Title and statement of responsibility area
John Keenlyside Legal Research Collection
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- Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
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1858-1900, 1923-1950. (Creation)
Physical description area
1.75m of textual records
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Archival description area
The provenance of this collection starts with a fire in the Supreme Court in Victoria in the mid 1890s. In a rush to evacuate the records, a portion went to the British Columbia Provincial Archives and the other portion was removed and held by Justice Sir Henry Crease and his descendants until about 1950. The documents were then acquired by Dr. Joseph Pearce (Dominion Astrophysicist in Victoria) who had it administered by the well-known collector Gerald Wellburn after Pearce became critically ill. Wellburn sold the entire collection to a Vancouver stamp dealer in 1960 where it sat in a downtown vault of a trust company until 1991 when Keenlyside purchased it.
Rare Books and Special Collections acquired the Augustus Pemberton subseries from John Keenlyside on February 26, 2008 and the Inferior Court of Civil Justice subseries from Keenlyside December 30, 2008. Subsequent accruals acquired between 2009 and 2019 were also collected by John Keenlyside.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of legal documents collected by John Keenlyside over the last thirty five years. The documents give insight into the formation of British Columbia's legal system when it consisted of two colonies. The legal records (including writs, testimony, judgements, and other court documents) were produced by judges, magistrates, defendants, claimants, and other relevant parties. Some figures of historical significance who created legal records in this fonds are the first judge in BC, the first Attorney General, and BC's earliest clergy, businessmen, and other prominent figures from the colonial period.
This fonds also consists of documents related to the British Columbia Provincial Police force and various Japanese-Canadian and civil rights groups.
Immediate source of acquisition
Accrual transferred from John Keenlyside in two portions in October and December of 2009.
Another accrual acquired from John Keenlyside in December 2010.
A third accrual was acquired from John Keenlyside in December 2013.
A fourth accrual was acquired from John Keenlyside in December 2018.
A fifth accrual was acquired from John Keenlyside in December 2019.
Material was collected and arranged by John Keenlyside.
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Description revised by Natalie Trapuzzano in February 2020 to accommodate 2019 accrual.