Collection PR-2282 - Bordertown Publishing collection

Esquimalt and Nanaimo [E & N] No. 1407 Caboose lettered for Esquimalt and Nanaimo; Wellington. Canadian National Railway Refrigerator Car No. 209861; location not known. Canadian National Railway Caboose U. 76884, at Canadian Pacific Station, New Westminster. Stock Car, no.577, 3/4, closeup, good detail, Caribou herald, wooden construction, Squamish, BC 1966 Refrigerator car, no. 819, broadside, wood-sides, painted aluminum, Caribou herald, closeup, good... Caboose no. 1820, 3/4, closeup, excellent detail, plywood sides, Caribou herald, built by PGE, da... 2-8-0, No. 3481, Consolidation; Coquitlam. 4-6-2, No.2519, Pacific, 3/4 Left, On Passenger, Train 525, In Yards At Calgary, Alta. 4-6-2, No.2590, Pacific; 3/4 Right From Rear Of Tender; Calgary, Alta. 4-6-2, No. 2519, Pacific; Calgary, Alta. 4-6-2, No. 2342, Pacific; Medicine Hat, Alta. 4-4-4, No. 2911, Jubilee; Brandon, Man. 4-4-4, No. 2916, Jubilee; Calgary, Alta. 4-4-4, No. 2924, Jubilee; Brandon, Man. 4-4-4, No.2925, Jubilee. 3/4 Left. Semi-Closeup. Good Detail. On Passenger. (Only First Car Shows... 4-4-4, No. 3000, Jubilee. 3/4 Left. Semi-Closeup. Good Detail. Toronto, Ontario. 4-4-4, No. 3001, Jubilee; at Edmonton, Alta. station. 4-4-4, No. 3001, Jubilee. 3/4 Right. Close Mid-Distance. General Detail. Good. On Passenger, On C... 4-4-4, No. 3001, Jubilee. 3/4 Left. Semi-Closeup. General Detail Of Subject Good.  At Vancouver S... 4-4-4, No. 3001, Jubilee. Vertical Format. Front View. Semi-Closeup. Good Detail. Same References... 4-4-4, No. 3001, Jubilee; Edmonton, Alta. station. 4-4-4, No. 3001, Jubilee; Edmonton, Alta. station. 4-4-4, No. 3001, Jubilee. 3/4 Left. Close Mid-Distance. Good Detail. On Passenger ("Chinook&... 4-4-4, No. 3002, Jubilee. 3/4 Right. Closeup. Good Detail. Toronto, Ontario. Engine Terminal Scene. Possibly Fort William, Ontario, 5 Locomotives Out Of Service.  L To R: Con... Canadian National Railway 2-8-0, No. 2434, Consolidation, 3/4 Left.  On Ashpit Track. Vancouver. Canadian National Railway 2-8-0, No. 2434, Consolidation, 3/4 Right.  On Passenger, Outbound From... 2-10-4, No. 5922, Selkirk. 4-6-0, No. 7290, 10-Wheeler, Ogden Yard, Calgary, Alberta 4-6-0, No. 7303, 10-Wheeler, Ogden Yard  Calgary, Alberta
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Bordertown Publishing collection

General material designation

  • graphic material
  • textual record
  • multiple media

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on the business name of the collectors.
  • Variations in title: Also known as the Bordertown Photo Collection.

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1886-1966 ; predominant 1920s-1950s (Creation)
    Bordertown Publishing

Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 2370 photographs : b&w negatives and 10 cm of textual records

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Bordertown Publishing was a Vancouver-based direct-mail business, apparently established in 1964, which offered an extensive line of items useful to model railroading hobbyists. Its Photo Division operated from 1970 to 1978, selling photographic prints of Canadian and northwestern U.S. railroading operations for reference and display purposes. After the photo service ceased operations on 31 March 1978, the owners put the entire collection of negatives up for sale.

Custodial history

The collection was purchased from Bordertown Publishing's three owners by the Provincial Archives of British Columbia in April 1979.

Scope and content

The collection consists of photographic negatives that mainly depict railway operations in western Canada, particularly British Columbia, from 1886 to 1966. The collection was accumulated from photographs shot or collected by Albert Paull, Roy Jennings and P.H. "Spike" Brown, as well as some other private collectors. These photographs document the history, equipment and operations of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Canadian National Railways, Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway, and Pacific Great Eastern Railway. A wide range of subjects is depicted, including locomotives (steam, electric and diesel), rolling stock, snow plows, stations, water towers, trestles, bridges, right-of-way scenes, and interior views. In addition, there is a small group of industrial subjects, including images relating to the National Harbours Board, various collieries, the Victoria and Sidney Railway, and a number of lumber companies on Vancouver Island. The negatives are organized in five alpha-numeric series, using prefixes that indicate the subject railways -- CP, CN, EN, and PGE -- and IND (for industrial and miscellaneous subjects). The collection also contain a small amount of textual material, including two copies of Bordertown's published "Catalog No. 1" and two typescript copies of the complete Bordertown collection index, prepared in 1979. (See "Finding Aids", below.)

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Original numbering sequence (assigned by Bordertown Publishing staff prior to sale) uses the subject-based prefixes CP, CN, EN, PGE and IND.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Reference prints of many of the negatives were made by the BC Archives photo lab and are available.

Restrictions on access

Conservation restriction: original negatives in cold storage are not available for access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

  • Copyright in images created after 1948-12-31 belongs to the BC Archives.
  • Copyright is presumed to have expired in the images created before 1949.

Finding aids

A comprehensive index to the collection, containing detailed item-level descriptions, was prepared by P.H. Brown of Bordertown Publishing (housed in container 890974-0011). Item-level descriptions of most of the images, many with attached scans, are available as lower level descriptions within the collection.

Associated materials

The section of the Bordertown Publishing collection comprising photographs of the Great Northern Railway was acquired by a railway historical association in California. The section comprising photographs of the British Columbia Electric Railway was acquired by a private collector in British Columbia .

Related materials


No further accruals expected.

General note

Accession number(s): 198411-001 (89-0974)

Physical description

Negative ; b&w ; 13 x 18 cm or smaller ; some nitrate.

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