Requests for Retrievals
Requests for retrieval of books, manuscripts, government records, sound recordings and moving images are accepted from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm. Retrieval of onsite material takes an average of 5–15 minutes, but special media (e.g., photographs and maps) can take 24 to 48 hours. Please call in advance if you plan to visit between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm.
For the security and protection of the records, researchers can view only four records at a time. Name, registration number, and call number must be printed clearly on a call slip to facilitate retrieval and pickup. Materials should be picked up promptly, particularly if access has been granted under special permission (e.g., a research agreement).
Some records may be unavailable because of access restrictions. See staff for instructions on how to determine the existence of restrictions and on how to request access to restricted records. If given permission to access restricted records, you must bring the letter of permission or Research Agreement with you every time you visit.
As many of our records are stored off site, and some have restricted access, it is a good idea to contact us well in advance to determine availability and, if possible, arrange access prior to your arrival. Records that are stored offsite may take from two to five days to retrieve. Arranging for authorized access to restricted records can take up to several weeks, depending on the circumstances.
Access to and use of government records at the BC Archives are subject to statutory restrictions, particularly those imposed by the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) (RSBC 1996, c. 165), the BC Adoption Act (RSBC 1996, c. 5) and the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act (SC 2002, c. 1). Access to court records is not governed by FOIPPA but can be restricted by BC court rules. If records are restricted, the Information and Privacy Manager must be contacted.
View Research Agreement