The fonds consists of 22.1 m of textual records, ca. 2500 photographs and extensive audiovisual materials created and/or accumulated by the British Columbia History of Nursing Society (BCHNS). The BCHNS Archives established and organized records into broad groups: fonds/subfonds, collections, biographical files, oral histories and miscellaneous materials. These categories of records have been arranged as subfonds and series under the BCHNS fonds.
Materials related to the society include records created by the group in the course of its administrative activities, and accumulated in its function of preserving material related to the history of nursing in British Columbia and elsewhere. Much of the material has a historical value, both in regard to B.C. nursing, and farther afield. A brief history of the Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia is included. While there are some earlier records, most date from 1985 to 2012. The records of several committees that made annual reports to the BCHNPPG are included. For example, the Oral History Committee was established in 1981 to document the development of nursing and to capture some of the stories and activities of B.C. nurses. The Memorial Nursing Portrait Collection committee was established in 1990 to raise money for the History of Nursing Scholarship fund and to provide a lasting visual memorial for a friend or family member. Histories of hospitals and individuals are also documented. Events, programs and displays are documented through graphic, audio and textual material. Reference material includes newsletters, records related to Florence Nightingale and the roles played by nurses in war. Postcards and other historical materials more generally related to nursing are also included. Fundraising initiatives, and financial records are also included along with membership information and activities.
Records not related to the formation and ongoing functions of the B.C. History of Nursing Society are divided into 34 subfonds. While the subfonds do not generally relate to specific functions of the BCHNS, they all contribute to a general understanding of individuals and groups of nurses who have contributed to the development of nursing in British Columbia. Many individuals are represented in more than one area of the larger fonds.
The original collections consist of 5.6 m of textual records and graphic materials, audiovisual material and an extensive reference library. The textual records include a comprehensive collection of UBC student cards from 1921 to 1994, several diplomas and certificates, and conference related materials. Records from the Kootenay Lake Hospital, the Kelowna General Hospital and the Prince Rupert General Hospital consist of nursing manuals, training schedules and ledgers. Extensive photographs document historical and educational displays prepared and presented by the BCHNS. Many audiovisual materials contain records created by the Society or provide general reference information. The reference library contains books concentrating primarily on B.C nursing and will be catalogued and made available separately.
Biographical files consist of 2.4 m of textual records and ca. 380 photographs related to nurses who have made significant contributions to their profession in British Columbia. Files include records related to the person’s life and career, photographs, copies of publications, memories and biographical information and other records relating to nursing activities in B.C. An item level contents list is located at the front of each file. A full index of the files, which includes a brief biography of each subject and the file contents is available in RBSC-ARC-1831-102-15.
The oral histories consists of recordings on ca. 320 audio cassettes, 72 CDs and related textual records. These interviews date from 1987 to 2013 and are arranged alphabetically by the subject’s last name. Many interviews exist in multiple formats or have multiple cassettes and/or CDs. A small portion of interviews of high quality and enduring interest have been copied to MP3 format, these materials will be made available upon request. Hard copy summaries are arranged alphabetically in this series. A detailed index of all the oral histories is located in RBSC-ARC-1831-013-13, which includes interviewer and interviewee names, topics discussed, date of recording and other relevant information.
The original 34 subfonds have been retained and arranged as such under the BCHNS fonds. Records of the society are arranged in the following series:
- Formation of the BCHNPPG
- Annual General Membership Meeting files
- Committee records
- BCHNPPG chapter groups
- Events, programs and displays
- BCHNPG fundraising
- History of the RNABC and its membership
- Published and reference material
- Financial records
- [Original Collections]
- [Biographical Files]
- [Oral Histories]