Student Resources

Where to start?

The BC Heritage Fair Society’s Student Resources page has step-by-step guidelines to help you plan your project, as well as some useful tips, advice and access to invaluable resources to assist you along the way.

Steps to Getting Your Project Done is a checklist of all the things you’ll need to do to create a successful Heritage Fair project.

Where to find information about your Heritage Fair topic?

What are some good places to start your research? There are many places that you can start exploring to find the information most useful for your subject.  The libraries, archives and museums in your communities are a great place to access primary sources for your project.  Many of these places even have an online database that allows you to search their holdings before you go.  When in doubt, don’t hesitate to talk to a staff member.

A great place to start searching for information is your local archive or library. Libraries are a great place to start because you can ask a librarian to help you narrow in your topic. A librarian (or library staff member) can help you come up with search terms that will allow you to find the information you are looking for.
You can even try searching through their catalogue (what the library has in their collection) online to see what the library might have before you visit.

Local libraries:
Ladner Pioneer Library
George Mackie Library
Tsawwassen Library
Surrey Libraries
Vancouver Public Library
Vancouver Public Library – Local History Photographs – A great resource for historical photographs of Vancouver and the surrounding communities.
Vancouver Public Library Historical Photographs of BC and Yukon – A great resource for finding historical photographs of BC and the Yukon.

Archives are great places to visit and many archives have an online database available.
If possible, try to plan a trip to visit the archive in person as the archivist can offer a lot of useful information on how to find information.

Local Archives:
Delta Archives: Search the collection online here.
Surrey Archives: Search the collection online here.
City of Richmond Archives
City of Vancouver Archives
White Rock Museum and Archives – No online database

Archives in B.C.:
Memory BC – lets you search archives across the province
Royal BC Museum
UBC Archives
SFU Digitized Collection – A large collection of items from BC history, including oral histories

Canada wide archives:
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) – There are several areas you can search on the Library and Archives Canada search. You can specifically search for family records here
Archives Canada – The archives Canada website is much like the Memory BC website, in that it has information from all the archives throughout Canada. The site houses digital items and projects from around Canada.
National Film Board – Visit the site for documentaries and photographs.
CBC Archives

Many museums in your community have items that can add valuable information to your research.
Delta Museum: Search the museum collection online here.
Museum of Surrey: Search the collection online here.
The Museum of Anthropology (Vancouver): If your topic is about First Nations or B.C. history this a great place to look for information.  Their catalogue of their object collection can also be explored here.
Royal BC Museum (Victoria): Great for exploring topics, and for finding information about people and artifacts in BC.
Gulf of Georgia Cannery (Richmond): Great for information about the Steveston cannery, but also about canneries in general.
The Vancouver Maritime Museum (Vancouver): For information about the history of the fishing industry or maritime activities in Vancouver and BC.
The Canadian Museum of History and Canadian War Museum (Ottawa) – this website has a large collection of archival materials and artifacts about the history of Canada that are accessible through their collections page
The Nikkei National Museum – If your topic involves the history of Japanese Canadians in British Columbia or Canada this is a great site to visit.
Virtual Museum of Canada – online exhibits from museums across Canada

More Places to Find Information Online

When looking for information online, it is important to make sure that you use reliable websites. The sites below are a good place to start. This information sheet from Historica Canada gives more information about how to find reliable information online.

Primary Sources
Royal BC Museum Learning Portal – Watch, read, listen, look and learn all about BC history with items from the Royal BC Museum’s collection. They even have a Heritage Fairs pathway with information about making your project!
Canadiana Discovery Portal – The Canadiana Discovery Portal lets you search the digital collections of libraries, archives and museums from across Canada.
Flickr: The Commons
Mount Royal University 
THEN/Hier Primary Sources and Teaching Links
Thompson Rivers University Library
University of Toronto
Memorial University Library Heritage Fair Resources – Especially good if your project is related to Newfoundland
Sedai: The Japanese Canadian Legacy Project

Secondary Sources
The Canadian Encyclopedia
Critical Thinking Consortium Source Docs
The Dictionary of Canadian Biography
Canada’s History for Kids
Historica Canada

Student Resources to Help You with your Project

BC Heritage Fair Alumni Blog – The Alumni blog is full of tips written by Heritage Fair students, for Heritage Fair students.
Check out our list of primary source suggestions for some of the most popular project topics.
Heritage Fairs Toolkit – This toolkit for Saskatchewan Heritage Fairs does a good job of showing you a step-by-step process for creating your project.
Heritage Fair Made Easy – This website has lots of helpful how-tos for making your Heritage Fair project.
Project Gallery – Look at our project gallery for ideas on how to set up your display board.
Writing a Bibliography – Information on how to put your information together into a bibliography.