RBCM Archives

Series GR-0543 - Letters : Provincial Library

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Letters : Provincial Library

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  • 1915-1936 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Legislative Library

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Physical description

3 m of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

British Columbia. Legislative Library (1863-)

Biographical history

The Library was founded in 1863 to serve the Colonial Legislature of Vancouver Island and subsequently the Province of British Columbia when it became a province of Canada in 1871. During its early years, the Library assumed responsibility for archival and provincial public library service, and, therefore, was often referred to as the Provincial Library.
The Legislative Library of British Columbia was formally created by statute in 1894 (SBC, ch. 27) and reported to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The primary purpose of the Library is to provide reference and research services to the Members of the Legislative Assembly, their staff, the Officers of the House, and legislative support staff.

Custodial history

History unknown. Records accessioned as GR-0543 in September 1972.

Scope and content

The series consists of carbon copies of the outward correspondence of the Provincial Librarian and Archivist created between April 1, 1915 and May 29, 1936. The correspondence has been bound in 30 volumes and does not include any enclosures or copies of inward correspondence. The letters are filed chronologically, each letter being numbered. An alphabetical index, giving the name of the correspondent and the letter number, is at either the front or the back of the volume, with the exception of volumes 14, 15 and 17. In addition, the numbers of previous and subsequent letters with the same correspondent are hand written on some of the letters themselves.

The carbon copies are not signed but the Provincial Librarian and Archivists are as follows:
1915-1919: E.O.S. Scholefield
1920-1926: John Forsyth
1926-1934: John Hosie
1934-1936: W.K. Lamb

Most of the correspondence is routine and deals with book orders and payments but there are also letters regarding the move to the new library in 1915, the acquisition of archival records, procuring transcript copies of archival records, comments about the war, information and advice about historical research and many other topics.

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Physical condition

The leather bindings of the first 18 volumes are deteriorating. The paper used for carbon copies is low quality, acidic paper and is brittle and discoloured. In many cases, the print has faded.

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General note

Accession number(s): GR-0543.

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