Receiving Desk, Victoria Public Library. Mary Stewart, Acting Librarian In Foreground, 1915, HP072222


The BC Archives collects both government and private records. These records are acquired in two very different ways. Government records are acquired through scheduled record transfers. Private records are acquired from private individuals, families, institutions and organizations. Each records transfer that is accepted into the archives is identified as an accession.

Acquisition of government records

Under the Information Management Act (SBC 2015, c. 27), records created by BC government agencies that are identified for permanent retention are transferred to the BC Archives according to approved information schedules. These schedules specify how long records are retained by the creating agency and their final disposition—what ultimately becomes of them.

Government Records Services (GRS) is the government agency responsible for overseeing the final disposition of government records. GRS staff appraise, select and document the disposition of government records. Once this process is complete, records identified for permanent retention are transferred to the BC Archives.

For more information, see Records Management (BC Gov).

Acquisition of private records

Private records are acquired primarily by donation from private individuals, organizations or associations.

Donations are accepted if they meet our criteria: that is, if they are provincially significant. We may also refuse donations if they are better suited to another institution.

If you are interested in donating records to the BC Archives, please see Donating Records


To learn more about the government and private records we have, see

To donate artifacts to the museum, please see Modern History