RBCM Archives

Series GR-1668 - Provincial Secretary correspondence on diverse topics

Correspondence re Orienta... Correspondence from Women... "Report on Oriental ...

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Provincial Secretary correspondence on diverse topics

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GR-1668

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  • 1872-1934 (Creation)
    Creator
    British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

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Physical description

Originals, 30 cm

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Name of creator

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary (1872-1976)

Biographical history

The Dept. of the Provincial Secretary was established in 1872. Prior to that, the origins of this department was in the offices of the Colonial Secretaries for the Colony of Vancouver Island (1863-1866), the Colony of British Columbia (1864-1866) and the united colony of British Columbia (1866-1871). When British Columbia joined confederation in 1871, the name Colonial Secretary remained in place until April 1872 when a Provincial Secretary was named to assume the duties and functions (SBC 1872, c. 15). The mandate of the Provincial Secretary included all the powers, duties and functions held by provincial secretaries and registrars in other provinces of the Dominion of Canada. They included being the keeper of the Great Seal of the Province, with the authority to issues letters patent and commissions, and being the keeper of all registers and archives of the province and previous governments of the province. As with other departments, it was also the duty of the Provincial Secretary to make an annual report to the Lieutenant-Governor. The first annual report was produced in 1972. At various times, different agencies have been under the direction of the Provincial Secretary such as treasury and audit branches, Bureau of Mines, gold commissioners, Returned Soldiers’ Commission, Provincial Library and Archives, Provincial Board of Health, Vital Statistics, Provincial Home, and others. In most instances these agencies were later transferred to the control of new ministries established to administer the specific function or functions. At various times and for varying periods, the Provincial Secretary was responsible for industrial schools, mothers’ pensions, administration of the Infants’ Act, protection of historic sites, and arbitration of labour disputes. In 1947, the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary administered the Civil Service Commission, Government Printing Bureau, Superannuation Commission, mental hospitals, institution farms, homes for the aged, inspector of hospitals, and the Elections Act. In 1976, with the addition of travel and tourism functions from the Dept. of Recreation and Travel Industry, the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary was renamed the Ministry of the Provincial Secretary and Travel Industry (OIC 3199/76).

Custodial history

Scope and content

Miscellaneous correspondence inward and outward on diverse topics. Most of these records pertain to the 1920s and early 1930s. Included are files dealing with the exclusion of Orientals (1921), the preservation of Craigflower schoolhouse and other historic sites, acquisitions (of paintings and photographs) by the Archives department, removal of Indian totem poles, petitions protesting the dismissal of Judge Helen Gregory MacGill (1929), and the Bedaux Sub-Arctic Expedition (1934). Early files include a memorandum on the benefits of establishing a Treasury Board for the provincial government (1872) and a letter of introduction for John Blair, landscape architect (1896). These records were originally a part of the Provincial Secretary's Central Registry, and so may be used in conjunction with GR-0496, GR-0526 and other collections of general subject files.

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General note

Accession number(s): G80-088

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