Fonds UBCA-ARC-1142 - Margaret Ormsby fonds

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Margaret Ormsby fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Photographic material

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Physical description

4.92 m of textual records.
c. 349 photographs.

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Biographical history

Margaret Anchoretta Ormsby was born in 1909 in Quesnel but spent most of her childhood in the Okanagan Valley. In 1925, she enrolled at UBC, earning a BA (1929) and MA (1931) in History. Ormsby began her Ph.D. at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, in 1931, interrupting her studies between 1934 and 1936 to work as a teaching assistant in the Department of History at UBC. After completing her Ph.D. in 1936, she taught in the United States for three years. In 1940, Ormsby became a lecturer in the History Department of McMaster University. She returned to UBC to teach in 1943, becoming a professor in 1955 and the Head of the History Department in 1965. She held the position of head until she retired from the University in 1974. During the 1970s, Ormsby taught courses at the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario. Between 1960 and 1967, she chaired the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. In addition, Ormsby made several literary contributions to the field of Canadian history, including British Columbia: A History (1958) commemorating the centennial of the designation of BC as a crown colony, A Pioneer Gentle Woman in British Columbia: The Recollections of Susan Allison (1976), and Coldstream ‐ Nulli Secundus (1990), as well as numerous entries to journals and encyclopedias. She received honorary doctorates from each of the significant universities in BC and the Insignia of the Order of British Columbia. Margaret Ormsby died in 1996.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, drafts, essays, lecture notes, course outlines, clippings and research materials created and collected by Ormsby in her diverse roles as student, professor, researcher and author. Also included are records generated between 1957 and 1967 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

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Please see finding aid for the file list.

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Associated materials

The Vernon Museum and Archives also maintains a Margaret Ormsby fonds. Other records relating to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada can be found in the fonds of Margaret Prang, Charles Humphries, and Walter Noble Sage.


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