What is the Anglican Archives?

The Anglican Archives is actually made up of two archives: that of the Ecclesiastical Province of Brit­ish Columbia & Yukon (archives established in 1956) and that of the Diocese of New Westminster (archives established in 1980).  It is located in the same building as the Diocese of New Westminster offices at 1410 Nanton Avenue in Vancouver. The Archives is governed by Canon Law, and its functions are to col­lect, arrange, describe and preserve the records of the Provincial Synod and Diocese, its related councils, commit­tees, and officers and other material pertaining to the history and activities of the Anglican Church in BC and Yukon. 

What kinds of records are in the Anglican Archives? 

 The Diocesan Archives includes records of:

  • Parishes -  including baptism, confirmation, marriage, and burial records as well as minutes, parish organizations, publications, property and financial information
  • Diocesan Synod Journals, records of dioc­esan committees, councils, task forces, related groups, etc.
  • Architectural plans
  • Photos of diocesan and parish activities and events
  • Records of bishops, archbishops and some individual clergy and lay persons

The Provincial Synod Archives includes records of:

  • The former Diocese of Cariboo - now Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI)
  • Anglican Theological College
  • Bishop George Hills – including his handwrit­ten diaries
  • British Columbia & Yukon Church Aid Society: maps, library, photos
  • Columbia Coast Mission – including a large photo collection
  • Diocesan Synod Journals, Canons, Constitu­tion, newspapers
  • Missionary Society reports

How do I request a copy of a baptism/confirmation/marriage/burial record?

Simply contact the archives by telephone or email and be sure to state our full name (maiden name if applicable), the date of the event, and the parish in which it took place.  Please note that Privacy legislation applies to all registers, so you can only request your own records unless it is:

  • A baptism more than 100 years old
  • A marriage more than 75 years old
  • A burial more than 20 years old

If you are requesting a record on behalf of someone else, please be sure to have them send written permission to the archives so that the archivist can release the record to you.

I’m not Anglican.  Can I use the archives?

Absolutely!  We invite and welcome all persons interested to visit and/or have research done at the archives.  We have had student researchers from undergraduate, graduate, and post-grad programs, as well as authors, genealogists and historians of all walks of life do research in the archives.

Are there limits on access to records? 

Most archival records are publicly accessible, although some are subject to restrictions under the BC Personal Information Privacy Act (PIPA). Bishop’s correspondence, personnel files, legal files and some other materials are also restricted.  The archivist will advise you of any restrictions.

Can I browse the records in the archives?

Archives, by definition, are unique and therefore irreplaceable. For that reason, researchers are not permitted to enter archival storage areas and must view original records in the reading room. When you come to the archives to view archival records, staff will assist you in locating the records you need and will bring them to you.

Can I borrow the records to take home?

Because archives are one-of-a-kind originals, they must not be removed from the reference area.  Researchers are, however, allowed to make notes and bring laptops to the archives, and some copying is also allowed.

Can I make copies of records?

Yes, subject to the provisions of the archives fees schedule and any copyright restrictions. Because some archival records are in fragile condition, photocopying may not be allowed. The archivist can advise you of alternatives to copying.  The researcher is responsible for obtaining copyright permissions.

Why don’t you have a complete set of records for every parish, or records for certain individuals I may be interested in?

Part of the nature of archives is that we can only preserve what is transferred and/or gifted to us.  Sometimes archivists will actively seek to obtain certain records, but mainly will collect them as people give them to us.  Sometimes records are lost, destroyed, taken to private homes, or kept in the parish.  Individuals may choose to pass their records to their children or other repository. 

Are there any fees? 

All requests for baptism/confirmation/marriage/burial records have a $30 fee.  This fee helps the archives to recoup costs and with the purchase of acid-free enclosures and supplies.  Please speak with the archivist if you are unable to manage the fee.  More in depth research can be done at a per-hour rate as well.  Photocopies are .25/page, and scans of photos are $15.00 plus the cost of printing.  Please speak to the archivist for details.

When is the archives open?

The archives are open by appointment.

How can I contact the archives?

Marché Riley, Archivist
Anglican Diocese of New Westminster
Provincial Synod of BC & Yukon
1410 Nanton Avenue
Vancouver, BC, V6H 2E2
P 604-684-6306 ext. 230
Or send an email