Subseries - The Yip Family and Yip Sang Company

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The Yip Family and Yip Sang Company

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Custodial history

The archival material in this subseries was entrusted to Dr. Chung by a Yip family member when the building at 51 Pender Street was undergoing renovations in the 1990s.

Scope and content

Subseries consists of records related to Yip Sang, the Yip family and the Wing Sang Company (now the Yip Sang Company). Born in 1845 in Guangdong, China, Yip Sang first came to British Columbia in 1881 following the gold rush from San Francisco. Yip Sang settled in Vancouver as a merchant in 1888 and founded the Wing Sang Company, an import and export business, at 51 Pender Street. Over time, the business grew to include managing rail and steamship freight and passenger tickets as a Chinese passenger agent for the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, operating the Wing Sang Company branch of a Hong Kong-based trust company, and serving as unofficial postmasters for the Chinese community. These business records comprise a substantial portion of this subseries.

In addition to Yip Sang and the Wing Sang Company's business activities, the records in this subseries also pertain to the Yip family's personal and social lives, as well as to their philanthropic activities. A renowned philanthropist, Yip Sang was a benefactor of hospitals and schools, including Vancouver's first Chinese school and first Chinese hospital, and was a founding member of the Chinese Benevolent Association. At the end of his life in 1927, Yip Sang was a highly respected Vancouver citizen who had made a significant impact on the Chinese community and was viewed as the "unofficial mayor" of Chinatown.

The records in this subseries reflect all areas of the Yip family's business activities and personal lives, and include files related to property, taxes, passenger ticket sales, shipments, and insurance, as well as account books for funds held in trust, record books of income and expenses, receipts, business stamps and stationery, business cards, architectural drawings and blueprints, maps, contracts, advertisements, memoranda, newspaper clippings, telephone directories, pamphlets, workbooks and yearbooks, postcards, invitations and event programmes, photographs, artefacts, audio and video cassettes, and both business and personal correspondence.

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Additional archival material about Yip Sang and the Yip family may be found at the City of Vancouver Archives, in the Yip family and Yip Sang Ltd. fonds.


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