Finding What You Need in BCRDH

You can search or browse the collections in BCRDH. 

Having trouble finding what you’re looking for? Please contact us.

Browsing down

Browsing down lets you start at the top, and work your way down into more specific categories.

The Browse tab is located at the top right corner of the site.

BCRDH is organized regionally, in two parent collections: Digitized Okanagan History and Kootenay Columbia Digitized History. These two portals are integrated and cross-searchable. To go down a level, click on an icon, and you’ll be directed to all the contents within.

Once you have clicked to enter a regional collection, you will see all the participating organizations. Click on one of these icons and you will be able to see all of the organization’s materials that they have made available through BCRDH.

Browsing up

You can see the context of an item by looking at the “breadcrumbs”.

Clicking here will take you back up in the structure, and you can see the containing collection and its description as well as the other items that are in the collection.

All items have a description that tells you about that item’s “membership.” You can click on this to go up one level.

Browsing side to side

While browsing BCRDH you may notice that in the description, some things are hyperlinked.

Screenshot of the metadata for the object SICA_01_MI_032_ed.tif. In the subject field there is the linked term "Parades & processions"

If you click on one of these links, you’ll be taken to a list of items that are similar -- same source, same creator, same subject, or same location.


Typing in one or more keywords into basic search will take you to a list of results that match that keyword. UBC Library has prepared a number of research guides with tips that will work on the BCRDH portal. Keep in mind:

  • You can search a phrase by putting it in “quotation marks”
  • Photographs are described to match what they depict
  • Combining search with some “side-to-side” browsing can give more results
  • Use the facets to narrow your results (see below)

If you’re having trouble finding what you need, let us know.

For more tips on searching, see:


After typing in a keyword, you’ll get a list of results. On the lefthand side of the page is a box that will allow you to narrow your results by “facet” if you have too many results. For some facets, you will need to select "show more" to see all your options. Clicking on a facet will refresh your search result page to include only the selected “facet.” You can also click on the (-) beside the link, and the search result page will refresh to exclude those results. You can remove these filters by clicking the (x) beside the link at the top of the search page.

Screenshot of BCRDH results for the subject term 'Parades & processions.'


Drag the arrows to the date range you are looking for, or, enter an exact date range. To use this feature, first select "show" beside the "Specify date range" option.

Then click "filter" button to refresh your search results


Expand the list, and select a specific repository.


Limit your results according to type, such as photograph or newspaper.

How archives are organized

BCRDH contains archives, as well as photograph collections and some historical publications and newspapers. Archives are kept together as a group based on their common point of origin (person, organization) and often arranged as a number of nesting, hierarchical collections.

Since we do apply subject headings and provide a narrative description for uploaded items whenever possible, archives can also be discovered by subject or keyword when that matches the description applied to the item in BCRDH. You may need to “browse up” and “browse down” to understand more about an item, and how it fits into an archival collection.

Need help?

Get in touch with us, or with the source repository. The extent of what’s been digitized very often does not represent the full holdings of a repository; community archives hold a depth of expertise that can help connect you with the resources you need.