Fonds RBSC-ARC-1171 - Henry Doyle fonds

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Henry Doyle fonds

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1.25 m of textual records and other materials.

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Biographical history

Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Henry Doyle moved with his family to San Francisco in 1875 where his father established the fish supply firm of Henry Doyle and Company. In 1890 the younger Doyle was sent to British Columbia on a mission for his father's firm. In 1895 he became manager of the new Doyle Fishing Company (Canadian Division) in Vancouver. After the death of his father in 1898, Doyle became general manager of the entire company. He was appointed as the first manager of the British Columbia Packers' Association in 1902. Doyle's career in the industry spanned over sixty years, and included positions such as President and General Manager of Skeena River Commercial Company, Limited (beginning 1904), Managing Director of the Fort Nelson Canning and Salting Company (1905), co-operator of the Lighthouse Cannery at Steveston and the Royal Packing Company (beginning 1906), owner of the Mill Bay Cannery and the Namu and Kimsquit canneries (1908-1916), part-owner of Draney Fisheries Ltd. (beginning 1912), and part-owner of the Winch-Doyle Northern B.C. Fisheries (1916-1923). Doyle was also involved with fisheries committees, including the Select Standing Committee on Marine and Fisheries and the Parliamentary Fisheries Committee in the early 1920s. In 1948 Doyle developed an interest in the incursion of hydro-electric dams into sockeye spawning areas. He completed his manuscript Rise and Decline of the Pacific Salmon Fisheries in 1957.

Custodial history

Materials acquired in May 2022 were previously in the custody of Janet (Doyle) Sheehy, a granddaughter of Henry Doyle.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records pertaining to the Pacific fishery industry. It includes Doyle's manuscript of Rise and Decline of the Pacific Salmon Fisheries, correspondence, thirty volumes of notebooks, legal documents, notes, reports, speeches, and clippings. The fonds also includes numerous photographs, statistics on B.C. companies and canneries, printed material, a scrapbook, maps and information about the B.C. Canners' Association, B.C. Packers' Association, the Select Standing Committee on Marine and Fisheries, and the Parliamentary Fisheries Committee.

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The fonds was donated to the University of British Columbia Library circa 1960, prior to Doyle's death. Additional materials were donated in May 2022 by Sheila McCarthy, a relative of Henry Doyle.


The material has been arranged several times, resulting in the loss of any original order that may have existed. The present arrangement is based upon the series order devised by Judy Coombs in 1971 and 1973. Materials from the May 2022 were incorporated as follows: Files 13-01 to 13-04 were added to the Subseries: Biographical Material; File 13-05 was added to the Subseries: Outgoing Correspondence; File 13-06 was added to the Series: Legal Documents.

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The University of Washington Library holds Henry Doyle correspondence, documents, and scrapbooks concerning the British Columbia salmon fishery, 1877-1935.


No further accruals are expected.

Physical description

1.25 m of textual records
95 photographs
25 maps
9 charts
1 plan

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Finding aid created by Melanie Hardbattle in August 2002 and updated by Catherine Hall in August 2023.

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