Fonds RBSC-ARC-1026 - Dave Barrett fonds

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Dave Barrett fonds

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

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Physical description

6.08 m of textual records and other materials

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Name of creator

Biographical history

David (Dave) Barrett was born on October 2, 1930 in Vancouver, BC. He was the youngest child in a family of three children born to Samuel and Rose (nee Hyatt) Barrett. He completed his primary education in Vancouver and graduated, in 1948, from Britannia High School. Barrett then earned his Bachelor of Arts, with a major in philosophy, from Seattle University in 1953. In 1956, Barrett completed the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work which was conferred on him by St . Louis University. The same university awarded him an Honourary Doctorate of Philosophy in 1974. In the course of completing his education, Dave Barrett married Shirley Hackman in 1953. Together they have three children : Dan, Joe, and Jane.
In 1960, Dave joined the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and in September of that same year, he was elected as an MLA to the BC Legislature for the Dewdney Riding . Dave was re-elected as an MLA in 1963, 1966, and 1969. In 1970, Dave Barrett became the leader of the BC provincial NDP party, taking over from Thomas Berger and, at the same time, he became the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Dave Barrett lead the NDP to victory in 1972 becoming the first NDP premier in BC. The NDP were defeated in 1975, after which Barrett stayed on as leader of the NDP until 1983. He retired from the legislature in 1984.
In June of 1984 Dave Barrett signed a contract with radio station CJOR to do his own radio show. Additionally, Barrett began to do weekly interviews for CKVU and he established Barrett Communications Ltd. Dave Barrett left CJOR in January of 1987 after which he engaged in a number of activities such as writing an autobiography, and lecturing at universities such as Harvard and McGill. Dave Barrett returned to politics in 1988 when he was elected MP for the Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca district. He remained an MP until 1993 when he ran unsuccessfully for the leadership of the NDP, after which he retired from political life.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created and accumulated by Dave Barrett relating to his personal, political, and professional life. Within the fonds there are appointment books recording information about Dave Barrett's private and political life, personal records, records created by Dave Barrett in the course of creating his autobiography, records created during Mr . Barrett's political career, and records created during Dave Barrett' s work with CJOR.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Dave Barrett donated the records directly to Special Collections at the University of British Columbia in 1999.


Wherever the creator has arranged and maintained the records prior to
deposit, this arrangement has been maintained and title headings have been kept . The records that were not organized by the creator have been organized so as to facilitate access and this is noted in the series and subseries descriptions.

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Restrictions on access

One series is restricted. Manuscript records relating to Barrett’s
1998 autobiography have been restricted for thirty years following original publication. Access may be granted earlier if Mr. Barrett or his wife, Shirley Barrett, gives permission or if both pass away before the 30 years end.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Available at the file list.

Associated materials

Other records created by Dave Barrett can be found at the Provincial Archives of B.C.

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Further accruals are expected.

General note

Photograph identifier: BC-1964

Physical description

331 photographs
16 videocassettes
12 audiocassettes

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