Local History

Our Special Collections includes books and other items about Burnaby and the surrounding area, and includes works by Burnaby authors and organizations.

Examples of what we have:

  • Burnaby newspapers, from 1926 to present
  • Books written on Burnaby history and heritage buildings
  • Historical photographs, including the BPL Historical Photograph Collection (over 190 photos of Burnaby) and photographs from the BPL Contemporary Visual Archive Project (500 copies of photos taken of Burnaby in 1976, originals held at the Burnaby City Archives)
  • Local history files (miscellaneous historical documents and maps)
  • Local high school yearbooks dating from the 1930s

Our Reference Collections also includes Burnaby resources, including fire insurance maps, and street and telephone directories.

British Columbia History

We also carry books and other material relating to British Columbia. These items span a wide range of subjects: from stories of Ogopogo, to urban planning, immigration, real estate, railways, wildlife, forests and shipyards. We have art books by and about local and B.C. artists, Indigenous history and languages, personal and family histories, journals of B.C. explorers, and histories of B.C. towns and cities.

While we carry plenty of historic material, we continue to add items published today that will be of interest tomorrow.

Using Special Collections

Items in the collection can be used in-library at Bob Prittie Metrotown. Visit the second floor information desk to get started.

Some of our historic photographs are digitized and can be viewed on Heritage Burnaby, an online collection of local historic materials from the Burnaby Village Museum, the Burnaby Heritage Planning Program, City of Burnaby Archives and Office of the City Clerk.