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Archival description
British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works Series
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Public Works contracts and other material

  • GR-0054
  • Series
  • 1893-1926

The series consists of records created by the Dept. of Public Works between 1893 and 1926. The files contain contracts, specifications, and plans of Public Works buildings such as schools, gaols, court houses and hospitals. They are arranged chronologically.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Public Works specifications and other material

  • GR-0070
  • Series
  • 1872-1924

The series consists of specifications for Public Works buildings, including occasional plans and contract forms, created between 1872 and 1924 by the Dept. of Public Works.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Public Works contracts and other material

  • GR-0071
  • Series
  • 1924-1954

The series consists of contract sets for diverse public works: buildings, bridges, roads and road works, ferries and ferry facilities, etc. The contract sets, usually signed by the contractor and the minister, often include the notices to contractors as they appeared in The British Columbia Gazette, tender forms, schedules of quantities, specifications, contracts, insurance policies, correspondence, and plans.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

New Archives and Museum report

  • GR-0076
  • Series
  • 1966

The series consists of a report entitled "Specifications for B.C. Archives & Museum, Victoria, B.C. Phase 4." Vol. 2 of 6.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Reports on bridges and highways in British Columbia and Alberta

  • GR-0079
  • Series
  • 1943

The series consists of 5 volumes created by the Dept. of Public Works in 1943. Volume 1 is a report on bridges on roads in Pacific command; volume 2 is a list of bridges on the Trans-Canada highway from Vancouver to Leanchoil, giving engineering data; volume 3 is a list of bridges on Vancouver island (Victoria to Menzies Bay and Alberni to Parksville); volume 4 is a list of bridges on the Cariboo highway from Cache Creek to Prince George and volume 5 is a list of roads in Alberta, and list of bridges from Prince George to Hazelton.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Pamphlets and brochures from public works files

  • GR-0210
  • Series
  • ca. 1910 - ca. 1960

The series consists of pamphlets, brochures, and advertisements describing products and services offered by diverse companies in connection with Public Works construction and maintenance programmes, from between ca. 1910 and 1960.
The material was culled from the Public Works correspondence files before microfilming.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Architectural proposals and consultants reports

  • GR-0386
  • Series
  • 1967-1974

This series consists of architectural proposals and consultants reports on topics connected with the construction of public buildings, urban development, siting, traffic patterns, and design requirements. Reports have been created for the Department of Public Works by various sources, including Arthur Erikson Architects, The Environmental Analysis Group (TEAG), UBC School of Architecture, BCIT, Vancouver City Planning Department, and other various architects and engineers.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Correspondence and other material

  • GR-0830
  • Series
  • 1900-1913; 1957

This series consists of correspondence and other records from the Department of Lands and Works, and its successor, the Department of Public Works. Records include correspondence inward and tenders for Victoria Court House, 1900-1904, Government House, 1900-1904, and Parliament Buildings, 1900; specifications for Victoria Graving Dock; specifications and agreement for Lytton highway bridge, 1913; and weekly building progress reports, Government House, 1957 (reports 30-75 only).

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Lands and Works records regarding Cariboo District roads

  • GR-0831
  • Series
  • 1899; 1912-1914

This series consists of three volumes of records relating to road construction and repairs in Cariboo district. Volume 1, road expenditures, 1899 created by the Department of Lands and Works. Volume 2, road appropriations and expenditures, 1912-1913. Volume 3, road appropriations and expenditures, 1913-1914. Volume 2 and 3 created by the Department of Public Works.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Public works records relating to museum and archives

  • GR-0999
  • Series
  • 1961-1971

This series consists of records of the Deputy Minister of Public Works as Chairman of the Museum and Archives Steering Committee and the Advisory Committee on Applied Arts for the B.C. Museum and Archives, relating to the design, development and construction of Heritage Court. Includes minutes, memoranda, correspondence, reports, plans, clippings, photographs, drawings, plans, etc.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Correspondence and other material

  • GR-1177
  • Series
  • 1929

This series contains the correspondence of the Minister and Deputy Minister relating to applications for the position of private secretary to the Lieutenant Governor. It includes letters from applicants.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Correspondence

  • GR-1349
  • Series
  • 1912-1914

This series contains correspondence relating to the ferry at Hope, B.C.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Department of Public Works summary of activities 1934-35 to 1941-42 (inclusive)

  • GR-1469
  • Series
  • [ca. 1942]

The series consists of a bound report which details the activities of the Department of Public Works from fiscal year 1934-35 to 1941-42. It includes details of activity undertaken by the Architectural Branch, Bridge Department, Equipment Branch, Accounting Branch, Surfacing Program, Survey Branch, Motor Vehicle Revenue and Registration, Highway Work, Dominion-Provincial Agreements and work undertaken by Electoral Districts.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Public Works correspondence

  • GR-1615
  • Series
  • 1910-1970

The series consists of general correspondence files created by the Dept. of Public Works between 1910 and 1970.
The files are concerned primarily with Provincial Government buildings including the Parliament Buildings, Provincial Archives, Provincial Museum, as well as jails, courthouses, hospitals, office buildings, etc. throughout the province. The series also contains files relating to the control of Japanese nationals during World War II.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Specifications and contracts

  • GR-1985
  • Series
  • [ca. 1930-1970]

Specifications and contracts (filed by area and building number). These records are associated with other unaccessioned hard copy indexes and microform drawings.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Selected Public Works project papers

  • GR-2007
  • Series
  • 1900-1912

Selected papers from the following projects: design and building of the Vancouver Court House, alterations to the Victoria Court House, design and building of Government House, Victoria, B.C., and the design and building of the Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. Originals for some papers in this microfilm may be found in GR-0830.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Selected Public Works project papers

  • GR-2008
  • Series
  • 1892-1905

Papers relating to the building of the Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.; lists of drawings, spreadsheet of contractor bids, accounts, letters, inventories, extras and alterations, landscaping, payments, etc. Also included are letters concerning the second design competition and one sheet, dated 1896, of costs for the Nanaimo Courthouse.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Public Works building plans : aperture cards

  • GR-2176
  • Series
  • [ca. 1970]-1978

The series consists of approximately 23,000 aperture cards created by the Dept. of Public Works between ca. 1970 and 1978 to manage building plans and drawings of public buildings throughout British Columbia. The plans include those for law courts, highways maintenance yards, police buildings, hospitals and health centres, government office buildings, liquor stores, correctional centres and camps, sewage treatment plants, fire halls, civil defence buildings, vocational schools, universities, mental health institutions, provincial schools and the Provincial Legislative buildings.
Each card contains a 35 mm microfiche copy of a plan or drawing, along with Public Works Drawing number and the negative number assigned to the 105 mm version of the plan or drawing. The cards are arranged numerically by the PWD number. Use the indexes to Public Works building buildings plans (GR-2184) in order to determine the PWD number.
Three groups of numbers and/or letters were used to make up the drawing number. The first group consists of numbers only and indicates the assigned area number. The second group consists of a letter or figure which denotes the type of plan.
When the drawing was used as a site plan, topographical plan or services (utilities) plan one of the following letters was used:
A - Architectural perspectives
E - Electric distribution, exterior floodlighting, street lighting etc. systems
L - Landscaping
M - Mechanical Services distribution systems
S - Site & topographical plans, excavation, levelling, roads, parking areas, sewage, water distribution and collecting systems
When the drawing was used as a building plan, the three part number consisted of area number, building number and sheet number.
The third group consisted of a letter/number group denoting the type of drawing and sheet number using the following letters:
A – Architectural
E – Electric circuitry and detail pertaining to the building
F - Furniture and fixtures
M - Mechanical
P – Plumbing
S – Civil/Structural
When an alteration (revision) was made to an existing plan, the new trace bears the same number as the original drawing, followed by an oblique stroke and number indicating the alteration.
When a new wing or extension was made to an existing building, the drawing would bear the first two groups as the original drawing but the third group started at 201. A second wing or addition to the same building would bear sheet numbers starting at 301.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Indexes to Public Works building plans

