Fonds RBSC-ARC-1120 - Frank Charnley fonds

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Frank Charnley fonds

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

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  • 1916-1976 (Creation)

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Physical description

37 cm of textual records
12 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Frank Charnley was born on July 15, 1895 in Rishton, England. He graduated from King Edward High School in Vancouver, BC. On August 12, 1915 he enlisted in World War I and served as a signaller until he was wounded at Ypres. After the war, Frank attended the University of British Columbia (UBC) where he graduated in 1924 with a Bachelor of Science. He was fluent in both English and French. Frank married Beatrice Chadwick in 1926 in Vancouver; they had two daughters, Beth and Frances. He worked for the BC Sugar Refinery and later the Federal Department of Fisheries in Prince Rupert and Vancouver as Chief Research Chemist. Frank retired from the Department of Fisheries in the 1950s and moved to Barnston Island, BC where he built a home on 50 acres he had inherited from his father. At Barnston Island, Frank took part in sheep ranching and beekeeping in addition to working on mathematical projects and creative writing. Beth died at the age of 32 (of jaundice) in 1960 and Beatrice died in 1964. Sometime after 1974, Charnley moved from Barnston Island back to Vancouver where he lived until his death in 1978.

Custodial history

Frank Charnley's records were recovered from Barnston Island by his son-in-law, Charles Christopherson, and sent to UBC’s Special Collections Division in 1982 for safekeeping. The records were officially gifted to UBC Library by Charnley's daughter in 1987 along with an additional accrual of records.

Scope and content

Fonds illustrates Frank Charnley's career and interests as a mathematician, sheep rancher, beekeeper and writer, as well as records relating to his family, predominately from his retirement years. Photographs showcase Charnley at his Barnston Island home, presumably in the 1960s. Fonds is organized into the following series: Correspondence; Mathematical notes; Creative writing; Beekeeping records; Sheep ranching records; Miscellaneous records; Photographs; University records; and Reports authored by Frank Charnley.

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It is uncertain whether or not original order was preserved by the donor or receiving archivist. The intellectual and physical arrangement of the records recorded in the original 1986 inventory has not been changed to date. The 1986 inventory consisted of box lists arranged primarily by subject headings. Series and file titles were renamed in the creation of this finding aid to adhere to the Rules for Archival Description.

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • German

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Literary rights retained by Frances Christopherson until her death at which time they revert to UBC.

Finding aids

File list available. Original finding aid re-described according to the Rules for Archival Description (RAD) in 2009 by students from the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS), UBC.

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No further accruals are expected.

General note

Biographical information supplied by Charles Christopherson in a letter addressed to Special Collections in 1982.

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