Fonds RBSC-ARC-1323 - Gary Lauk fonds

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Gary Lauk fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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

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Physical description

12.2 m of textual records
223 photographs

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Name of creator

(1940 - 2022)

Biographical history

Gary Vernon Lauk was born on September 7, 1940 in Vancouver, BC. He is the son of Edward Lauk. Lauk graduated from UBC Law School in 1966, and he went on to practice criminal law until he was elected to the B.C. Legislature in 1972 as a member of the New Democratic Party party, representing the Vancouver Centre riding. Lauk was re-elected in 1975, 1979 and 1983.

In 1973, Lauk became Minister of Economic Development and created the B.C. Development Corporation. In 1975, he was appointed Minister of Mines and Petroleum Resources. After the NDP lost the election in 1975, Lauk was appointed as the Education Critic, a role he held from 1975 to 1982. In 1986, Lauk stepped down to allow Mike Harcourt, the new leader of the NDP, to be elected to the assembly.

Since 1986, Lauk has practiced as a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver. He has also sat on the board of the Trial Lawyers Association of BC, the Trial Lawyers Association of America, and on the Board of Corpus Christi College at UBC.

Custodial history

In early 1976, after the NDP lost the provincial election, Lauk removed his papers to his home. He donated them to the Special Collections Division, (now called Rare Books and Special Collections) of the University of British Columbia. He subsequently donated a second set of his government records in November of 1986, as he had retired from politics in 1985.

Scope and content

The records of Gary Lauk and his Executive Assistants Eric Green and Albert Mellul, are described in this finding aid. They were created in the course of the operations of the Minister's Office during the New Democratic Party (NDP) administration of government. The majority of the material pertains to Lauk's term of office as the Minister of Economic Development (1973-75), Minister of Mines and Petroleum Resources (October - December, 1975), and as Education Critic (1976-1982). Some material predates Lauk's appointment and relates to his responsibilities as a MLA.

Much of the material given in the initial donation deals with the direction given to the Department of Economic Development in its activities of promoting the economic development and diversification of BC while much of the material in the subsequent donation deals with the Education sector in BC from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s. Other records deal with the Lauk's communications with the British Columbia Cabinet and with the NDP party of Canada. A smaller amount of material relates to Lauk's role as a member of the NDP Caucus and the MLA for Vancouver Centre and a few files are of a personal nature.

The records have been arranged into three series: MLA for the Governing Party; Executive assistant to Lauk; and MLA for the Official Opposition Party. Within the first series are subseries of government department and subject files, as well as outgoing correspondence and Printed reference material. In addition, a subseries titled General government files, has been created of the documents that accumulated unfiled, while Lauk was Minister of Mines and during the provincial election.

The Executive Assistant to Lauk series contains two subseries: Subject files and Outgoing correspondence.

The MLA for the Official Opposition Party series contains Lauk's records that he acquired and/or accumulated during the time period from 1976-1985. The series contains four subseries including Education Critic; Subject files; Correspondence; and General government files.

The records largely consist of typewritten documents, such as correspondence, memoranda, briefings, minutes and itineraries. The records also contain printed materials such as press kits, new releases, brochures, newsletters, and newsclippings. Also included are a substantial amount of published and unpublished studies, reports, and proposals produced by the Department of Economic Development or by the other government departments and non-governmental agencies. The non-textual materials include an album of colour photoprints of the BC government's delegation trip to Japan, which Lauk was a part of, as well as a number of loose colour and black and white photoprints.

The fonds also contains correspondence files of Leo Nimsick (1972-1973), Lauk's predecessor as Minister of Mines and Petroleum. Lauk acquired these papers when he was appointed Minister.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Material from Gary Lauk's time as NDP Member of Parliament from 1973 to 1975 was first transferred by Lauk on June 11, 1977 and officially gifted in November, 1977. A subsequent accrual, covering the years of 1976-1985, was received in 1986.


The RAD-compliant description for the initial donation capturing the years of 1973-75 was prepared by Ian Burnett and Jane Parkinson in November, 1990. The finding aid was updated to include the records donated in the 1986 accrual by Katie Sloan in 2015.

In August 2015, some of the records obtained in the original donation were reexamined and reappraised. It was determined that the contents in Box 30, which originally contained the records of the Oversized volumes subseries within the Executive Assistant to Lauk series, would be better situated within another series, or deaccessioned altogether. The subseries was thus removed from the finding aid. As a result of this removal, there is no longer a box 30 in the fonds.

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Gary Lauk retains the literary rights to the papers he personally created.

Finding aids

Inventory available for material created from 1972 to 1975. PDF document attached.

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Further accruals are not expected.

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