Collection 2000.16 - Prince Rupert Empire collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Prince Rupert Empire collection

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Reference code

CA UNBC 2000.16

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1906–1912 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

0.1 cm of textual records 9 photographs : b&w

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1912- 1966)

Administrative history

The Prince Rupert Drydock and Shipyard was built between 1912 and 1913 at the eastern end of Cow Bay in Prince Rupert by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. It was built in anticipation of the freighters that the company thought would be coming to Prince Rupert to collect cargo destined for ports around the globe. It had a set of complete railroads running from all the buildings to various parts of the yard and docks, a lifting power of 20,000 tons, and a 604 ft. long by 130 ft. wide dock. The first manager was Joel H. Pillsbury. The first ship launched at the site was the Canadian Scottish, completed in 1921. In 1923, operations of the drydock were taken over by the Canadian National Railway under an agreement with the Federal Department of Public Works. During the Second World War, more than 2000 workers were employed at the drydock but after the war work slowed and in 1954 the drydock was officially closed. Three large pontoons were sold that year and towed to Seattle to be used by the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredge and Lockheed Shipyards. In 1966, the last parts of the drydock were dismantled.

Custodial history

The collection was purchased from the Grafton Bookshop, an antiquarian bookstore in Victoria, BC. The Northern BC Archives & Special Collections acquired the material in August 2000.

Scope and content

The collection consists of 9 photographs and copies of photographs showing scenes of Prince Rupert and area, groups of townspeople, a stone totem pole at Metlakatla, and a man poling a dug-out canoe probably on the Skeena River. It includes two newspaper clippings, one from the BC Saturday Sunset dated September 14, 1912 and another from The Globe dated Saturday March 23, 1907. The bound volumes of the Prince Rupert Empire newspaper were transferred to Special Collections. See accompanying note.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

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Restrictions on access

No restrictions.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

File and item lists available.

Associated materials

The bound volume of the Prince Rupert Empire newspaper is available from Special Collections, Geoffrey R. Weller Library, UNBC under the title “The Empire: Prince Rupert, British Columbia”. This bound volume contains the first twenty-six issues of the Prince Rupert Empire, Prince Rupert’s first newspaper, dating from Saturday July 20, 1907 to January 11, 1908 and inscribed to Mrs. Robert L. McIntosh, wife of Prince Rupert’s first postmaster and signed by the newspaper’s proprietor Mr. John Houston on June 22, 1908.

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No further accruals expected.

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