RBCM Archives

British Columbia. Surveys Branch

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

British Columbia. Surveys Branch

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Surveys Branch

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



The Surveys Branch was created as a unit of the Department of Lands in 1911. The branch took over surveying functions previously the responsibility of the Surveys Branch of the Department of Lands and Works (1871-1908). The branch was known as the Surveyor-General’s Department between 1911 and 1914, as the Surveys Branch between 1914 and 1949, as the Surveys and Mapping Service between 1949 and 1951, and as the Surveys and Mapping Branch between 1951 and 1975. The branch was responsible for surveying Crown lands; collecting data from surveys of Crown lands done by private surveyors in support of applications for land pre-emptions, timber, mining, and water rights licenses and/or leases; compiling various types of reference maps for the use of the Department of Lands; and, providing public access to maps created by the branch.

The Surveys and Mapping Branch’s divisions were as follows:
Geographic Branch (though it was called a branch, this was a subordinate unit)

Surveys Division
Geographic Division
General Staff

Surveys Division
Geographic Division
Topographic Division

Legal Surveys Division
Geographic Division
Topographic Division
Air Surveys Division

Legal Surveys
Field Operations
Map Production Division

Chief Officers of the Surveys and Mapping Branch:
1908-1912 E.B. McKay
1912-1917 G.H. Dawson
1917-1930 J.E. Umbach
1930-1946 F.C. Green
1946-1950 N.C. Stewart
1950-1951 F.O. Morris
1951-1968 G.S. Andrews
1968-1975 A.H. Ralfs


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

C Government Name

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

British Columbia. Surveys and Mapping Branch (1951-)

Identifier of the related entity


Category of the relationship


Type of relationship

British Columbia. Surveys and Mapping Branch is the successor of British Columbia. Surveys Branch

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Central Name Authority File

Maintenance notes