Get a copy of an archival document
There are three ways to get a copy of an archival document:
Make your own copy
When visiting our Reading Room, researchers may use their own camera to self-copy records. Personal scanners are allowed only if they do not come in contact with the records being reproduced.
Download our digital holdings
Digital copies of records available through our online database may be downloaded free of charge. While only representing a portion of our total volume of holdings (millions of records), we have over 200,000 digital objects available online. Most of these are photographs, maps, and audiovisual recordings.
From an item-level description for a particular record, click on the image of the record at the top of the screen to automatically open a new tab. From there, save your own copy.
- Photographs, maps and graphic records (example: posters) are downloaded as JPEG files.
- Sound recordings and moving images are downloaded as MP3 and MP4 files.
If a record has not been digitized, no digital object will be attached to its description.
Buy a copy of a record
If a record has not been digitized or if you require a higher-quality digital copy, we offer a digital reproduction service for a fee.
There are two options:
- Scanned at our standard resolution
- TIFF format
- For an item already available through our online database, the TIFF will be the same pixel dimensions as the freely-downloadable JPEG
- Contact the Archives before placing your order to confirm we can fulfill your request
- Scanned at the maximum resolution allowed by our equipment
- TIFF format
The Archives can provide photocopies of textual records for a fee for patrons during their in-person visit. You can also remotely order photocopies (sent electronically as a PDF).
We charge per page. Contact the Archives before placing your remote order to confirm we can fulfill your request and to receive a cost estimate.
We may be unable to photocopy some records if they are too large or too fragile.
Paying for your order
You must pay in advance before your order is filled.
Credit cards accepted are VISA, Mastercard, American Express.
Once payment is received, most orders are completed within 7 to 10 days.
Custom orders or orders requiring conservation treatment or special handling (such as architectural drawings or oversize maps) may require more time.
Receiving your copy
Your purchase is delivered as a downloadable file(s) through a link sent to you by email.
We do not sell photographic prints.
Crediting the Archives
Users must cite material as found from the Archives. Credit lines must include: “City of Vancouver Archives,” the reference code, and, in the case of photography, the name of the photographer (if known).
This information is provided in the online description for each item.