OBA reference library catalogue online

Oak Bay Archives' reference library catalogue is on LibraryThing!

Browse here

This collection of more than 400 titles forms the reference section supporting the municipal and community archives of the Corporation of the District of Oak Bay, BC. It consists of reference books relating to the history of Oak Bay, Greater Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and Canada, in that order.


Classmark sections:
OB main subject directly related to Oak Bay
GV " " Greater Victoria, the CRD, other municipalities
VI " " Vancouver Island, Gulf islands and Island communities
BC " " British Columbia, BC mainland communities, the Pacific Northwest
CA " " Canada, Canadian communities outside of BC
HE " " heritage properties, generic
LO " " local authors not covered by above subjects
AB " " autobiography/memoir, biographies of Oak Bay people

These are the shelfmark categories for in-person library use. We are not using the Dewey decimal system - that structure doesn't serve small specialist collections well. Instead, books are grouped on the shelf according to geography, then alphabetically by author surname in each section. This Oak Bay - centric geographical arrangement reflects the collecting policy of the archives and the research interests of archive users and enquirers. But suppose a researcher is interested in, for instance, the history of trains and railroads in BC - there are relevant books in the GV, VI and BC sections?

Ways to search

  • Click column headers (Author, Title etc) to order the collection by that heading
  • Click individual tags or subject headings to browse by theme (example - all the books about railways)
  • Enter keywords to search the whole collection - use `Search this library` box near top right, not `Search this site`

Why an online catalogue?

For enquirers: identify relevant secondary sources, locate online or local copy, prepare for archival research

For researchers in person: time in the archives is never long enough, and is best used looking at primary source material, i.e. archives. An online library catalogue helps researchers to plan ahead and identify secondary sources that could be consulted elsewhere before visiting the archive, and those that are only available at the archives.

For potential donors: We do our best not to acquire multiple copies of identical publications, and in most cases we don't need to duplicate the holdings of the GVPL system, especially if there is a copy at the nearby Oak Bay branch. But we are adding to the reference library collection, and we have a Wish List! (We are not able to accept new donations of reference books at the moment, as the collection is packed up during the construction project at Municipal Hall.)

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