The series consists of photographs (negatives and a small number of prints) created by the offices of the Bureau of Mines and the Mineral Survey between 1895 and 1937, and by the Mineralogical Branch between 1937 and 1945.
The series includes a 1938 memo which indicates that selected photographs were to be used or had been used in the department's published bulletins and in its Annual Report of the Minister of Mines. Photographers include the following government mineralogists, geologists, and mining engineers (followed with dates of photographs): William Fleet Robertson, Provincial Mineralogist, (photos 1898-1908); Herbert Carmichael, Assistant Mineralogist (1901-1904); F.W. Valleau, Gold Commissioner and Mining Recorder in the Omineca Mining District (photo 1901); Harold T. Nation (photos 1903-1926); Newton W. Emmens (1914); Joseph T. Mandy, provincial government resident mining engineer for the Atlin district (photos 1926-1945); Douglas Lay, Resident Mining Engineer (photos 1906-1940); Matthew S. Hedley (photos 1936-1939); Stuart S. Holland (photos 1939-1941); J.S. Stevenson (photos 1938-1942); H.S. Sargent (photos 1936-1941); R. Maconachie (1938-1940) and John D. Galloway, Provincial Mineralogist.
A small number of photographs were collected from private sources, including professional photographers. Some are attributed to the British Columbia Provincial Police. Approximately 50 per cent of the photographs are not attributed to a photographer.
Subjects include: mines, collieries, quarries, mineral veins and specimens; mining crews, equipment and operations; prospectors and placer mining activities; coke ovens, mills, smelters, concentrators and cement works; towns, modes of transportation; topographic features such as mountains, lakes, rivers, creeks. The photographers also captured a very wide range of subjects concerning British Columbia cultural and social history. Examples of this are First Nations activities and culture, including graveyards and bridges built by First Nations. The numbering system runs from 1 to 993. A single number may represent a series of photos on the same subject (for example: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d).
The series also includes an additional 38 glass lantern slides from the 1920s with their own numbering system. Most of these slides were made of photographs taken by Edgar Fleming for the Bureau of Mines but also include some slides of maps and technical drawings.
British Columbia. Dept. of Mines