Series GR-3433 - Engineering branch photographs

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Engineering branch photographs

General material designation

  • graphic material
  • textual record
  • multiple media

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

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1937-1969 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Dept. of Highways

Physical description area

Physical description

378 photographs and 1 cm of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

The Dept. of Highways was established in 1955 with the enactment of the Department of Highways Act (SBC 1955, c. 33). Prior to 1955, the Highways Branch of the Dept. of Public Works was responsible for all functions relating to the management of highways. The mandate of the Dept. of Highways included the construction and maintenance of all government roads, bridges, ferries, wharves, and other works with respect to provincial highways. In 1961, the department was divided into four branches: Construction Branch, Location Branch, Materials Testing Branch, and Traffic Branch. In 1975 the functions of both the Dept. of Highways and the Dept. of Public Works were merged to form a new agency with the Dept. of Highways and Public Works (OIC 3842/75).

Name of creator


Biographical history

The Dept. of Public Works was established in 1908 with the enactment of the Department of Public Works Act (SBC 1908, c. 41). The Dept. of Public Works was a successor to the Lands and Works Dept. The mandate of the Dept. of Public Works included construction and maintenance of government offices and buildings, public highways, bridges, wharves, river-bank protection, and maintenance of ferry and steamboat services.

In 1947 the work of the department was divided into district offices, an Architect’s Branch, Accounting Branch, Engineering Branch, and Equipment Branch. The department was also responsible for boiler inspection and electrical energy inspection. In 1955, the responsibility for highways was transferred to the newly formed Dept. of Highways. At this time, the Dept. of Public Works, under the revised Department of Public Works Act (SBC 1955, c. 65), consisted of the Architectural Branch, Boiler Inspection Division, Electrical Energy Inspection Division, and Gas Inspection Division. In 1975 the Dept. of Public Works was dissolved and its functions were merged with the functions of the Dept. of Highways to form the Dept. of Highways and Public Works (OIC 3842/75).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The series consists of 378 photographs created by the Engineering branch of the Dept. of Highways and its predecessor agency, the Dept. of Public Works between 1937 and 1969. The photographs were taken by several private commercial photographers as well as the Government's own photographic branch. Most of the photographs consist of black and white prints of various sizes but files also inlcude some black and white negatives and a few photocopies. The images are of Engineering branch projects around the province and are mostly photographs of bridges and bridge construction but also include ferry and road construction. The photographs are arranged alphabetically by geographical area or name of bridge. The series also includes a portrait of George M Duncan, Chief Bridge Engineer and a 1937 souvenir pamphlet of the Pattullo bridge.

Notes area

Physical condition

Two photographs of Hagwilget Suspension bridge (folder 9) are damaged by mould.

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred to the BC Archives in 2003 by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways.


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Conservation restriction: material in cool or cold storage is inaccessible.
These records are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or other acts and access may be restricted. Please contact the BC Archives to determine the access status of these records.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright may be held by commercial photographers.

Associated materials

Related materials


No further accruals expected.

General note

Accession number(s): 93-6763


Negatives removed to cold storage.


Photographs in folder 9 cleaned of mould August 2013.

Physical description

Includes 367 photographs : b&w, 11 photographs : b&w ; negatives.

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