Series GR-3427 - Surveys Branch photo-topographical negatives

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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Surveys Branch photo-topographical negatives

General material designation

  • graphic material
  • textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

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

Level of description

Series

Reference code

GR-3427

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1914-1929 (Creation)
    Creator
    British Columbia. Surveys Branch

Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 21000 photographs

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1911-1949)

Biographical history

The Surveys Branch was created as a unit of the Department of Lands in 1911. The branch took over surveying functions previously the responsibility of the Surveys Branch of the Department of Lands and Works (1871-1908). The branch was known as the Surveyor-General’s Department between 1911 and 1914, as the Surveys Branch between 1914 and 1949, as the Surveys and Mapping Service between 1949 and 1951, and as the Surveys and Mapping Branch between 1951 and 1975.

The branch was responsible for surveying Crown lands; collecting data from surveys of Crown lands done by private surveyors in support of applications for land pre-emptions, timber, mining, and water rights licenses and/or leases; compiling various types of reference maps for the use of the Department of Lands; and, providing public access to maps created by the branch.

The Surveys and Mapping Branch’s divisions were as follows:
1912-1919
Geographic Branch (though it was called a branch, this was a subordinate unit)

1919-1929
Surveys Division
Geographic Division
General Staff

1929-1949
Surveys Division
Geographic Division
Topographic Division

1949-1973
Legal Surveys Division
Geographic Division
Topographic Division
Air Surveys Division
Administration

1973-1975
Legal Surveys
Field Operations
Map Production Division
Administration

Chief Officers of the Surveys and Mapping Branch:
1908-1912 E.B. McKay
1912-1917 G.H. Dawson
1917-1930 J.E. Umbach
1930-1946 F.C. Green
1946-1950 N.C. Stewart
1950-1951 F.O. Morris
1951-1968 G.S. Andrews
1968-1975 A.H. Ralfs

Custodial history

The Surveys and Mapping Branch of the Ministry of Lands and Parks transferred legal custody of these records to the BC Archives in 1991. It is not possible to determine with complete certainty the exact location and custody of these records at all times between the disestablishment of the Department of Lands, Forests and Water Resources in 1975 and transfer of the records to the BC Archives. The functions which generated these records were transferred through the following ministries between 1975 and 1991: 1975-76 Department of Environment. Surveys and Mapping Branch,
1976-80 Ministry of the Environment. Surveys and Mapping Branch,
1980-82 Ministry of Environment. Surveys and Mapping Branch,
1982-86 Ministry of Environment. Surveys and Resource Mapping Branch,
1986-88 Ministry of Environment and Parks. Surveys and Resource Mapping Program,
1988-91 Ministry of Crown Lands. Surveys and Resource Mapping Branch,
1991 Ministry of Lands and Parks. Surveys and Resource Mapping Branch

Scope and content

The series consists of glass plate photographic negatives generated by the Surveys Branch's topographical surveying parties operating in various parts of British Columbia between 1914 and 1929. These survey parties used photographs as a means of collecting data for topographical mapping done by the Geographic Division of the branch. The photographs were usually taken from the summits of hills and mountains and depict surrounding landscape.

The series is arranged into 31 sub-series, each comprised of the photographs generated by one survey party. Within each sub-series, the survey party's arrangement and original numbering of items has been retained. This arrangement and numbering is based on the original packaging of the photographs into small boxes of plates. The name of the surveyor heading each party is noted in the description of each individual sub-series.

Notes area

Physical condition

Some plates broken.

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Selected items are available in electronic form.

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

No access restrictions.
Conservation restriction: when available, use digital copy.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright belongs to the Government of British Columbia.

Finding aids

Associated materials

See GR-3750 for indexes to these records.
A folio of maps, many containing annotations to indicate where photographs from a number of individual surveys were taken, is available in container 932492-0001.
Detailed descriptions of each survey are contained in the annual reports of the Surveyor-General, which are catalogued in the North West Library Collection as: Report of the Survey Branch of the Department of Lands 1911-1916 (NW_526.9_B863); Annual Report of the Minister of Lands 1911-1924 (NW_333.1 B862r); Annual Report of the Lands and Survey Branches of the Department of Lands 1925-1945 (NW 333.1 B862r).
For surveys after 1929, see Topographic Division photo-topographical negatives, ID number GR-3428. For prints taken from the negatives, see photo-topographical images, ID number GR-3478.

Related materials

Accruals

No further accruals expected.

General note

This series was also accessioned under the number VR199003-003.

General note

Archives code(s): For a full list of the sub-series that form this series, and for the locations of the records, see: photo topographical survey records series description project draft finding aid. This finding aid is available in the BC Archives photo reference room.; Previously known as series AAAA0066.

General note

Accession number(s): 2012.111.1; 89-1652

Physical description

Glass plate negatives ; 13 x 18 cm

Alternative identifier(s)

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