Fonds UBCA-ARC-1408 - Laura Holland fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Laura Holland fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Photographic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: The title is based on the contents of the fonds.

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


Physical description area

Physical description

24 cm of textual records
3 diaries
12 photographs

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Laura Holland was both a nurse and social worker and assumed an active leadership role in both professions at national and provincial levels. She received numerous honours and awards for her contributions. Holland was born in Toronto and, after briefly considering a career in music as a concert pianist, she studied nursing and graduated from the Montreal General Hospital School of Nursing in 1914. She joined the Canadian Army Medical Corp in 1915 and served with distinction in the active theatres of war in France and Greece from 1915-1918. In recognition of her dedicated service, Holland was awarded the Royal Red Cross medal. Following her release from the Army in 1919, she went to Boston and qualified in social work at Simmons College. For the next nine years, Holland worked in Ontario, first as Director of Nursing Services for the Ontario Red Cross and before moving to become Director of Social Work for the Toronto Public Health Department. In 1927 she accepted an invitation to move to British Columbia to reorganize and coordinate the Vancouver Children's Aid Society, responsible for overseeing child welfare throughout the province. With the assistance of Zella Collins and Kay Whitman, Holland converted the institution into a modern child welfare agency, with an emphasis on foster rather than institutional care. Despite enduring criticism, Holland persisted. She reorganized the child welfare system and helped initiate the Infants Act, the Adoption Act, and the Children of Unmarried Parents Act. In the early 1930s, the University of British Columbia began offering courses in social work, and Holland lectured in that program and the public health certificate program in UBC's nursing program. In 1932 she was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Neglected Children for the provincial government and, in 1933, Deputy Superintendent of Child Welfare. In the mid-30s, she helped implement the provincial Welfare Field Service. In 1938, the post of Advisor to the Minister of Health and Welfare on Social Welfare Policy was created. Although Holland retired in 1945, she remained active in various community ventures. In 1950, the University of British Columbia awarded Holland an honorary degree. Her citation in part read, "... whose compassion for the unprotected, made effective by abundant common sense and great executive ability, has been responsible in large measure for our provincial child welfare program and has contributed greatly by thought and action to the increasing efficiency of our national welfare services." Laura Holland died in January 1956 at the age of 72.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of biographical material, diaries, correspondence, photographs and memorabilia. Of particular interest is the large volume of letters written by Holland to her mother from June 1915 to July 1917 from overseas.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Some photos have been digitized and are available through the UBC Library Open Collections series UBC 123.1/

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Online Finding Aid
Please see the finding aid for an inventory of files.

Uploaded finding aid

Associated materials

Related materials


Physical description

Includes memorabilia

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Place access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area