Title and statement of responsibility area
BC Archives fire insurance plan collection
General material designation
- cartographic material
- graphic material
- multiple media
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the collection.
Level of description
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
Physical description area
ca. 1226 maps and other material
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
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.
Immediate source of acquisition
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
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.
No further accruals expected.
Accession number(s): 95-1886; 2008.46
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