Like all else in this strange era, historical research will likely be disrupted in some ways in the time of Covid-19.
The situation is changing rapidly and adaptions are being made to balance safety with access, so call or monitor websites of research material repositories you need to use.
The Vancouver Public Library is still not open as of today. However, you can call or email questions and access the regular online collection of periodicals, e-books, and audio books.
Many online historical resources are also still available including directories, some fire insurance maps, some early building permits, and photos.
Archives may have online resources such as file lists available, as usual. These allow you to do as much preliminary research at home as possible so that when you can get to the actual site, you can make the most of your time and immediately begin to look at original records.
The City of Vancouver Archives is restricting the number of researchers permitted into the reading room at this time, and an appointment is required.
I called this week and the earliest appointment I could get was for May 21.
Here are their current research room restrictions:
· Abide by 2 meter physical distancing.We have placed yellow strips on our flooring to help mark spacing requirements for both staff and patrons.
· Handwashing can be maintained through the Archives’ public washrooms and we also provide hand sanitizer in the Reading Room.
· Please wear a mask. You are welcome to bring your own or we can provide one for you. Reference staff will also be wearing masks.
· Stay at home if you’re sick or showing symptoms. Appointments can be rescheduled for a future date. We will refuse service to anyone displaying symptoms.