(File photo)

Group finds B.C. Archives collection licences costs prohibitive

Teachers asked to pay $25 per image to use on slideshows

B.C. Archives’ high licensing costs is limiting public engagement with the museum’s wealth of historical records, according to a report from the Friends of BC Archives.

“People who want to use already digitized material from the archives in a non-commercial way should not be charged a fee for that,” said Kelly Black, president of the non profit.

While digital access to archival collection is free, a teacher using a image for a classroom presentation must obtain a license from B.C. Archives for $25.

ALSO READ: One Victoria family contributed 20 per cent of Royal BC Museum’s collection

Reproduction costs and publication rights run up to $500 per file.

“Among the 13 institutions that comprise the national, provincial, and territorial archives of Canada, only four institutions charge a user fee,” the report states.

“If a private business in Victoria wants to use an image to advertise something that they’re selling, then certainly we could understand the fee would be higher,” Black said. However, he added that the B.C. Archives should take some time to reevaluate their fee structure overall.

The report recommends waiving all fees for non-commercial use of digitized items and a reevaluation of licensing fees for commercial use of digitized items within this year.

ALSO READ: Business records offer new insights into B.C.’s history

People are missing out on information because of the high costs, Black said.

When someone publishes a local history book for Langford, for example, the publishers tend to pass the licensing costs down to the author, which, for a set of ten images, can range from “hundreds if not thousands of dollars,” he added.

“Instead they choose not to use those images because they can’t afford to pay the fees, and so people later who go to read a local history book about Langford then aren’t presented with the stories that those images or materials can tell.”

ALSO READ: Free admission returns to Royal BC Museum

David Alexander, head of the Archives said the costs help generate revenue for the museum, which has to make up for 46 per cent of its operating costs from revenue and philanthropic donations.

Alexander said costs to provide reproductions and licenses are reviewed each year, and were modeled after what “similar organizations are doing across the country.”

“Next year, when we look at the fee structure again and do a survey of what are doing, we will consider the report as well,” he said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Claremont Spartans win the inaugural Senior Girls’ AAAA Basketball Island Championship

Claremont Spartans win their Feb. 15 game agains the Royal Bay Ravens 71 - 64

Sidney faces rising capital costs around RCMP building

Town staff expect RCMP model to remain ‘cost effective’ option

Campus View Elementary undergoes $4.2 million in seismic upgrades

Campus View Elementary undergoes significant seismic upgrades

Sidney company tastes sweet success with sugar kelp

Cascadia Seaweed is experiencing rapid growth after launching six months ago

North Saanich floats tougher policies for buoys and moorings near Tsehum Harbour

Municipality also considers additional collaboration with Sidney and other communities

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read