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George Vancouver Commission

The Beatles’ dressing room and limo requirements for their PNE show, a silk sample book from a Chinatown merchant, the City’s first voters’ list, a letter written by Captain George Vancouver in 1794 while stationed in Nootka Sound, and an 1898 police blotter. All of these as well as historic photos and movies will be on display at City Hall when the City of Vancouver Archives celebrates its 80th anniversary on June 7.

The City of Vancouver Archives is the oldest municipal archives in Canada (outside Quebec), founded on June 8, 1933, with the appointment of Major James Skitt Matthews as the first City Archivist.

Archives and other city staff will be on hand to guide visitors through over 25 displays and demonstrate the techniques used to preserve and restore old movies.

The event will take place on Friday afternoon in the Media Centre, where staff will also give away prints of historic photographs. The 80th anniversary event precedes International Archives Day on June 9.

Located in Vanier Park, The City of Vancouver Archives houses the City’s records as well as documents from private-sector businesses, organizations, families and individuals related to Vancouver. Laid end to end, the Archives’ holdings would span four kilometers, from City Hall west to Macdonald Street.

Every year, Archives’ staff field about 2,700 enquiries, retrieve 11,200 documents, and supervise 2,400 reading room visits. The facility’s database, now searchable on Google, received 350,000 hits last year.

The archives currently include 1.5 million photographs, 45,000 architectural drawings and maps, 2,600 audiovisual records and over 47 terabytes of digital and digitized records.

Vancouver’s Archives Marks 80 Years of City History

Date: June 7, 1 to 4 pm
Venue: City Hall Media Centre, off the main floor rotunda, ground floor
Admission: Free

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