Fonds PR-2409 - A.B. Sanderson and Company fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

A.B. Sanderson and Company fonds

General material designation

  • architectural drawing
  • graphic material
  • textual record
  • technical drawing

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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Reference code


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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1955-1974 (Creation)
    A.B. Sanderson and Company Ltd.

Physical description area

Physical description

7 m of textual records
ca. 1000 technical drawings
ca. 200 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

A.B. Sanderson and Company Ltd. was incorporated in 1955 by Adrian Barclay Sanderson, with A.L. Carruthers as an associate. Prior to starting his own firm, Sanderson had been for many years with the British Columbia Highway Department, where he served for a time as Assistant Bridge Engineer for the province. Carruthers was formerly Bridge Engineer, Chief Engineer, and Deputy Minister of the British Columbia Highway Department.

The company specialized in bridge building, working on major projects such as the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge and the Alexandra Bridge. They were also involved in a number of Canadian National Railway projects, including work on the tunnels in Vancouver and Burnaby.

The company merged with Ker, Priestman and Associates in the early 1970s.

Custodial history

Transferred to the BC Archives in 1986 by George S. Prince on behalf of Ker, Priestman and Associates.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records from A.B. Sanderson Company, Ltd., primarily regarding project proposals, construction calculations and plans for engineering projects. The fonds includes: correspondence, calculations, plans and drawings regarding engineering contracts; reference material for engineers; newspaper clippings and promotional material on the company; and personal records of Adrian Barclay Sanderson. The company’s focus was on bridges, and the records represent work on major projects such as the MacDonald-Cartier Bridge, the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge, and a number of Pacific Great Eastern Railway bridges.

In addition to bridges, the A.B. Sanderson Company was involved in a number of significant projects including the Mount Kobau observatory. Additional projects include the Esquimalt Sports Centre and the Mt. Tolmie Reservoir, as well as a number of schools, sports arenas, water treatment facilities, and industrial buildings on Vancouver Island and British Columbia. The records include inspection reports for the Canadian National Railway tunnels that connected the CNR lines to the Second Narrows rail bridge.

A. B. Sanderson was named as technical advisor to the Royal Commission inquiry into the Second Narrows Bridge collapse, and the records in this fonds related to the Second Narrows Bridge are primarily newspaper clippings and reports.

Financial records for the company were not in the custody of Ker, Priestman and Associates at the time of transfer and do not make up part of this fonds.

Oversize plans relating to specific jobs can often be found in containers 880055-0522 – 880055-0529, usually identified by the corresponding file or job code. An index to job numbers can be found in container 880059-1582.

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General note

Accession number(s): 87-141; 91-4360; 90-022; M878045

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