The Port of Vancouver Archives Collection is made up of the administrative and operational records of the Archives itself, material it acquired as part of its collecting mandate, and some operational records of the Vancouver Port Corporation.
The administrative and operational records generated by the Archives include general administrative records, administrative aids and resource materials, and an accession register and index.
The acquisitions collected by the POV Archives are related to the history of the Port of Vancouver. These records include catalogued acquisitions as well as acquisitions that were unprocessed by the POV Archives at the time of transfer to the National Archives of Canada (later Library and Archives Canada). Records include, but are not limited to: annual reports; publications; hand drawn maps of the harbour; photographs showing vessels, port personnel, aerial views of the harbour and terminals, specific projects, activities, equipment and cargo, and special events; acts and bylaws concerning the Port of Vancouver; copies of minutes of meetings and correspondence from the Privy Council to the Governor General; copies of contracts covering Vancouver Harbour and the Second Narrows Bridge; scrapbooks; brochures, posters, and other publicity material; newsletters such as Viewpoint Vancouver, Port of Vancouver News, Portus, Ports Canada, Scuttlebutt, Manifold, Urban Reader, Pacific Mariner, Waterfront News, and Canada Place; correspondence and conference proceedings; maps of Burrard Inlet, Vancouver Harbour, and Naples.
The records of the Port itself include those generated within the Port's central filing systems, as well as those created outside these filing systems. Records include, but are not limted to: conference and meeting minutes; equipment purchase and maintenance records; records relating to damage claims made by the Port and against the Port; subject files relating to waterfront development, National Transportation Week, and National Fire Prevention Week; notes from meetings relating to the administration of ports (including St. John's, Halifax, St. John, Quebec, Trois-Rivieres, Montreal, Churchill and Vancouver) under the National Harbours Board; payroll and pension ledgers; National Harbours Board Tariff Committee notes and bylaws; annual reports and financial statements; reports on topics such as feasibility of helicopter acquisition, impact of the port on the economy of the region, marine recreation resource use of Indian Arm and sections of Burrard Inlet, and a risk analysis of tanker traffic movements within the Port of Vancouver; press releases; slide shows for educational and publicity purposes; slides accumulated by the Vancouver Port Corporation Photographic Library relating to equipment and activities, police, Vanterm, historical images, cargo, vessels, graphics, aerials, cruise vessels, and bulk terminals; moving image recordings used to disseminate information about Port functions, and well as moving image recordings relating to other ports and companies that had involvement with the Port (such as cruise lines, stevedores, and the Coast Guard); architectural and technical drawings for sites including Vanterm, Lynnterm, Neptune Terminal, Ballantyne Pier, Centennial Pier, Main Street Extension, Heatley Avenue Tugboat Wharf, Campbell Avenue Fishing Wharf, Second Narrows Bridge, Grain Elevators, sub stations, Gastown Waterfront, and Canada Place.
The Port of Vancouver Archives (POV Archives) was established by the Vancouver Ports Corporation (VPC) within its Corporate Communications Department on November 29, 1989 to "foster awareness of the Port's heritage by collecting, preserving and recording the location of significant historical materials." More specifically, the objectives of the POV Archives were: (1) to establish the Archives in premises constructed and prepared specifically for this purpose, (2) to establish an Archives Advisory Committee to recommend policy and evaluate appropriate acquisitions within established procedures, (3) to evaluate and maintain archival materials in keeping with accepted standards and archival procedures, (4) to collect and preserve archival materials which illustrate the growth and development of the Port of Vancouver, and its administrative agencies, (5) to research established national, provincial, city and municipal archives to locate valuable historical data pertaining to the Port of Vancouver, and incorporate its location into the Port of Vancouver Archives' records, (6) to provide appropriate access to such archival materials as a research resource to the Vancouver Port Corporation and for the general public, students, journalists, etc. (excepting legal restrictions), (7) to contribute to awareness of the Port of Vancouver, (8) to contribute to the Vancouver Port Corporation's corporate image, (9) to seek opportunities for educational and outreach programming to enhance public appreciation of the Port of Vancouver. The Archives officially closed in 1993.