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Archival description
With digital objects
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Derek Lukin Johnston autograph collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1292
  • Fonds
  • [1759-1980]

The collection consists of letters signed by prominent historical figures including Napoleon I, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli, John Jellicoe, Robert Peel, William Pitt, August-Norbert Morin, and the Duke of Wellington.

Thomas Brayshaw fonds

  • RBSC-ARC-1048
  • Fonds
  • 1762-1990, predominant 1907-1967

The fonds consists primarily of Thomas Brayshaw’s fishing diaries (1932-1964) and correspondence, manuscripts, and subject files (1907-1967). This is largely reflective of Brayshaw’s work and related interests. The fonds also contains a collection of documents and research related to the Brayshaw family, containing genealogical research, and family photographs, personal records and artefacts. This includes some personal records of Thomas Brayshaw, notably war service records, and some photographs and fishing flies related to his work and interests.

Brayshaw, Thomas

Angeli-Dennis collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1009
  • Fonds
  • ca.1803-1964

The Angeli-Dennis collection consists of the diaries (1855-1913), manuscripts, financial records and correspondence of William Michael Rossetti. Also included are the manuscripts, correspondence and financial records of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1842-1882), Christina Georgina Rossetti (1853-1894), Ford Madox Brown (1852-1993), Gabriele Rossetti and other members of the Rossetti family. In addition, the collection includes materials of Robert Browning, Thomas Landseer, William North, Algernon Swinburne and James Thomson.

Romani research collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1224
  • Collection
  • 1834-1967

The collection consists of correspondence, field notes and printed material relating to the Romani people and essays and vocabulary manuscripts about the Romani of Washington State.

Doukhobor research collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1169
  • Fonds
  • 1839-1980

The collection consists of four parts: (1) photocopied and original newsletters, pamphlets, publications, clippings and printed material in general; (2) manuscript collections and personal papers (most copied from original material held elsewhere); (3) microfilms; and, (4) photographs. The manuscript files include the papers or records of Koozma John Tarasoff, Union of Doukhobors of Canada, Consultative Committee on Doukhobors, Stefan Sorokin, W.A. Makaseyoff, Peter V. Verigin, John G. Bondoreff, Christian Community and Brotherhood of Reformed Doukhobors, Peter Maloff, Alex Popoff, Eli Popoff, James Mavor, David Henderson, Claude Fisher, Peter Brock and Ivan Swetlishnoff. All the material relates to the history and activities of Doukhobors throughout the world as well as in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

Penkill collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1433
  • Fonds
  • 1852-1895

The Penkill collection consists of records of William Bell Scott, Alice Boyd and Margaret Courtenay. The collection includes five hundred letters from Scott to Alice Boyd, and a large number of letters to Scott and Boyd from other artists and writers. Also in the collection are the letters from Arthur Hughes and letters concerning the 1872 illness of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The collection also includes the diaries of W.B. Scott, Alice Boyd and Margaret Courtenay.

Stephen C. Lunsford collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1788
  • Collection
  • 1858- 1870

This collection consists of materials related to early British Columbia history in the years when BC was still a British colony, prior to joining Canada in 1871. The collection consists of colonial government documents (proclamations, messages, acts, and rules and regulations) effecting the daily life of British Columbians. These include real estate titles, road works, railways, local, legal and financial matters, labour, and infrastructure. The collection includes proclamations by James Douglas, who was the first governor of BC and served from 1858-1864.

United States Civil War collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1570
  • Fonds
  • 1860-1873

The collection consists of five letters (1863-1871); a diary belonging to Charles O. Eaton of Boston; a list of clothing and other garrison camp equipment of Lt. William McKinley, Jr.; two broadsides; a printed report of a meeting of the citizens of Bobb County, Georgia (1860); a publication of the Manchester Union and Emancipation Society; a lock of Mrs. Robert E. Lee's hair and an engraving of General Ulysses S. Grant and family.

