Collection PR-2268 - BC Archives fire insurance plan collection

[Fire Insurance plan] : Big Bay : British Columbia

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

BC Archives fire insurance plan collection

General material designation

  • cartographic material
  • graphic material
  • microform
  • multiple media

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Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

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

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Edition area

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Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1885-1970 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 1226 maps and other material

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Archival description area

Custodial history

The BC Archives has acquired fire insurance plans from various sources. In 2008, the Friends of the BC Archives donated 82 maps (accession 2008.46).

Scope and content

The BC Archives fire insurance plan collection consists of plans of British Columbia communities acquired from various sources over the years. The plans have been arranged alphabetically by community by Archives staff. While most of the plans are large format, coloured sheets, there are also black and white photographic negatives (with diazo fiche copies for reference) and 35 mm colour slides for many of them. The photographic negatives and colour slides are not necessarily duplicates of the printed sheets in the BC Archives collection. A detailed list, arranged by community, gives details for holdings in each format. Fire insurance plans were published by various companies including the Sanborn company, the Charles E. Goad company, the Underwriters' Survey Bureau Limited, the Canadian Underwriters' Association and the British Columbia Underwriters Association. Fire Insurance plans and atlases are large-scale (high resolution) urban maps which grew out of the need of fire insurance underwriters to understand the physical characteristics of a structure to be insured. These maps show with detail colour drawings and symbols, the character of the outside and inside construction of buildings, passages, probable fire cut-offs, fire walls, openings in walls, height and occupancy or use of individual buildings or groups of buildings. Street widths, street addresses, property lines, water pipes or mains, fire hydrants and fire alarm boxes are also located on the maps. Although fire insurance plans stopped being produced in the 1970's and have long outlived their primary function, they continue to act as important source material.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


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Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

No access restrictions apply.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyrights for many of the plans are still held by the publishing companies.

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Related materials


No further accruals expected.

General note

Accession number(s): 95-1886; 2008.46

Physical description

Includes ca. 428 photographs : b&w negative ; 105 mm and 14 boxes of photographs : col. positive ; 35 mm, ca. 428 microfiche : b&w negative ; 105 mm

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Physical storage

  • Box: 002340-2029
  • Box: 002340-2030
  • Box: 002340-2031