Title and statement of responsibility area
W.G. Burch fonds
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- Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the fonds.
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Dates of creation area
- Burch, W.G.
Physical description area
1.1 m of textual records and other material
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Archival description area
Name of creator
William Gerald Burch, known as Gerry Burch, was born on August 2, 1923. The son of a forest ranger, he grew up in Moyie, BC, and Trail, BC. After his secondary education, he went to study forestry at the University of British Columbia. His studies were interrupted by conscription into the navy in 1942, when he served as a sub-lieutenant on HMCS Eyebright. In 1945, he was demobilized and returned to his studies at UBC. He spent his university summers working for British Columbia Forest Products, which became his employer for most of his career. Burch was appointed Chief Forester in 1968, and Vice President of Timberlands and Forestry in 1976. He was also active in professional associations, serving for a time as President of the Canadian Institute of Forestry. Burch has been awarded with such distinctions as the Distinguished Forester Award and the Achievement Award from the Canadian Institute of Forestry. After retirement from BC Forest Products in 1988, Burch remained active in forestry as a consultant for Stewart & Ewing Ltd., as an adjunct faculty member at UBC in the faculty of forestry, and by collecting research, writing papers and giving speeches. Burch was the director of The Working Forest of British Columbia, a book published by I.K. Barber in 1995. Burch’s autobiography, Still Counting the Rings, was published in 2006.
Except for the materials in the Working Forest series, the fonds was donated in several accruals to the Vancouver City Archives between 2001 and 2005 by W.G. Burch, and subsequently transferred to Rare Books and Special Collections at the UBC Library in 2006.
The materials in the Working Forest series were held by the Forest Alliance until they were transferred to Vancouver City Archives by Burch in 2001. They were included with the transfer of the rest of the W. G. Burch fonds to Rare Books and Special Collections at the UBC Library in 2006.
Scope and content
Many of the records in this fonds were used in relation to Burch’s autobiography, and therefore pertain to his childhood, education, navy service, and largely to his career as a forester. These records include genealogical research materials, photographs, educational certificates, navy service records, and textual documentation of his career and interests in forestry. It also reflects other projects undertaken by Burch, such as the Working Forest publication, a history of South Vancouver Island, as well as papers, research, correspondence, and speeches. The fonds is divided into four series: Biographical materials; Papers, speeches and correspondence; British Columbia Forest Products; South Vancouver Island history; and The Working Forest project.
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Photograph Identifier: BC-2122
Includes ca. 770 photographs, ca. 4500 slides, ca. 3500 negatives, 10 cm of contact sheets, 3 maps, 10 compact discs and 2 cassette tapes