British Columbia historical postcard and photograph albums collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1059
  • Fonds
  • [ca. 1860-1939], predominant [ca. 1900]-1921

The collection consists of ninety-one albums of postcards and photographs pertaining to views and scenes mainly in British Columbia, but also including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and the Yukon as well as Europe. The views of British Columbia include views of the Rocky Mountains, Vancouver, Victoria, Mayne Island, and Buttle Lake (pre-1911) as well as those of logging (Capilano Timber Co., 1917-1920), mining (Granby Consolidated Mining, Smelting and Power Co. and Consolidated Cariboo Hydraulic Mining Co.) railways (Canadian Pacific Railway, Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway, and Great Northern Railway) and shipping. In addition, there are postcards and photographs of the Hudson's Bay Company Kamchatka Venture, 1921, U.S. Civil War portraits and New Zealand shipping.

Royal Fisk fonds

  • RBSC-ARC-1702
  • Fonds
  • 1862-1868

Fonds consists of 947 letters, bills of exchange, and telegrams sent from Victoria-area merchants to Royal Fisk, a forwarding and shipping agent in San Francisco, during the Cariboo Gold Rush. Letters provide insight into the effect of the Cariboo Gold Rush on trade and commerce in Victoria at the time. Topics covered in the letters include ordering goods; remitting cash, gold and drafts; advising of market prices; conditions in the mines of Victoria and Puget Sound; providing news of latest gold discoveries, shipping activity, finances, and mergers or dissolutions; business alliances; establishing express services; arrival of the first telegraph; et al.

Fisk, Royal

John Cooper Robinson collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1757
  • Collection
  • [1870] – [1955]

Fonds consists of over 4,600 photographic prints, negatives, glass lantern slides, and postcards, the majority of which were either taken or collected by Robinson. Many of the photographs relate to Robinson’s work as an Anglican missionary in Japan in the 1890’s through the 1920’s. These photographs document a unique time in the Japan’s history: the Meiji-Taisho period when the country was transitioning away from being a feudal society and beginning to open up to the West. This collection is one of the few comprehensive records of this time period. Subject matter of the photographs includes everyday life, work, and scenery in Japan, as well as the lives and works of missionaries.

Also included in the collection are photographs from Canada and the Robinson family’s travels around the world, as well as reproductions of missionary and religious texts or graphics.

While many of the photographs were taken by Robinson, others were taken by his children, professional photographers, or unidentified individuals.

Robinson, John Cooper

Lilian Bland fonds

  • RBSC-ARC-1792
  • Fonds
  • ca. 1875 - 1935

The fonds consists of 1,398 glass plate negatives, glass lantern slides, celluloid prints and celluloid negatives, the majority of which were taken by Lilian Bland. The photographs reflect the varied and unique life of Lilian Bland and her family. The fonds includes several photographs of the Mayfly, the bi-plane Lilian famously designed, constructed, and flew. Other photographic subjects include horse-riding and horse-racing, Lilian's fathers' artwork, her husbands' travels in China, family photographs, birds and bird-watching, her travels in Europe, California, and British Columbia, and photographs documenting her years spent as a settler living on the Quatsino Sound in Vancouver Island and in California with her family.
Other record types in the fonds include Lilian Bland’s unpublished memoir, and the original enclosures for the photographs including boxes, envelopes, and box lists.
The finding aid for the fonds, attached as a PDF, includes a spreadsheet of images as they were received upon donation to Rare Books and Special Collections. A brief description created by the donor is available for each image in the finding aid.

Bland, Lilian Emily

Gilean Douglas Fonds

  • RBSC-ARC-1168
  • Fonds
  • ca. 1880 - 1993

The fonds consists of the personal records of Gilean Douglas which were produced and received during her personal and literary activities . It includes manuscripts of poems, articles, short fiction and books ; material generated and collected by Douglas during her involvement with various organizations ; notes and drafts of various writings ; research materials ; an extensive professional, fan and personal correspondence; financial records ; legal records ; lists and inventories ; records of publication ; clippings. There are journals and engagement books dating from 1911, notebooks and address books, and scrapbooks containing clippings of Douglas' published articles and poems . There are also scrapbooks and correspondence generated by her parents dating back to the 1880s. There is a notable gap in records dating from 1929 to 1932.

