Series - Registration and identification certificates

RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0001r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0001v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0002r.tiff RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0002v.tiff RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0003r.TIF RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0003v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0004r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0004v.tiff RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0005r.jpg RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0006r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0007r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0008r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0009r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0010r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0010v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0011r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0012r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0013r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0014r.JPG RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0015r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0016r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0017r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0017v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0018r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0018v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0019r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0019v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0020r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0020v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0021r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0021v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0022r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0022v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0023r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0024r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0025r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0026r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0026v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0027r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0028r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0029r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0029v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0030r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0030v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0031r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0031v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0032r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0032v.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0033r.tif RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0033v.tif
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Registration and identification certificates

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the series.

Level of description


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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

537 textual records : raster images
0.5 cm of textual records

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

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Archival description area

Custodial history

Scope and content

Series consists of Chinese Immigration (C.I.) registration and identification certificates related to implementing Canada’s Chinese Immigration Act that was law from 1885 to 1947, with amendments made in 1887, 1892, 1900, 1903, and 1923. Certificates were first issued to register and identify Chinese persons entering Canada. This function was expanded with the 1923 amendment requiring registration and identification of all Chinese persons residing in the country, immigrant and Canadian-born.

The series includes the most common C.I. certificates issued before the 1923 Chinese Immigration Act banned practically all further Chinese entry, therefore commonly known as the Chinese Exclusion Act:
-The C.I.5 certificate issued in relation to the head tax payment required for Chinese entry to Canada, commonly known as the head tax certificate. Early versions of the certificate in use before 1912 are present.
-C.I.36 certificate issued in exchange for a C.I.5 certificate issued before 1912 that had no photograph.
-C.I.30 certificate issued to a Chinese person entering Canada belonging to a class with exemption from paying the head tax.
-C.I.28 certificate issued to replace a lost or destroyed C.I.5 or C.I.30 certificate.

The series includes a large number of C.I.45 certificates created in 1923 and 1924. The certificate was used to implement Section 18 of the 1923 Chinese Immigration Act that required the registration of all Chinese residing in Canada within twelve months. It was issued as proof of registration of a Canadian-born Chinese who did not possess an entry certificate for the registration stamp.

Also included in the series are samples of lesser-known C.I. certificates and records, including the C.I.4, C.I.10, C.I.18 and C.I.18a, C.I.46, and C.I.50.

The series includes a small number of N.F.63 certificates related to Chinese entry to the Dominion of Newfoundland. Newfoundland’s Act Respecting the Immigration of Chinese Persons (commonly known as the Newfoundland Chinese Immigration Act) was in force from 1906 until Newfoundland and Laborador joined Confederation in 1949.

A small number of certificates relates to birth in Canada, travel documentation, registration as overseas Chinese with the Chinese government, and Canadian citizenship received following the repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act in 1947.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Series follows collector/curator's arrangement. Original order was maintained as the order in which items were contributed by families and organizations.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script note

Some certificates include annotations in Chinese and/or English.

Location of originals

Original record remains with the family or organization that contributed the digital image.

Original records located in RBSC are assigned identifiers with the code TX (ex. RBSC-ARC-1838-TX-0078). Digitized records are assigned identifiers with the code DO (ex. RBSC-ARC-1838-DO-0078).

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use of certificates in this series is restricted to research, private study and educational purposes based on donor agreement. Reproduction for exhibition, publication or commercial use requires permission from the family or organization that donated the certificate. Please see archivist for details.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


General note

Each item in the series is associated with a name access point that reflects the person to whom the certificate was issued. A biographical sketch is included where it was made available. Other actors in the life of the certificate may also be listed.

General note

Names of certificate subjects were romanized from a 四邑 seiyap / sze yup dialect of Cantonese Chinese that was spoken in the major counties and districts of origin of early Chinese migrants. Romanization from Chinese to English was not standardized and largely phonetic, and therefore varied widely. Many errors were also made around transcription, and misidentification of surnames. Where possible working with families, names have been corrected and Chinese names have been recovered.

Physical description

Digital materials: raster images
527 certificates (including 23 envelopes)
2 declarations
2 forms
2 reports
1 inventory
1 permit
1 passport
1 translation

Textual materials:
7 certificates
1 declaration
1 envelope

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

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Description record identifier

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Description created by June Chow in February 2023.

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area