The BC Archives Library houses a unique collection of approximately 72,000 books, pamphlets, serials, directories, newspapers, atlases, maps, posters, sheets of music, theatre programmes, dissertations, theses and other publications with a strong emphasis on the geographic, social, cultural and political history of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Many are rare and record the first explorations, colonization and development of the province; some date back to the 1500s. Materials are primarily in English, but there are also works in French, Spanish, Latin, Dutch, Finnish, German, Russian, Chinese and Japanese. These are mainly accounts of early voyages to the West Coast (including both original texts and translations) and material focusing on First Nations. Also included are some early materials in Indigenous languages (often translations of religious texts).

You can search our library collection online here: BC Archives Library Search

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Our library includes an extensive collection of community newspapers from across British Columbia available on microfilm. This collection consists of approximately 11,000 reels. It does not include complete holdings for major twentieth-century Vancouver and Victoria daily newspapers such as the Sun, Province, Colonist and Times. Researchers looking for these materials are advised to contact public libraries, university libraries or the Legislative Library of British Columbia.

You can find an inventory of the newspaper collection here: BC Newspaper Inventory.

Researchers can access our library holdings onsite in the BC Archives Reference Room. Please make sure you Plan your Visit and review our Hours and Service.

For inquiries related to the library collection, please email


Many resources in our library are also available online. To find out about collections published online by other institutions, see: External Resources.

The Legislative Library of British Columbia provides reference and research services for the Members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, their staff and the general public. To learn more about their collection and services, please visit the Legislative Library of British Columbia.

The Law Library at the University of Victoria serves law students and faculty, but it is also open to members of the public. To learn more about their collection of legal texts, case law reports, journals and more, see UVic Law Library