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Icelandic Archives of British Columbia fonds

  • RBSC-ARC-1756
  • Fonds
  • 1888-2016

The IABC fonds reflects the community collecting practices that the IABC undertook to preserve the history of Icelanders in British Columbia. Fonds is arranged in eight subfonds that reflect the various community organizations from which the archives originally collected.

Fonds documents the IABC’s commitment to preserving the lived experiences of its Icelandic community and is arranged into seven series that correspond to the IABC’s activities: administration and operation; providing educational programs and collecting biographies as well as written and oral histories; collecting Icelandic music; compiling a collection of Icelandic newspapers and publications; holding exhibits and events; acquiring photographic collections; and lastly acquiring collections of textual records, ephemera, and artifacts from its community.

Fonds also contains eight other subfonds of textual, photographic, audiovisual, and ephemeral material of Vancouver-based Icelandic Societies including the Sólskin Society, the Icelandic Canadian Club of British Columbia (ICC of BC), the Icelandic National League of North America (INL of NA), Icelandic Care Home Höfn Society, the Scandinavian Cultural Society (SCS), Ströndin Internet Radio, the Danish Archives, and the Icelandic Lutheran Church.

Icelandic Archives of British Columbia


Series consists of records relating to the programs that the Icelandic Archives of British Columbia (IABC) has implemented during its existence, notably its language learning program, and oral history and community biography collection program. Records related to IABC programming include: correspondence; language learning material; obituaries; personal and family histories; historical typesetting story notebooks; ephemera and newspaper clippings; and audio cassettes containing the biographies and stories of community members.

Original collections series

Series consists of the original collections acquired and preserved by the Icelandic Archives of British Columbia (IABC) during its existence.

Series consists of thirteen subseries, which correspond to the creators of the records or the research initiatives surrounding the creation of the records: the Emil Bjarnason collection, Ester Bridge collection, Magnus Eliason collection, Frances Hanson collection, Dora Hatton collection, Keith Hoff collection, Helga Howardson collection, Guðrun Johnson collection, and Lillian Sumarlidason collection, as well as the Point Roberts collection, and the New Iceland Research collection.


Series primarily consists of photographs taken or collected by the Icelandic Archives of British Columbia (IABC). Photographs document events, exhibits, and research initiatives, and some photographs are previous collections acquired by the IABC during its existence.

Notable collections are photographs documenting Sunnybrook (File 46-11, including original collections by Edna Proctor, Dorothea Calverley, Thora Howell, Doug Palsson, Lucile Palsson, and Carol Greenhalgh); photographs taken by the curator of the IABC, Robert Ásgeirsson, organized by subject and community event (Files 15-03 to 15-43); and historical photographs of Hunter Island taken by E.J. Fríðleifson and research completed about the communities on Hunter Island (Files 46-12 to 46-18).

Artifacts Collection

  • RBSC-ARC-1840
  • Collection
  • [1800-1950]

The collection contains a variety of artifacts, and includes children's games, items related to the Gold Rush, and various odd items tangentially related to Rare Books and Special Collections and University Archives collecting interests.

George E. and Gertrude Mabee collection

  • CA OSC-ARC-37
  • Collection
  • 1921

The collection consists of two subcollections: 1) Daisy Clara Millar letters and 2) South Okanagan Irrigation Project ephemera.

Mabee, George E.

Okanagan Thompson International Sculpture Symposium fonds

  • CA OSC-ARC-20
  • Collection
  • 2002

The fonds consists predominantly of photographic slides depicting the creation and openings of the sculptures, as well as articles discussing the symposium, its intent and outcomes.

Okanagan Thompson International Sculpture Symposium

Grievance Committee: old agendas etc.

File contains agendas and several handwritten minutes of Grievance Committee meetings dated May 3, 1976 to March 25, 1977. Topics discussed include individual grievances, employee discharges and layoffs, job classification, stewards seminars, job postings and applications, correspondence, arbitration, working conditions, employee files, stack attendants, leaves of absence, student assistants, meal periods, seniority, and maternity leave.

