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Historical Map Collections: UBC Historical Map Collections

This guide has been developed to assist students and researchers in searching for resources relating to historical maps and atlases in the UBC Library collection.

UBC Historical Map Collections

Following are some general instructions on how to locate maps in Rare Books and Special Collections:


You can search the online UBC Library catalogue by keyword or subject:

It is also necessary to search the card catalogue located at UBC Rare Books and Special Collections to find those maps that are not included in the online catalogue (please ask a librarian or archivist for assistance in doing so).

Fire Insurance Plans

Fire Insurance Plans of British Columbia Cities with Multiple volumes
Fire Insurance Plans consist of detailed maps that show the character of insured buildings, from 1885 to 1968. Cities included in this collection are Burnaby, North Vancouver, Oak Bay, Point Grey, Saanich, South Vancouver, Victoria, West Vancouver, University Endowments Lands and Vancouver.

Ways to find the insurance plans include browsing the PDF Inventory, and also searching the UBC Library catalogue. RBSC's Online guide to Fire Insurance Plans of British Columbia Cities may be of help in your search.


Many of the fonds in the RBSC archival collections also include maps. Some of the fonds containing maps include:

Franco-Canadian (Dominion) Trust Company
Includes maps of Vancouver, in formats of blueprint, manuscript map, architectural plan and printed maps.

Hoffmeister Electric Company
Collection consists of maps of Vancouver and Canada, in various formats and scales.

UBC Archives Archival Inventories
The holdings of the University Archives include personal and organizational records of the University, many of which include maps. This inventory allows keyword searching and alphabetical browsing.

Digital Collections

A number of maps from Rare Books and Special Collections have been digitized:

Andrew McCormick map collection

Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa period


Fire insurance plan

Photo credit: UBC Library, Rare Books and Special Collections, G3514.V3 D3 1889