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Forest History and Archives

A guide to archival materials related to forests and forestry at UBC's Rare Books and Special Collections

Materials in UBC Open Collections

A number of digitized and born-digital materials are housed in UBC's Open Collections related to Forestry and Forests of British Columbia. Explore these links below for more!

Materials from MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. fonds

Image source: Frank, Leonard. [1925 or 1926].  Logger with tree stump. MacMillan Bloedel Limited fonds. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Library.

Interim Forest Cover Series Maps

These Interim Forest Cover Series Maps were produced in 1958 following the first-ever systematic inventory of the province’s forests. The inventory information was collected from 1951 to 1957 with help from federal funding using a combination of aerial photographs (40 chain photos) and ground sampling plots. In total, 5057 clusters of four fixed-radii plots were used to supplement the aerial photo interpretation. Each map is accompanied by an envelope on which estimates of the timber volume within the map sheet were provided. The volume estimates were intended to be accurate to +/- 10% for major tree species. The maps are printed on high-quality paper, and contain colour-coded representations of various classifications of forest cover. Physical copies of the map series are held in the UBC Library’s Map and Atlas Collection in Koerner Library, as well as at the Rare Books and Special Collections Library, within the MacMillan Bloedel Limited fonds.

The maps have been converted to GeoJSON, the index of which can be found here and the GeoJSON data here.











British Columbia. Forest Inventory Division. “Index to the Interim Forest Cover Series and the Forest Inventory Area Reference System; Canada Sheet 93 B/NE, B/SE.” M. [Victoria] : Department of Lands and Forests, 1 Feb. 1957. Original Format: University of British Columbia. Library. Koerner Library. G3511.K2 s126 .B7. Web. 8 Feb. 2021. <>. Interim Forest Cover Series Maps.

Capilano Timber Company Photographs

Find Capilano Timber Company fonds in Open Collections.

The Capilano Timber Company Collection forms part of UBC Library's Rare Books and Special Collections. The images are originally from a single photograph album, and depict the operations of the Capilano Timber Company, including loggers, logging camps, and views of the Capilano Valley and the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver.

Image source: [Creator unknown]. [1908?]. [Illegible] Capilano Canyon, North Vancouver. Capilano Timber Company fonds. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Library.

Photographs from Peter Anderson fonds

Montogomery, W.F. “Road Construction.” P. N.p., 1939. Original Format: University of British Columbia. Library. Rare Books and Special  Collections. Peter Anderson fonds. RBSC-ARC-1007-1-009. Web. 8 Feb. 2021. <>. Peter Anderson Fonds.

Videos from Westland Collection

UBC Archives Materials

UBC Archives Audio Recordings Collection

Materials in the UBC Archives Audio Recordings Collection include digitized lectures on forest and climate. Try searching by keyword 'Forest'.

Vancouver Institute Lectures

The Vancouver Institute Lecture includes lectures of public interest, some related to forests. Try searching by keyword 'Forest'.

UBC Archives Photograph Collection

Many materials in the UBC Archives Photograph Collection related to Forests and Forestry activities on campus and at the University research forests. Try searching by keyword 'Forest'.

Theses and Dissertations in cIRcle: UBC's Institutional Repository

UBC Undergraduate Forestry Theses and Graduating Essays:

UBC undergraduate theses and graduating essays from 2008 to the present are available online through the UBC cIRcle portal.

Select a class to view submitted papers:

Essays from 1920 to 2008 are held in print at Woodward Library and can be found in the UBC Library Catalogue by searching BSF as a Series. To borrow them from the library, please ask at the Circulation Desk.

UBC Graduate Theses and Disserations:


Material Available through UBC Primary Source Databases

For more websites, databases, and resources for online materials related to Forest History, visit the RBSC remote resources guide.