Scandinavian Cultural Society subfonds

Subfonds reflects the Scandinavian Cultural Society’s (SCS) efforts to promote and support Scandinavian cultural events and activities in the greater Vancouver area, most notably the Scandinavian Festival 1986. Under SCS’s constitution, they hold executive meetings to also organize and promote other cultural events and communicate to their community through newsletters. SCS was founded to help celebrate Vancouver’s Centennial and Expo ’86; therefore, many of their records document the administration, communications, publicity, and promotions arising from planning the event as well as the event itself.

Subfonds is divided into four series: Events and activities, Publications, Administrative records, and Photographs.

Scandinavian Cultural Society

Icelandic National League of North America subfonds

Subfonds reflects the support the Vancouver Chapter of the Icelandic National League of North America has provided to cultural activities in the Icelandic community of Vancouver. INLNA holds executive meetings, annual conventions, and maintains an email listserv, sharing news and information of various communities. They also maintain a website and social media presence. INLNA has published an Icelandic Heritage Calendar, and has implemented programs such as the INL Reads Program, Donald K. Johnson Film Screening Program, Icelandic Settlement Tours Program, Snorri West youth program and several international visit and audio programs. Additionally, INLNA grants a yearly scholarship, the Laurence S. G. Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award, originally initiated in 2003 to be bestowed upon a recipient for contributions not only to the Icelandic Community and the community at large.

Subfonds is arranged into four series: Administrative records, Conference and convention records, Publications, and Photographs. Subfonds also contains one file of records pertaining to the Viking Association, Uff-Dah.

Icelandic National League of North America

Ströndin Internet Radio subfonds

Subfonds consists of material made or received by Ströndin Internet Radio used to make Ströndin Internet Radio’s various programs in the course of promoting Icelandic culture to its listenership. It includes scripts and recordings of the first six radio programmes, reference material such as concert programmes and manuscripts. Also included are reference materials on audio cassettes and in photographs.

Ströndin Internet Radio


Series primarily consists of photographs taken at the Scandinavian Festival 1986, and photographs of Society events. Also included in the series is one audio cassette that accompanied the Scandinavian Festival 1986 slide show created by the Society.

Events and activities

Series consists of records relating to the events organized by the Scandinavian Cultural Society (SCS). Many of the textual records in this series are dedicated to the promotion, publicity, and planning of the Scandinavian Festival 1986. However, the SCS also held Midsummer Festivals and other Scandinavian Fairs after their original purpose was completed in 1986.

Records include programs, news clippings, promotional materials, memos, correspondence, reports, art mock-ups, and guest books. Series also includes videocassettes of the proceedings of the Scandinavian Festival 1986, audio cassettes of some of the speeches made, as well as various videocassettes of other SCS events through the years.


Series consists of records related to Wong’s writings. Materials include writing assignments completed when he attended creative writing courses at UBC, screenplays, drafts of short stories that were ultimately published in his book Dim Sum Stories: A Chinatown Childhood, and opinion pieces for the Vancouver Sun. Also included are several articles written about Wong Foon Sien, one of the early leaders of the Chinese Benevolent Association in Vancouver, as well as a journalist and labour activist.

Records consist of short stories, university writing assignments, newspaper articles, book proposals, screenplays, biographies, and published works.


Series consists of newsletters and other published material by the Icelandic Lutheran Church for purposes of reference and dissemination. Records include magazine publications, parish directory, parish newsletters, and newspaper clippings.

Larry Wong fonds

  • RBSC-ARC-1848
  • Fonds
  • [190-?] - [before 2023], predominantly from 1960 - [before 2023]

The fonds consists primarily of records relating to two specific areas of Larry Wong’s life – his writing and his interest in Chinese-Canadian History. Wong’s writings date as far back as his university days through to the publication of his book Dim Sum Stories: A Chinatown Childhood in 2011. Records reflect Wong’s time as the Director of the Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society and as a tour guide through Vancouver’s Chinatown. The fonds also includes personal documents and ephemera, including information relating to the immigration of both of his parents from China.

The fonds is divided into three series: Writings, Chinese-Canadian History and Personal documents and ephemera. Records consist of short stories, university writing assignments, newspaper articles, book proposals, screenplays, biographies, published works, grant applications, newspaper clippings, stamps, magazine articles, Cantonese language course materials, photographs, negatives, slides, photograph albums, scrapbooks, CDs, DVDs, a beret, pins, correspondence, report cards, certificates, magazine articles, journals, diaries, newspaper clippings, a chapbook, postcards, telegrams, cufflinks, a clothing pattern, a shadow box, and a medal.

Wong, Larry

Sólskin Society subfonds

Subfonds reflects the Sólskin Society’s efforts to support and provide wellbeing to Icelandic Care Home Höfn residents, and promote Icelandic cultural heritage. They achieved this by holding events for the residents, such as their Annual Christmas Party, Easter Party, teas and open houses, as well as raising funds through casino nights, and two annual bazaars. During the Scandinavian Cultural Society’s Scandinavian Festival at Expo 86, the Sólskin Society also provided a week long demonstration of Icelandic cookery. Their fundraising efforts contributed to the purchase and renovation of the Icelandic Care Home Höfn’s original and current locations. In honour of their 75th anniversary in 1992, they compiled and wrote Sólskin Memoirs.

Subfonds is divided into five series: administrative records, financial records, e vents and activities, publications, and photographs.

Sólskin Society

New Iceland Research collection

The New Iceland Research collection subseries began from a research project Robert Ásgeirsson pursued for a potential documentary film called “The Twelve Year Republic,” about New Iceland, Manitoba. He began looking for photographic evidence from the first years of the community in the 1870s and early 1880s but ultimately found that most of the photographs were from the turn of the 20th century. He accumulated research information, correspondence, publications and photographs (copies and originals) from community members of the Icelandic National League (INL) in Manitoba and the Provincial Archives of Manitoba. Many of the photographs depict the lifestyle of New Icelanders.

He wrote a proposal for the documentary but ultimately, the project did not come to fruition. Ásgeirsson gave the photographs to the Gimli Museum in 1975. What remains in the subseries are the textual research documents kept in subject files in their original order, and copies of the original photographs of New Iceland Ásgeirsson collected during his original project. This subseries is the first collection created by the Icelandic Archives of British Columbia and was the inciting force of its collecting practices in the future.

Emil Bjarnason collection

The subseries consists of photocopied records pertaining to parts of the Bjarnason family history, a postcard from Emil and his wife Millie depicting Wynard, Saskatchewan, and a short textual anecdote about Paul Bjarnason’s interaction with Henry Ford. The subseries also includes biographies of the Yorsh family and an English and Icelandic copy of The Beginning of the Universe by Halldor Fridliefson. A notable portion of the subseries consists of photograph albums of the Bjarnason family.

Frances Hanson collection

The subseries consists mainly of four scrapbooks made by Frances (Olafson) Hanson of the Olafson family in Osland and Prince Rupert. Textual materials in the subseries include diaries of Hanson’s father, Olafur Olafson, correspondence and ephemera of the Olafson family, and some photocopied materials used to write Hanson’s book, Memories of Osland.

Dora Hatton collection

The subseries contains the original finding aid and collection information made by the Icelandic Archives of British Columbia for the Dora Hatton collection. The subseries also contains a manuscript written by Hatton’s father, Halldor Eriksson about his life and participation in different Icelandic communities in Canada. Additionally, the subseries contains a large series of family photographs and a scrapbook of the Eriksson and Hatton families.

Point Roberts collection

Subseries consists of minutes, correspondence, bylaws, publications, newspaper clippings related to the Point Roberts Historical Society’s administration as well as its community and cultural endeavours. It is notably composed of photographs taken of the Point Roberts Icelandic settlers which were displayed by the Icelandic Archives of British Columbia.

Magnus Eliason collection

Subseries consists of correspondence to both Magnus Eliason and Guðmundur Eliason, Magnus Eliason’s journals, writings, collected ephemera, and photographs. Included in Magnus’ collection are two journals: the Icelandic Canadian, March 1946 and Tímarit Þjóðræknisfélags Íslendinga.

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