Photographic records date from the 1890s to the I990sand include prints, framed portraits, slides, negatives and film strips. A large assortment of photos documents her family and childhood. Douglas started taking photographs as a child. By her early twenties she was an accomplished photographer, using her own pictures to illustrate her writings. Photographs taken by her during the 1920s through the early 1940s are for the most part found in the albums. Pictures taken in the 1950s and 1960s fall into 3 main categories : black & white photos of the B .C. coast taken during her trips on the boats of the Columbia Coast Mission, color and black & white photos of communities in B .C. and eastern Canada taken during her trips for the W.I ., and pictures of Channel Rock . Unfortunately the slides and pictures taken on WI trips are unlabelled and for the most part can only be identified as to general location and date. During the 1970s and 1980s the photographs are almost exclusively of Channel Rock. A representative sample of these is included in this series ; others may be found at the Cortes Museum and Archives.

Aside from Douglas' own photographs, there are several interesting groups of other people's pictures in this collection: an album with pictures of overseas service during World War I, a group of labelled photographs of Baffin Island, Pangirtung, etc. taken in 1926/27 by an RCMP officer, and photographs from a trip around the world on a freighter in 1919.

The records offer insight into Douglas' personal history and literary development . They document, in words and pictures, an unusual and interesting life which began at the turn of the twentieth century.

Douglas, Gilean

Telecommunications Workers Union research collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1550
  • Fonds
  • 1880-1982

The collection consists of records covering the period from the granting of the Victoria and Esquimalt Telephone Company charter in 1880 to 1982 when B.C. Telephone Company employees were laid off without notice. It includes union minutes, arbitration details, correspondence, press clippings, constitutions, agreements, and financial reports relating to the Telecommunications Workers Union of B.C.

Mabel E. Jordon fonds

  • RBSC-ARC-1294
  • Fonds
  • [ca. 1883]-1972

The collection consists of typescripts, handwritten notes, clippings, correspondence, maps, receipts, postcards, pamphlets, and photographs created or accumulated by Mabel E. Jordon between 1955 and 1972 during the research and publication of her article, "Kootenay Reclamation and Colonization Scheme and William Adolph Baillie-Grohman" (ca. 1883-1972); photocopies of the typescript "Old Days on the Pacific Coast," by W.A. Baillie-Grohman and correspondence regarding its publication (1910-1971); correspondence and photographs regarding Sir Sandford Fleming (1959); typescript of the Presidential Address to the British Columbia Historical Society and photocopies of the typescript "British Columbia," written by Florence Baillie-Grohman (1968); typescript of the article, "What Might Have Been Our Fate," written by Vice Admiral H.T. Baillie-Grohman and correspondence regarding its publication (1967); correspondence and newspaper clippings pertaining to the article, "First Steamboat on Kootenay Waters" (1954-1968); photographs of the Baillie-Grohman family and the East Kootenay area (ca. 1904-1968); photograph and typescripts of articles pertaining to commemorative plaques in the Kootenay area (1957-1958); photocopy of the introduction, "The End of Old Man Fowler," written by W.A. Baillie-Grohman.

Mabel E. Jordon

Jean Sheils Research Collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1499
  • Fonds
  • 1886-1995

The research collection consists of textual records, newspaper clippings, documents, photographs, printed material, photographs, audio cassettes, and a VHS video cassette relating to the life of Arthur Evans, the On-to-Ottawa Trek Committee, the On-to-Ottawa Historical Society, and the publication, Work and Wages! . Rough drafts, research notes and material, correspondence, interviews, and Regina Riot Inquiry transcripts are part of Jean Sheils' work in co-writing Work and Wages.The On-to-Ottawa Historical Society material covers the records generated by the 1992 production of the On-to-Ottawa video, which was directed by Sara Diamond and co-produced with the Women's Labour History Project. In addition, there are files and photographs created by Jean Sheils to document the lives of Arthur "Slim" Evans and his wife, Ethel Evans between 1920 and 1944.

