Series GR-3428 - Topographic Division photo-topographical negatives

Silverhope Creek/ Yola Creek survey photograph Sumallo River survey photograph Sumallo River survey photograph Marmotte Creek survey photograph Skagit River survey photograph Laforgue Creek/ Sumallo River survey photograph Laforgue Creek survey photograph Sumallo River survey photograph Sumallo River survey photograph Sumallo River survey photograph Roundtop Mountain survey photograph Antler Mountain survey photograph Swift River survey photograph Cariboo Mountain survey photograph Swift River survey photograph Porter Hill survey photograph Porter Hill survey photograph Sundberg Hill survey photograph Swift River survey photograph Mount Burdett survey photograph Mount Bolduc survey photograph. Satellite Channel survey photograph Waterloo Mountain survey photograph Mount Healy survey photograph. Grant Lake survey photograph Eagle Heights survey photograph Waterloo Mountain survey photograph Koksilah Ridge survey photograph. Koksilah Ridge survey photograph. Mount Healy survey photograph.
Results 1 to 30 of 687 Show all

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Topographic Division 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


Reference code


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


  • 1930-1949 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Topographic Division

Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 27,761 photographs

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

The Topographic Division was created as a unit of the Surveys Branch of the Dept. of Lands in 1929. The Division’s primary responsibility was topographic surveying and providing data used for the creation of topographic maps. The Topographic Division was eliminated in 1973 during a reorganization of the Surveys and Mapping Branch. At that time, the newly created Field Operations Division was given responsibility for topographic surveying activities.

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 the 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.
Accession 2021.268 includes photographs attributed to Murray Ford of land surveying activities in the province.

Scope and content

The series consists of glass plate photographic negatives generated by the Topographical Division's surveying parties operating in various parts of British Columbia between 1930 and 1949. These survey parties used photographs as a means of collecting data for topographical mapping done by the Topographic and Geographic Divisions of the Surveys Branch and, in many cases, for vertical control of aerial survey photographs. The photographs were usually taken from the summits of hills and mountains and depict surrounding landscape. The series is arranged into 70 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


The negatives have been rehoused. Unfortunately, surveys were not always kept together sequentially. Use the survey and file list to request the containers. Use the database printout in the reference room as a back up if elements of a survey can't be found.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Selected items available in electronic form.

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

No access restrictions. Conservation restriction: when available, use digital copy. Copyright belongs to the Government of British Columbia.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

File list available. Selected items, and item descriptions, are available on BC Archives visual records database.

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: Annual Report of the Lands and Survey Branches of the Department of Lands 1925-1945 (NW 333.1 B862r) and Report of the Lands, Surveys and Water Rights Branches 1946-1949 (NW 333.1 B862r)
For surveys before 1930, see Surveys Branch photo-topographical negatives, ID number GR-3427. For prints taken from the negatives, see photo-topographical images, ID number GR-3478.

Related materials


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 AAAA0067.

General note

Accession number(s): 89-1652, 2021.268

Physical description

Glass plate negatives ; 13 x 18 cm

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres