Title and statement of responsibility area
British Columbia Electric Railway Company fonds
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- Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.
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122 m of textual records and other material
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Archival description area
Name of creator
British Columbia Electric Railway was a railway and streetcar company operating from 1897 to 1961. A London-based company chaired by Robert M. Horne-Payne and R. Henry Sperling overtook the bankrupt Consolidated Railway Company on April 3, 1897, incorporating it as the British Columbia Electric Railway company. By 1903 B.C. Electric began building its own streetcars, inter-urbans, locomotives, work equipment and freight cars in a shop in New Westminster. Over the following years BC Electric provided increasingly expanding rail and bus transit for passengers and freight across Southern British Columbia. As World War Two came to an end, B.C. Electric implemented a ‘Rails to Rubber’ programme, replacing electric railway streetcars with Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) Streetcars. In 1961 the provincial government took over BC Electric with the railway becoming a division of Crown corporation BC Hydro.
Scope and content
The fonds consists principally of bound and filed correspondence of the Company (1896-1914), early minute books and accounting records of the BCER and related companies. Also included is a valuable collection of maps, diagrams, and engineering and architectural plans.
Immediate source of acquisition
Arrangement: Rare Books and Special Collections acquired the fonds in 1969. About 120 metres of records were donated. The fonds was arranged and described by RBSC at this time. Five unprocessed boxes of textual material remained in the backlog until 2017. In December 2017, an archivist from Rare Books and Special Collections undertook the arrangement and description of the fonds. The archivist provided an intellectual order for the accession to increase ease of use by researchers. Where present, the original order of the records has been maintained. In 2022, RBSC staff added an accrual of one folder to the fonds. The finding aid for this accrual has been added as an addendum to the original finding aid, available as an attached PDF. A box-file listing is available for the accrual as well. Updated series descriptions are included in this addendum.
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Inventory available. PDF document attached.
Oversize materials originally stored on shelves (PDF page 100 to 105, ex. A x B 5-1) have been rehoused into boxes (ex. Box 241). Refer to PDF page 106 to 111 for current location information.
Unprocessed microfilm reels will be added to the fonds when they have been processed.
Includes 250 maps and 400 plans
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Finding aid updated by Claire Williams in March 2022 to reflect new accrual.