Fonds OSC-ARC-12 - Zoellner-Whitham Family fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Zoellner-Whitham Family fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

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

40 cm of textual records and other materials

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

James Donald “J.D.” Whitham (1899-1972) was born at Westmount, Quebec and first came to Kelowna with his family in 1912. The family cultivated an orchard in the Glenmore area shortly after arrival. After graduating from Kelowna High School, Whitham went on to the B.C. School of Pharmacy and Science and then worked briefly in Vancouver, but soon returned to Kelowna. He worked as a pharmacist at Willit’s Drug Store before buying a store in Kelowna with his partner, G.A. Elliot. In 1964, Whitham sold his interest in the store to his partner but continued working in pharmacies in Kelowna and other parts of the Okanagan. Alongside his professional work, Whitham was passionate about photography as well as the history of the Okanagan region. He went on to become the president of the Okanagan Historical Society from 1955-1959, and an Honorary Life Member of the Okanagan Historical Society in 1967. He was also a charter member of the Cariboo Historical Society and a member of the Boundary Historical Society.

J.D. Whitham married Florence Bartlett Clements in June 1928. Together they had a son, James Gordon, and a daughter, Dorothy Jean.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Florence (“Flossie”) Bartlett Clements was the daughter of James H. and Mary Clements, who arrived in Peachland from Ontario in 1908. In Peachland, they built and ran a general store for the community. James also worked as the Canadian Pacific Railway Express Agent and served as a town councilor. The family ran their general store up until the beginning of the Second World War, when it was closed.

J.D. Whitham married Florence Bartlett Clements in June 1928. Together they had a son, James Gordon, and a daughter, Dorothy Jean.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Dorothy Zoellner, nee Whitham (1929-2020) attended elementary and secondary school in Kelowna, graduating in 1947. She then attended university in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a teaching certificate in 1951. During her time at UBC, she met William J. “W.J.” Zoellner, whom she married in 1953 in Kelowna. The couple had two sons. The family lived variously in Victoria, Courtenay, and Nelson, and finally settled back in Kelowna in 1973. Zoellner was a teacher at Kelowna Secondary School and retired from this position in 1987. Zoellner also wrote for the Kelowna Daily Courier, was the president of the Okanagan Historical Society from 1987-1988, and actively participated in various historical and community events in the city. Acting as a tour guide along with Alice Lundy, Zoellner led tours around the region focusing on the area’s history. The two went on to publish two self-guided tour books, Tours Made Easy (1990) and More Tours Made Easy (1995). Dorothy Zoellner passed away in April 2020.

Custodial history

2018 accrual was deposited with Okanagan Special Collections by Dorothy Zoellner; 2019 accruals were deposited by OHS colleagues and the Zoellner family; 2021 accrual was deposited by the Whitham family.

Scope and content

Fonds consists in part of the collected family histories of the direct ancestors and relatives-by-marriage of Dorothy Jean Zoellner (nee Whitham) including family photographs and family correspondence. A significant portion of this collected component is represented by the body of photographic work attributed to Zoellner’s father, J.D. Whitham. A further significant portion is a suite of 8mm films depicting the family life of Dorothy and W.J. Zoellner in the 1950s and 1960s, in and around British Columbia’s southern interior, including locations such as Kelowna, Christina Lake, and Grand Forks, B.C.

Fonds also consists in part of the records created and/or contributed to by Zoellner herself during her lifetime, with specific reference to her activities with the Okanagan Historical Society. The preponderance of these materials are born-digital resources to be extracted from 3.5” floppy diskettes.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Fonds is arranged into six series: 1) Family correspondence; 2) Family photographs; 3) J.D. Whitham Photographs; 4) Dorothy and W.J. Zoellner home movies; 5) Dorothy Zoellner, Okanagan Historical Society activities; 6) Dorothy Zoellner, educational and professional activities.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Series descriptions available.

Uploaded finding aid

Associated materials

Related materials


Physical description

Includes ca. 1,928 photographs, 27 8mm film reels, 2 compact audio cassettes, 1 VHS cassette and 114 floppy diskettes.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Rules or conventions

Rules for Archival Description (CCA)



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Compiled by Paige Hohmann (2023)

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres