COVID-19 update: In-person appointments in the archives are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some archival services are available by phone or email appointment. To reach the Archives, contact Curator, Mandy Kilsby at 1-888-994-3332 ex. 35.
Although gold rush towns boomed all over the west in the 1800s, Barkerville is unique, with over 100 heritage structures still standing on the spot that they were built. In addition, there are two historic cemeteries and over 200,000 precious objects and photographs in the museum collection. Barkerville’s Chinatown is the largest collection of pre-railway Chinese buildings in North America and Barkerville has one of the largest Chinese archival collections in Canada with approximately 18,500 items.
This level of collection and preservation is unusual and presents both a tremendous opportunity and a big responsibility. It is a testament to the forethought of the British Columbia residents in the 1950s that supported the Restoration Project. The Barkerville Heritage Trust (the non-profit charity that manages Barkerville on behalf of the Province) is committed to continuing this legacy by ensuring that the highest possible standard of care is given to the buildings and the collection and that a rigorous level of accuracy is maintained when presenting the site to the public.
Barkerville does not represent any single moment in time, but rather the ongoing process of community development – from the discovery and growth years in the 1860s, through many ‘boom and bust’ cycles, and finally, the transformation into a historic site and tourist attraction from the 1950s to the present.
When complete, this Collections and Research section of the website will introduce you to the history of Barkerville, current research and to the portions of our collections that can be viewed via the web.
Barkerville’s new database is not live yet, but you can visit the link above to look at the Heritage Sites main page, where Barkerville is “Coming Soon!”
Do you have an item that is connected to Barkerville’s history that you would like to add to our collections?
You can download a copy of our Aquisitions Form, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss possible donations. Please note all donations must meet Barkerville’s Collections Criteria in order to be accepted.