada have walk-in frozen storage units for their photographs: the Vancouver Archives, the National Archives, and the Provincial Archives of Manitoba.

Among the many other projects supported by, and equipment purchased with funds raised by “The Friends” are:

  • Web publisher software for Archives web site (enables researchers to search database on the Web)
  • Scanning photographic images into database
  • Combined index for 7 volumes of J.S. Matthews’ Early Vancouver
  • Computer for research room
  • Re-describing Major Matthews photograph collection

1. Become a Member

There are three ways you can become a member of the Friends of the City of Vancouver Archives:

Individual Memberships cost $20.00. Family Memberships cost $30.00 and Corporate Memberships cost $100.00

2. Become a Donor

The City of Vancouver Archives collects both civic government records and records from businesses, individuals and organizations in the private sector.

Private sector records may be as extensive as the business records of a corporation or as small as a single photograph found under the floorboards.

We welcome the records—such as minutes, correspondence and reports—of organizations and societies that are part of the cultural or political life of Vancouver. We also preserve personal papers, diaries, photographs, neighbourhood oral histories, films of events and similar unpublished records including those related to contemporary events and issues.

  • Make a lasting contribution to the historical narrative of our city
  • Preserve your records in a controlled environment
  • Be recognized as a part of our history
  • Receive a tax receipt for their fair market value

3. Donate

The Friends of the Vancouver City Archives is able to issue tax receipts for donations above $25.00. Your donation will be a great contribution to the ongoing work of the City of Vancouver Archives.