BC Archives eliminates licensing fees to improve accessibility


VICTORIA, BC — To improve accessibility to the more than five million photos and 30 kilometres of archival records safeguarded by the BC Archives at the Royal BC Museum, the archives is modernizing its licensing program to increase accessibility to cultural heritage materials in its stewardship.

The program, which has been in effect since 1995, gave the BC Archives the right to approve and grant non-exclusive usage licenses for archival records as stewards of the material. Going forward, the Royal BC Museum will no longer charge licensing fees for commercial use of materials from the provincial archives.

“Removing fees for public domain materials is a positive step forward in increasing accessibility to the BC Archives and the millions of records housed here,” says Emma Wright, Director of Archives at the Royal BC Museum. “It helps to support authors, artists and filmmakers, who are creating and sharing compelling content about the stories of British Columbia.”

This change means those looking to use photos, moving images, sound recordings, maps or documents for publications, film or television productions, or personal use can now do so without paying the longstanding licensing fees. Processing fees, however, will still apply. These fees cover the cost of digitizing and storing records, as well as the staff time required to prepare and share copies with our clients.

“This change brings us in line with other leading archives and museums around the world,” says Wright. “We’re really pleased that by reducing our fees, more people will be able to find and use these materials.”

The change in licensing structure is effective immediately and applies to all materials housed within the BC Archives.

More information is available online at https://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/archives/services/reproductions.

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About the Royal BC Museum: The Royal BC Museum explores the province’s human history and natural history, advances new knowledge and understanding of BC, and provides a dynamic forum for discussion and a place for reflection. The museum and archives celebrate culture and history, telling the stories of BC in ways that enlighten, stimulate and inspire. Located in Victoria on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen (Songhees and Xwsepsum Nations), we are a hub of community connections in BC—on-site, offsite, and online—taking pride in our collective histories.

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