Collection RBSC-ARC-1811 - Jim McDowell collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Jim McDowell collection

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Collection

Reference code

RBSC-ARC-1811

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • Reproduction [201-?] (Creation)
    Creator
    McDowell, Jim

Physical description area

Physical description

2 cm of textual records
14 maps
4 oversize maps

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1934-)

Biographical history

Jim McDowell is a veteran British Columbia historian. His first career was teaching, which took him into classrooms from northern California to Seattle, New York City, and Vancouver. He taught elementary school in California and Washington, worked as an inner-city education consultant in Harlem and Brooklyn, and educated teachers at Simon Fraser University. McDowell also worked for 20 years as a freelance writer and independent reporter; he wrote hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles for Canadian and U.S. publications.

McDowell has four published books: Peace Conspiracy: The Story of Warrior-Businessman Yoshiro Fujimura (McBo, Irvine, CA 1993), a partial biography of a once obscure Japanese naval commander; Hamatsa: The Enigma of Cannibalism on the Pacific Northwest Coast (Ronsdale, Vancouver, BC 1997), an investigation of the existence of cannibalism among early Northwest Coast Native people; Father August Brabant: Saviour or Scourge? by Ronsdale, which presents a thorough, unvarnished biography of the first Catholic missionary to work on Vancouver Island during the colonial period; and Josè Maria Narvaez: The Forgotten Explorer (Arthur H. Clark, Spokane, WA 1998), the first full life story of the Spanish-Mexican navigator.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Collection consists of documents and maps that supported the findings in McDowell's book, Uncharted Waters: The Explorations of Jose Narvaez (1768-1840), published in 2015 by Ronsdale Press, Vancouver, BC.

All items in this collection are photocopies. The dates of the originals fall between 1788 and 1830. When available, information about the locations of the originals is specified in the file-level description.

From McDowell: "One of the least appreciated, but potentially most important set of historical documents in [RBSC] are those related to the overlooked Spanish navigator Jose Maria Narvaez (1768-1840), the first European mariner to explore the central and northern parts of what we now call the Salish Sea in 1791 -- one year before the famous captains Dionisio Alcala-Galiano, Cayetano Valdes y Bazan, and George Vancouver investigated the same inland sea. Although Narvaez's remarkable achievements and contributions were largely ignored, overlooked, or minimized until 1998, a more accurate assessment is emerging, and it has been supported significantly by the documentary information in [RBSC]."

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

This collection was donated to RBSC by Jim McDowell in April 2019.

Arrangement

Items have been arranged according to the numbering system provided by Jim McDowell.

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General note

Includes the following oversize maps: RBSC-ARC-1811-OS-01 to RBSC-ARC-1811-OS-04.

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Finding aid created by Ashlynn Prasad, July 2019.

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Sources

All file- and item-level titles and descriptions have been provided by Jim McDowell.

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