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.
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.
Ladner Pioneer Library
George Mackie Library
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.
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.
Many museums in your community have items that can add valuable information to your research.
The Delta Museum and Archives Society
The Surrey Museum
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.
More Online Resources for Students
Canadiana Discovery Portal – The Canadiana Discovery Portal lets you search the digital collections of libraries, archives and museums from across Canada.
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 Fair Made Easy – This website has lots of helpful how-tos for making your Heritage Fair project.