By Christy Brain, Reference Historian
“Who here has been to an Archives?”
“Who here has never been to an Archives?”
*the whole group raises their hands*
This is not an unusual scene when welcoming school groups to the Archives of North Vancouver (3203 Institute Road). However, after an introduction, students’ eyes become wider and you can see the wheels beginning to turn in their heads.
By exploring our reference library, the self-serve computers and database, the newspaper clippings files and the BC directories, students and researchers gain an understanding of the wealth of knowledge and resources the Archives collections hold. And, trained Archives staff are always available to support your research needs.
Archives Awareness Week
November 13 to 19 is Archives Awareness Week in British Columbia. This annual celebration was established by the Archives Association of British Columbia to draw public attention to the importance of the province’s nearly 200 archival institutions.
The Archives of North Vancouver collects, preserves, and provides access to the documentary heritage and oral history of North Vancouver, including public records created by both municipalities, as well as thousands of private records, that document the lives and experiences of residents, businesses, and community organizations.
Opened in 2006 in the fourth Lynn Valley School, the Archives of North Vancouver is open to all, offering exhibits, research services and space to enjoy reference materials in the reading room.
Guardians of Community Memory
The Archives team are trusted guardians of the material inside. Supporting public access to these materials is part of the job that the Archives team loves doing.
Responding to research inquiries is one thing, but connecting people with materials they may not know exists is special. Photographs of an old family home, a forgotten scrapbook, school photographs from generations-gone-by, oral histories from Indigenous elders, are just a few of the ways we connect people with the past.
When you hear someone exclaim ‘Oh my gosh! I found it! Here’s my house!’ as they look through a municipal directory, you can’t help but get excited with them. It’s really rewarding to help people with their discoveries.
The Archives team preserves stories from being lost in time and keeps the dust off the tax assessment rolls hiding between the stacks in storage.
“We are passionate about Archives.” says Daien Ide, Archivist. “Being able to show the public how to use our collection as a resource has proven to be very valuable.”
Exploring the Collection
Are you curious about what the Archives of North Vancouver has in the collection?
The digital Archives Database provides access to thousands of historical records, including archival photographs, maps and other audiovisual materials that have been digitized.
The Archives provides reproduction services to the public, including photocopies, and digital copies of photographs, audiovisual materials and large format drawings and maps. These fee-based services are available for materials not restricted by copyright, privacy, or preservation concerns.
Book an in-person appointment using our online booking system.
The Archives also displays exhibits including Through the Lens of Jack Cash, 1939-1970. Jack Cash was a notable commercial photographer who documented the Burrard Dry Docks during the Second World War, and his photos are in the Archives collection.
We hope to see you soon! To plan your visit, click here.
We rely on contributions, monthly or one-time gifts, to help MONOVA safeguard and expand our community’s archival and museum collections, build learning experiences and inspire future generations.
Donations are accepted through the Friends of the North Vancouver Museum & Archives Society, Registered Charity No. 89031 1772 RR0001.
We respectfully acknowledge that MONOVA: Museum and Archives of North Vancouver is located on the traditional lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, whose ancestors have lived here for countless generations. We are grateful for the opportunity to live, work and learn with them on unceded Coast Salish Territory.