William M. Reid fonds [technical drawings, textual records, objects] / William M. Reid

Fonds number
1953-1970, predominant 1958-1968
Physical description
  • 33.25 cm of textual records
  • 136 ship plans : 133 diazo, 2 photocopies, 1 ink on tracing paper
  • 5 drawing stencils
Administrative history / Biographical sketch

Born in Vancouver on May 30, 1917, to Myles Reid of Nova Scotia and Ivy Reid (nee Daniels) of New Brunswick, William Myles Reid worked as a draftsman during the 1940s and 1950s for Sterling Shipyards and B.C. Packers. In 1945 Reid was elected and served as the Honourable Measurer for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. In 1959 he opened his own business at the foot of Cardero Street as a naval architect specializing in designs for coastal working vessels: fish boats, tugs, towboats, and patrol craft. Reid continued his work as a naval architect until 1970. Reid passed away on January 14, 1971. He was predeceased by his wife, Vera S. Reid.

A large portion of his drawings can be found at the City of Vancouver Archives.


Scope & content

This fonds primarily consists of records created by William M. Reid and related to projects he completed while operating his business as a naval architect. Records are divided into four series and comprise of copies of ship plans, mostly created by Reid; correspondence with clients, the Steamship Inspection Service, suppliers, and shipyards; drafts and final copies of vessel reports and tests; rough notes; draft, office, and master copies of building specifications; research on vessels; a compilation of publications about Reid's designs; and a paper by Reid. Many records are undated. Although those that are dated were created between 1953 and 1970, and more predominately between 1958 to 1970: the years in which Reid operated his business. Records relate to the vessels Reid designed for clients primarily in British Columbia, but also some clients in other parts of Canada like Newfoundland, as well as the United States of America, and Panama.

The title of each series is based on its contents. Series are in received order. The titling and arrangement of files within series 1, 2, and 4 is based on vessel type, name, and/or client. The titling and arrangement of series 3 is based on function and content.


Upon donation, records were loose in two boxes. It is unknown if the received order is the original order of the creator or the order of the donor. Within the boxes, select items were grouped together by elastics, paper clips, staples, and labelled envelopes and folders. Some items were also folded together. The received order of these items was maintained and when applicable, annotations were used for the titling of files. The received order of the series in the fonds was maintained. Files and items within series 1 completely maintain received order, while files and items within series' 2-4 partially maintain received order. Some files in series' 2 and 4 are rearranged by vessel or project, while some files in series 3 were rearranged by function and content.

Related materials

Plans for 140 vessels originally donated to the Vancouver Maritime Museum were transferred to the City of Vancouver Archives in 1984 as the William M. Reid fonds (AM858).

Items from the VMM Ship Plan Collection, Recreational Series (VMM50.01): 2007.5000.0047, 2007.5000.0045, 2007.5000.0046, 2007.5000.0044, 2007.5000.0048.

Reproductions: Copyright unknown. Please contact the Archivist for more information.