Sheils, Jean Evans

Olive Allen Biller collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1033
  • Collection
  • 1890 – [ca. 1950]

Collection reflects Allen’s early life in England, including artistic pursuits and hobbies such as photography, poetry and writing, as well as her later artistic works from her time in Canada. The records also document her day-to-day and family life, in both England and Canada. Textual records include journals and clippings, and graphic material includes drawings, paintings, and photographs. The collection is divided into two series: Journals and Artwork.

Biller, Olive Allen

Vagabond Club fonds

  • RBSC-ARC-1573
  • Fonds
  • 1892-1928, 1967-1968

The fonds consists of biographical material, correspondence, constitutions, lists, and financial records. It also contains printed material which includes manuscripts of poetry and prose, announcements and programmes for the Vagabond Club (1915-1921), as well as ephemera and photographs. Also included are sous-fonds relating to the Comrades Club and Charles Hill-Tout (1892-1944). Fonds includes material relating to club history created by Jackie Hooper.

Vagabond Club

Bertrand Sinclair fonds

  • RBSC-ARC-1504
  • Fonds
  • ca.1899-2001, predominate 1905-1950

Fonds consists of correspondence pertaining both to business matters and to Sinclair's writing (1905-1946), as well as personal correspondence with family and friends. Also included are manuscripts of short stories, novelettes and novels. Printed material contained in the fonds includes short stories, poetry, novelettes and novels. Fonds also contains photographs and photographic negatives, as well as log books, notebooks, maps/guidebooks, and ephemera.

Sinclair, Bertrand

Ernest E. Winch fonds

  • RBSC-ARC-1775
  • Fonds
  • 1900-1959

The fonds reflects Winch's various interests in the cause of humanity ranging from capital punishment to the protection of fur-bearing animals. The files also contain much valuable information on the activities of the C.C.F. and his role within the party. To a lesser extent, the files contain information on his earlier activities within the labour movement and events during the depression of the 1930's.

Winch, Ernest Edward

International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1280
  • Fonds
  • 1900-1945

The collection consists of minutes of the Fraser River Canners' Association (1900-1909) and the British Columbia Canners' Association (1909-1923) and records from their members' canneries: Acme, Albion, Atlas, Colonial, Celtic, Dinsmore, Great West, Imperial, Pacific Coast, Terra Nova, and Vancouver. The collection also includes 25 scrapbooks of clippings (1900-1923) and photograph albums.

Yukon Mining collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1642
  • Fonds
  • 1900-1956

The collection consists of ledgers, account books, and sales receipts of merchants in Dawson City, Yukon, during the Klondike Gold Rush as well as correspondence, purchasing records, and production records for several placer mining companies in and around Dawson City in the 1940s and 1950s. The records of Klondike-era merchants include those of Marcus Rosenthal and Company, Barrett and Hull (1901-1904), William Barrett, Klondike Thawing Machinery Company (1911-1926), Landhal's Emporium (1906), and Rook Brothers (1905-1906). Records of placer mining companies include those of Clear Creek Placers Ltd. (1941-1956), Yukon Gold Placers Ltd. and subsidiary companies (1941-1956), Canadian Placers Ltd. (1940-1941), and Spruce Creek Placers Ltd. (1941-1956).

Kustaa Ketola fonds

  • RBSC-ARC-1780
  • Fonds
  • 1904-1946

Personal and professional records of Kustaa Adolf Ketola, including personal documents, correspondence, International Woodworkers of America pamphlets, newspapers, and magazines. The personal documents include his passport and his military service pass. Correspondence consists of Christmas postcards from his family in Finland and letters from his sisters, friends, and family friends describing their lives in Finland, which provides context about the impact that World War II had upon Finland and Finnish migrants to Canada. I.W.A. pamphlets describe the values, goals, and struggles of union workers in 1940s North America. Fonds also contains small pocket calendars or planners written in Finnish and denoting important holidays, metric conversions, and information about the United States.