  • GR-2184
  • Series
  • 1969-1978

The series consists of indexes created by the Dept. of Public Works between 1969 and 1978 to manage building plans of public buildings throughout British Columbia. The province was divided into areas and then each public building or complex was given a number within the area. The actual plans, which are on aperture cards or negatives, are arranged by PWD number and these indexes can be used to locate specific ones.

The first index is the building file register; which explains the departmental filing system (both for files and drawings) and lists the building numbers and sub-numbers in order of area.

The next index is a four volume cross reference index, arranged numerically by area number. Within each area, the buildings are listed with a brief description, the sheet number (Public Works Drawing number) and the negative number of the building plans.

The most useful index for finding building plans is probably the 16 volume building plan index sorted alphabetically by location. Within each location, there are pages listing the building titles with descriptions of each drawing and its type and sheet number, the dates of the drawings and their negative number. This index was microfilmed in 1978 and a copy of the microfilm reel is in the file.

In addition there is a register listing of the plans in negative number order as they were assigned and filmed, from number 22000 to 44999, 150000 to 159999 and 45795 to 228947. Not all of the numbers were used.

Three groups of numbers and/or letters were used to make up the drawing number. The first group consists of numbers only and indicates the assigned area number. The second group consists of a letter or figure which denotes the type of plan.
When the drawing was used as a site plan, topographical plan or services (utilities) plan one of the following letters was used:
A - Architectural perspectives
E - Electric distribution, exterior floodlighting, street lighting etc. systems
L - Landscaping
M - Mechanical Services distribution systems
S - Site & topographical plans, excavation, levelling, roads, parking areas, sewage, water distribution and collecting systems
When the drawing was used as a building plan, the three part number consisted of area number, building number and sheet number.
The third group consisted of a letter/number group denoting the type of drawing and sheet number using the following letters:
A – Architectural
E – Electric circuitry and detail pertaining to the building
F - Furniture and fixtures
M - Mechanical
P – Plumbing
S – Civil/Structural
When an alteration (revision) was made to an existing plan, the new trace bears the same number as the original drawing, followed by an oblique stroke and number indicating the alteration.
When a new wing or extension was made to an existing building, the drawing would bear the first two groups as the original drawing but the third group started at 201. A second wing or addition to the same building would bear sheet numbers starting at 301.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Public building opening ceremony photographs

  • GR-3284
  • Series
  • 1964-1975

The series consists of photographs taken at the official opening of various public buildings in British Columbia for the Dept. of Public Works between 1964 and 1975. The series includes photographs of the following occasions: Premier W.A.C. Bennett planting a dogwood at the opening of the Kelowna Vocational School on June 27, 1964; Minister of Public Works, William Hartley, and other officials opening the provincial government buildings in Smithers on August 8, 1974, in Dawson Creek on October 28, 1974 and in Fort St. John on June 2, 1975.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Public building photographs

  • GR-3285
  • Series
  • 1964-1971

The series consists of photographs of public buildings from the Dept. of Public Works. The series includes photographs 1968-1971 of an unused design for the Netherlands Carillion and pictures of the bells before they were shipped to Canada.

The series includes 31 interior and exterior colour prints of the Terrace Vocational School and two oversized matted colour prints of the interior and exterior of the provincial government offices in Oliver.

