The fonds consists of the records of the British Columbia Cement Company and mainly relates to the company cement plant at Bamberton, B.C. Other locations of company activity and the creation of records were Tod Inlet in Saanich, B.C., Texada Island, B.C. and the Vancouver Island locations of Cobble Hill and Horne Lake. The records were created ca. 1900 to 1982, though predominantly after 1950. The fonds includes records from the 1960s and 1970s when the company became a subsidiary of Ocean Cement Ltd.
From the 1920s to the 1960s, the products of the British Columbia Cement Company were used to build much of the infrastructure of the province. Before 1958 the B.C. Cement Company was virtually the sole supplier of cement in British Columbia.
Most prominently, record types include: technical drawings, maps, plans, diagrams and architectural drawings; correspondence and memoranda; equipment manuals, operating guides, catalogues and bulletins; photographs; research reports and technical studies; cement plant shift log books; weekly and monthly reports on labour, production and manufacturing costs; daily journals for materials purchased (stores received); reports of chemical data regarding cement testing; budget papers and financial reports, and deliveries log books (journal recordings of product sold). Other record types include: company publications and employee newsletters; quotations for goods and services; complete technical journals and magazines, (and individual articles); news clippings; company annual reports; brochures, pamphlets and flyers; committee minutes; conference proceedings; staff lists and seniority lists; org charts; plant operation flow charts and stock certificate books.
A large number of the records (including textual materials, technical drawings, maps and photographs) were generated by the activities of cement production. These include records related to quarrying; rock and materials handling; the kiln, dry mill and wet mill operations; the electrical department; the purchase and consumption of fuel including coal and oil; cement packing; chemical testing, quality control and research; the sale and shipping of cement; the purchase, operation and maintenance of equipment, and environmental monitoring. Records were created in departments of the plant including the laboratory, by the plant chemist and research and quality control staff, at the quarries, the wet mill, the dry mill, the mixing department, the kiln department, electrical department, and the cement packing plant. Other company activities that generated records include mineral exploration, property acquisition and appraisal, and the transition to closing the plant. There are relatively few records from before the 1950s.
The records were also generated by routine business activities including company administration, corporate planning, annual reporting, union agreements and labour-management relations, budgeting, auditing and financial issues, personnel and staff training. Records were created by company executives, by staff in the plant main office, by the plant manager, the plant engineer, the purchasing agent and personnel manager.
A relatively small number of records were inherited from predecessor companies. These include records which originated with the Vancouver Portland Cement Company Limited, founded by Robert Pim Butchart, which produced cement at Tod Inlet. Some records originated with the British company, the Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers (London) and its subsidiary, the Portland Cement Construction Company Limited, which purchased the land and built the Bamberton cement plant ca. 1911-1913.
Records concerning Tod Inlet include photographs ca. 1905-1913, of the first arrival of machinery and early photos of the cement plant. There are also plant technical drawings and maps relating to the Tod Inlet area, and textual records concerning B.C. Cement Company's continuing ownership of property in Saanich. Records for the Bamberton plant and townsite date from 1911; these include photographs of historic value of the first development on the site in 1912-1913. Many photos were taken by professionals, and it appears they were created and maintained by company staff in order to document the history of the company. Records for Blubber Bay on Texada Island (ca. 1929-1949) include photographs, textual material, and technical drawings. Records relating to Cobble Hill, B.C. (ca. 1950-1975) relate to investigation for mineral deposits, company property holdings, mapping, quarry operation, and the building of the private haul road from Cobble Hill to Bamberton.
The fonds also consists of records for locations where the company owned properties or carried out exploration for minerals, aerial photography and mapping. These include Davies Bay on Texada Island, and Vancouver Island locations including Horne Lake, Deep Bay, and Harris Creek in the Cowichan Valley.
The records include a history of British Columbia Cement Company by a long-time company employee, Robert H. (Bob) Moffatt. It was researched, written and updated between 1976 and 1981.