Title and statement of responsibility area
Bordertown Publishing collection
General material designation
- graphic material
- textual record
- multiple media
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- 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
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
1886-1966 ; predominant 1920s-1950s (Creation)
- Bordertown Publishing
Physical description area
ca. 2370 photographs : b&w negatives and 10 cm of textual records
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
Name of creator
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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 .
No further accruals expected.
Accession number(s): 198411-001 (89-0974)
Negative ; b&w ; 13 x 18 cm or smaller ; some nitrate.