The series also includes 17 interior and exterior colour prints (13 in card folder frames and four stamped on the verso with "Williams Bros. Photographers Ltd. 555 Granville St., Vancouver, 2, B.C. Phone Mu. 4-8588") and 43 colour separation negatives of the British Columbia Vocational School (BCVS) in Burnaby and a plaque erected by the Municipality of Cranbrook Centennial Committee in 1967.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Central registry photograph files

  • GR-3287
  • Series
  • 1929-1973

The series consists of photographs taken by the Department of Public Works and stored in a central registry, 1929-1973. The photographs are of buildings designed, built and managed by the Dept. of Public Works throughout the province and include views of destroyed or old buildings, buildings in the process of being built or upgraded, interior, exterior, aerial and site shots. The buildings include court houses, schools, hospitals, prisons, universities and vocational schools, general administrative buildings and others. The photographs mostly consist of black and white prints although there are also colour prints, negatives, transparencies and one metal plate negative. A small amount of accompanying material is intermingled in the photograph files. The photographs are arranged by numerical district number and then by building number within the district.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Public Works correspondence photograph files

  • GR-3288
  • Series
  • 1910-1970

Series consists of photographs created by the Department of Public Works to document buildings and other projects from 1910 to 1970. Although the original series consisted of a set of correspondence files which included correspondence, photographs and other material, the photographs were removed prior to microfilming in 1976. The microfilmed correspondence files were transferred separately and catalogued as GR-1615. The photograph files contain images of government buildings from around the province including interior, exterior and site shots. They are arranged by file number, taken from the original correspondence file. Files without a number are arranged alphabetically by area after the numbered sequence.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Annual report photograph files

  • GR-3289
  • Series
  • [ca. 1969-1970]

Series consists of photographs created by the Department of Public Works for use in their 1969-70 annual report. The files contain photographs, including prints, negatives and transparencies, ca. 1969-1970. The photographs are of various public works projects from around the province including interior and exterior views of buildings.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Miscellaneous photographs

  • GR-3290
  • Series
  • 1962-1975

Series consists of photographs created by the Department of Public Works for various uses. The files contain photographs from 1962-1975 of various public works buildings from around the province, mostly Vancouver courthouse complex, including views of building repairs, building models, interior and exterior shots of buildings and accompanying material.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Index to engineering photographs

  • GR-3292
  • Series
  • [ca. 1921-1945]

Series consists of a two drawer card file system created by the Office of the Senior Bridge Design Engineer of the Dept. of Public Works ca. 1921-1945. The card files index photographs taken or collected by the department during this period, particularly in the area of bridge building in British Columbia. The series consists of two drawers of card files; the first drawer is arranged numerically by the three part code number. The first part of the number refers to a map square, the second part of the number refers to the classification and the third part is the project number. The second drawer consists of the classification system which lists the types of structures and duplicate file cards indexing the photographs, arranged by classification number. When photographs were received by the office, they were entered into the index on the appropriate cards and then filed in either small or large envelopes arranged numerically. Each card typically contains the name of the project, the file number and a list of photographs filed in the envelope of the same file number. One card would be filed by the first part of the number (the map square) and the second card would be filed by the second part of the number (the classification).

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Engineering photographs

  • GR-3293
  • Series
  • [ca. 1913-1954]

The series consists of photographs of engineering projects managed by the Dept. of Public Works. The photographs were held in the Office of the Senior Bridge Design Engineer and consist of both prints and negatives. The projects photographed include bridges, roads, ferries, machinery, damage, buildings, topography, culverts, miscellaneous structures, portraits, signs, events and accidents. While almost all of the photographs were taken in British Columbia ca. 1913-1954, there are also photographs of engineering projects in the United States. The photographs, including negatives, were kept in envelopes, either large or small, and were filed by a three part number system. The first part of the number refers to a map square, the second part of the number refers to the classification and the third part is the project number. Details about the project were typed on the envelopes along with the file number. Each envelope contains photographs and negatives of that particular project and each photograph has an individual number, usually a sub-set of the file number.

A card index was used to manage the photographs, see the series Index to engineering photographs. As photographs were taken or acquired, they would be entered in the card index and added to the appropriate envelope. Occasionally photographs were removed by Public Works staff and never returned.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

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