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Dec 17, 2018 Return to Headlines

Digitized Committee Minutes Offer Insight into Coquitlam’s Past

by Rebecca Vaughan |

COQUITLAM, BC, Dec. 17, 2018 Did you know Coquitlam had a Civil Defence Committee in the 1960s to prepare for a potential war and other threats? Or that in 1961, a building permit on Burke Mountain cost only $1?

Those interested in the historical decisions and events that shaped Coquitlam can now explore 50 years of Council Committee minutes on Quest, the City of Coquitlam Archives’ online search portal. 

With funding this year from the British Columbia History Digitization Program (BCHDP), the City Archives has digitized historic Council Committee minutes from 1946 to 1997 and made them available to the public. A link to Quest can be found at www.coquitlam.ca/archives.

The project added 579 pages of minutes to the Quest database. The newly digitized Council Committee minutes cover a wide range of topics, including the Board of Variance, parks and recreation, land use, bargaining, Burke Mountain, civil defence, City history, land sales, the library, public works, safety, zoning and others.

The digitized minutes provide insight into how the City made decisions in the past, issues that were relevant at different times in the City’s history, and how services that are taken for granted today were introduced.

For example, fire hydrants are omnipresent in Coquitlam today, but weren’t required outside large commercial buildings or schools until 1961. According to the Library Commission minutes, discussions about Coquitlam’s first library began in 1961. And the Arena Commission’s minutes of 1963 show that children could skate at the time for as little as 15 cents, and adults for as little as 35 cents.

The BCHDP promotes increased access to British Columbia’s historical resources by providing matching funds for digitization projects that provide the public with free online access to unique historical material from around the province.

Coquitlam’s new Council Committee minutes can be directly accessed through http://searcharchives.coquitlam.ca/index.php/council-committee-minutes.

Questions about the records may be directed to archives@coquitlam.ca or 604-927-3907.

About the City of Coquitlam Archives
In 2019, the City of Coquitlam Archives is moving to an exciting new location at 1171 Pinetree Way, adjacent to the Coquitlam Public Library, City Centre branch. The move will enable the Archives to continue to fulfil its mandate to ‘preserve and make accessible the records of enduring value of the City of Coquitlam and its predecessor administrative bodies.’

Since the inception of the program, the Archives has been raising its profile to encourage people to use its services and discover the trove of records in the collection. In addition to online exhibits, other outreach includes weekly #TBT posts on the City’s social media platforms and a collection of historic photos at www.historypin.org. Thousands of archival records, including hundreds of historical images, are available in digital form through the Archives’ online search portal, Quest http://searcharchives.coquitlam.ca/

For more information about the City of Coquitlam Archives and to view the online exhibits, visit www.coquitlam.ca/archives.

Media contact:
Emily Lonie
City Archivist
City of Coquitlam