Series GR-2488 - Photographs of B.C. schools

Tatlayoko School T.C. [Telegraph Creek] T.C. [Telegraph Creek] T.C. [Telegraph Creek] Telegraph Creek T.C. [Telegraph Creek] T.C. [Telegraph Creek] T.C. [Telegraph Creek] School, Telegraph Creek Telegraph Creek Telegraph Creek Thomas Hodgson School Thomas Hodgson School Annex John Shaw Central bldg. constructed in 1898 John Shaw central bldg. (jr. high) classroom John Shaw central bldg. (jr. high) lunchroom John Shaw central bldg. (jr. high) main hallway, lower floor Marysville elementary school Blarchmont Elementary School Watkins Elementary School from east Watkins Elementary School Watkins Elementary School Watkins Elementary School, old annex McKim junior senior High School, new building from north McKim junior senior High School McKim junior senior High School, new building McKim junior senior High School, old building Ericson Ericson Ericson
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Photographs of B.C. schools

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  • graphic material
  • textual record

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

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Dates of creation area


  • 1944-1963 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Dept. of Education

Physical description area

Physical description

627 photographs + accompanying material

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Biographical history

The Ministry of Education was established in 1920 under its first name, the Dept. of Education, by an amendment to the Public School Act (SBC 1920, c. 82). The educational system of British Columbia had been founded in the Crown colony period in the Common School Act (1865), replaced by the Common School Ordinance (1869), and administered respectively by the superintendent of education or inspector general of schools, reporting directly to the governor-in-council. The Public School Act (SBC 1872, c. 16) was enacted in 1872, creating a Provincial Board of Education and a superintendent of education reporting to the Provincial Secretary. The Provincial Secretary also doubled as the minister of education until 1924. It was not until the 1920 amendment to the Public School Act that a distinct Dept. of Education was constituted with the functions and responsibilities of education in the province.

The Dept. of Education, under the direction of the minister of education, assisted by a deputy minister and superintendent of education, was responsible for the maintenance and management of all normal schools, the issuing of teachers’ certificates of qualification, and advising the Council of Public Instruction on all matters relating to education in the province. Home economics, high school correspondence, recreational and physical education, extension and adult education, and educational reference and school services were added as branches or divisions between 1920 and 1950.

The department assumed responsibility for the School of the Deaf and Blind (Jericho Hill) in 1922, the Victoria School of Art in 1938 (closed in 1942), and Vancouver School of Navigation in 1938. In 1942 the Provincial Library and Archives, the Public Library Commission, and the Provincial Museum were transferred to the department from the Dept. of Provincial Secretary. By 1947, the work of the department was divided among the following branches: High School Correspondence Branch, Elementary Correspondence Branch, Educational and Vocational Guidance, Industrial Education, Adult Education, School for the Deaf and the Blind, School Radio Broadcasts, Division of Tests, Standards, and Research, Text-book Branch, Visual Education, Inspection of Schools, and Normal Schools. In 1976, the Dept. of Education was renamed the Ministry of Education (OIC 3199/76).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The series consists of 627 b&w photographs taken or acquired by the Dept. of Education between 1944 and 1963. The photographs are of schools across B.C. and are arranged by the school district number at the time, or name of community. The photographs were taken by the the Division of Visual Education as well as by commercial photographers, School Boards and construction companies. There is some accompanying material consisting of plans, correspondence and pamphlets noted in the file list.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred to the BC Archives in June 1983 by the Ministry of Education Information Services.


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Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Folders 7 and 25 contain photographs restricted under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The rest of the series is open.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Many of the photographs were taken by commercial photographers who may still own the rights.

Finding aids

A file list is available:

There are approximately 240 item level descriptions, many with digital copies attached.

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Related materials


General note

Accession number(s): 198504-015

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