Fonds RBSC-ARC-1799 - Jack Pearcey fonds

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Title proper

Jack Pearcey fonds

General material designation

  • Photographic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the fonds.

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Physical description area

Physical description

1 photo album : 39 x 28 cm
(501 photographs : b&w)

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1901 Nov. 5 - 1984 May 21)

Biographical history

John Guy "Jack" Pearcey was born in Dagenham, England, on Nov. 5, 1901. He moved with his family to Vancouver, B.C., four years later. Pearcey enrolled at the University of British Columbia's science program in 1919, taking some time away from school to work. During the 1920s, Pearcey worked as a surveyor throughout the province, including around the Britannia Mine in the Howe Sound area. He resumed his studies and graduated with a degree in geological engineering in 1927, starting his career with the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) that same year.

From 1927 to 1948, Pearcey worked at the Silbak Premier mine in northern British Columbia, where he eventually became a mining superintendent. In 1948 he was transferred to Salt Lake City for four years as Resident Engineer with ASARCO. From 1952 until his retirement in 1966, Pearcey worked at ASARCO's New York office. He then did consulting with a Guggenheim mining company (Straus Exploration Co.) until 1971, when he purchases property in Palm Beach, Florida. He divided his time Between Florida and New York until his death in Palm Beach in 1984 due to a heart attack.

Pearcey was a lifetime member of the B.C. Association of Professional Engineers. He was also an amateur photographer. Pearcey was married and had three children (Joan Cooke, Lynn Allen, and Gail Hall).

Custodial history

Prior to its donation to UBC Rare Books and Special Collections, Jack Pearcey’s photo album was in the possession of his grandniece, Christine Peters.

Scope and content

Fonds captures the life of Jack Pearcey in British Columbia in the 1920s when he was an engineering student at the University of British Columbia (class of 1927) and when he traveled the province as part of his work for the Geological Survey of Canada. Photographs depict Pearcey and his colleagues doing survey work in rural areas and feature such locations as Nakusp, Prosperity, Green Point, Wreck Bay, Victoria, Marmor Glacier, and Blair Glacier. Pearcey’s Geological Survey of Canada work in the Slocan region features Slocan, Slocan Lake, Kaslo, Kootenay Lake, Sandon, New Denver, and Carpenter Creek Valley. Photographs also depict Britannia Mine and miners, bunk houses, work camps, regional flora, UBC (including construction of the science building), camping/hiking, and more.

Notes area

Physical condition

The album's leather covers are cracked and separating at the binding. The perimeter of the covers is taped with black tape. The album pages are lightweight black card stock and some have also separated from the binding and are loose within the album.

Immediate source of acquisition

Christine Peters (grandniece of the creator)


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Photograph captions in the album are handwritten in English.

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Description created by James Goldie, October 2018.

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