Fonds RBSC-ARC-1004 - A. Alexis Alvey fonds

Finding aid

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

A. Alexis Alvey fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds.

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  • 1940-1985 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

4.30 m of textual records
1,370 photographs

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Name of creator


Biographical history

A. Alexis Alvey was born in Seattle, Washington on November 22, 1903. She attended McMaster University in Hamilton (1932-33). Following University, she was employed as a special technician in charge of photography at the University of Toronto's School of Medicine. Alvey also helped organize the business women's company of the Toronto Red Cross Transport Corps and commanded it for two years, and served as lecturer to the entire Transport Corps for Military Law, Map Reading, and Military and Naval insignia. In 1942, the Womens Royal Canadian Naval Service (W.R.C.N.S., Wrens) selected Alvey for its first class for training in Ottawa. Having passed a selection board to become one of the first commissioned officers, Dorothy Isherwood, W.R.C.N.S., appointed Alvey acting Chief Petty Officer Master-at-Arms. Her other assignments included duty as Deputy Unit Officer H.M.C.S. Bytown (Ottawa), duty with the Commanding Officer Pacific Coast H.M.C.S. Burrard (Vancouver), assignment as Unit Officer, Lieutenant H.M.C.S. Bytown, and Unit Officer to H.M.C.S. Stadacona (Halifax). Following her career with the W.R.C.N.S., Alvey rejoined University of Toronto in 1945. Eventually, Alvey returned to Seattle to work for the University of Washington Libraries as an acquisitions technician, but retired in 1969. Alvey died on June 5, 1996. Throughout her life, Alvey took special care to collect and preserve memorabilia related to the activities of the W.R.C.N.S. She regularly accepted donations from former W.R.C.N.S. to aid her documentary activities.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of scrapbooks, correspondence, logs, photographs and subject files relating to Alveys career, and the activities of the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service. The fonds also includes the scrapbooks of former W.R.C.N.S., Grace Brodie and Dorothy Isherwood. The fonds divides into seven series: Subject Files - 1940-1985, Scrapbooks 1942-1977, Canadian Navy, Logs - 1943-1944, Photographs and posters - [ca.1940?]-1958, Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service - 1942-1984, WRCNS Reunions - 1950-1985.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The University of British Columbia Library Special Collections received materials from Ms. Alvey on October 23, 1985.


Arranged According to Original Order.

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No restrictions on access.

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Finding aids

Associated materials

Please see Assembling a Llife: The (auto) biography of Alexis Amelia Alvey, 1942-1945 by Nancy Louise Olson (Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 1999) for further biographical information on Alvey.
Please see, The girls of the King's Navy by Rosamond Greer – a former W.R.C.N.S. troop -- (Victoria, B.C., Canada : Sono Nis Press, 1983) for general information on the W.R.C.N.S.

Related materials


Accruals made in 1992 and 1997. No further accruals expected.

General note

Original subject titles have been preserved.

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Photograph Identifier: BC-2125

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