Ketola, Kustaa

Thomas Norris fonds

  • RBSC-ARC-1407
  • Fonds
  • [1906 - 1976]

The Norris fonds documents the legal and judicial career of the Honourable Mr. Justice Thomas G. Norris. The papers date between 1906 and 1976, with the bulk of records dating between 1930 and 1975 documenting his law practice and his years on the Supreme and Appeal Courts of British Columbia.
Part I of the fonds consists largely of correspondence and printed material, including scrapbooks relating to the Industrial Commission as well as case notes and legal papers relating to other cases, 1947 - 71, (2 meters). Owing to a previous donation of annotated transcripts of the hearings of the "Industrial Commission as to Shipping in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River System" in 1963, other material relating to the investigation of the activities of Harold Banks was donated in December, 1989. The 108 volumes and index to the hearings are catalogued (SP HE 769 A25).
Part II of the fonds consists of professional files, judicial subject files, case files, personal papers, miscellaneous papers and photographs (7 meters).
Part III of the fonds consists of professional correspondence donated by Jerry Vanson of Kelowna in 2011, as well as personal correspondence, scrapbooks, and photographs donated by Norris’ grandson, also named Thomas Norris, in 2014.

The bulk of the records in the fonds are located in Part II in the Professional Files, Judicial Subject Files, Case Files, and Personal Papers series.

The Professional Files series, including materials newly processed in 2019, consists mostly of case files generated by Norris during his years as a lawyer in Kelowna and Vancouver. Also included in this series are subject files with additional information about areas of interest. For example, Norris created several files with documentation on the Associated Fruit Growers Ltd. and other marketing boards (1927 - 49). Other interesting subjects include the Kelowna Police Inquiry (1929-30), the Japanese claim Commission (1950), Rex v. Ducharme - murder case (1950), and politics (1932-35). The ''Politics" files provide a great deal of information about Norris' Conservative party interests and the process behind the appointment of a lawyer to Queen's counsel. Additional professional files created while Norris was practicing law in Kelowna (file#663-1109) were discovered and donated in August, 1990. The file list for these materials is now located on pages 34-39 of this finding aid.
The Judicial Subject Files series in Part II documents Norris' career on the Bench and his subject interests. The files include correspondence surrounding his appointment to various levels of the judiciary, files created during his judicial career and other judicial matters. For example, files often contain judgements, cases considered, clippings and other related materials. The case of Regina vs Bob & White documents the various issues considered before a decision was handed down on aboriginal hunting and fishing rights in B.C. Also included in this series are documents relating to the St. Lawrence Seaway Inquiry. Other files include subjects of the law such as divorce, Native Indians and Legal Aid. Files also included records created about the Admiralty Court, the Supreme and Appeal Courts of British Columbia and the Yukon Territorial Courts.
The Case Files series in Part II includes court documents and notes drafted by Norris. These case files were separated from other case files by Norris probably because of personal interests and the volume of materials. Each subseries of records document a case: Buttle Lake, in Strathona Park (1951), the Vancouver Policy Inquiry (1955), B.C. Telephone's Application for rate increases (1950), Royal Commission on Energy (1958) and Gordon Wismer v. MacLean Hunter (1954). The Buttle Lake files include transcripts of hearings conducted in Courtenay and Victoria, notes and some materials related to submissions presented to the Water Comptroller. Norris represented several groups opposed to the construction of the dam at Buttle Lake. The Wismer v. MacLean-Hunter files include examinations for discovery of Blair Fraser and Gordon S. Wismer, briefs and other materials used by Norris as he represented the Attorney General of B.C., Gordon S. Wismer against MacLean-Hunter magazine in a slander and libel suit.
The Personal Papers series in Part II reflects Norris’ personal interests, and also contains business or legal materials. For example, in this series are files and correspondence relating to the Law Society of B.C., the Law Society & Yale Bar Association meeting in 1958 and arrangements for the 1952 Judge Advocate luncheon. Other files reflect upon friendships with individuals such as Hugh Keenlyside and Leon Koerner. Materials newly added to this series in 2019 contain items such as travel souvenirs, birthday messages from Norris’ friends and family, and information related to Norris’ retirement. The Army Papers subseries contains records related to the time Norris spent serving in the Canadian military in World War II. These records range from 1939 to 1959, with the bulk of the records dating between 1941 and 1945.
Further information about each of the series in Parts I, II, and III can be found in the Series Descriptions on pages 8-13 of the PDF finding aid.

Norris, Thomas Grantham

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