Fonds PR-2309 - British Columbia Social Credit Party fonds

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British Columbia Social Credit Party fonds

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  • textual record
  • graphic material
  • moving images
  • sound recording
  • object
  • multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Tiltle based on the contents of the fonds.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1956-1993; predominantly 1986-1991 (Creation)
    Social Credit Party (British Columbia)

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Physical description

Ca. 4.6 m of textual records and other material

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Administrative history

The British Columbia Social Credit Party traces its origins to the reformist philosophy of Major Douglas, a Scottish engineer. He believed that government, through prudent fiscal and monetary policies, should be a vehicle for ensuring that the creative ideas of individuals are brought to fruition, thereby enhancing all of society. This turn-of-the-century concept along with the principles of freedom, responsibility, brotherhood, economic justice and personal fulfillment through creative work are the cornerstone of Social Credit philosophy. I

n 1934, the British Columbia Social Credit Party found its beginnings as part of the Social Credit Association of Canada. In 1936, B.C.'s Douglas Social Credit Group became the Social Credit League of British Columbia, a name the organization retained for many years. In 1945, President Peer Paynter and Vice President Eric Martin, along with 14 other candidates, including newspaper woman Margaret "Ma" Murray, entered the provincial election representing the Social Credit Association. In the 1949 provincial election, while Lyle Wicks was president, two Social Credit slates sought office: one under the Social Credit banner (known as the Social Credit League), the other under the “Union of Electors” label. None were elected, but a strong showing was made.

The B.C. Social Credit League entered into the June 12th, 1952 provincial election with a campaign leader but without a leader. After their victory, the elected Social Credit MLA's voted W.A.C. Bennett as their leader and on August 2, 1952, British Columbia's first Social Credit government took office, and remained there until the 1972 election. Between 1971 and 1975, the Social Credit League underwent a great many changes. During this period the party voted to disaffiliate itself with the federal party and become a distinct and separate provincial entity. It changed its name to the British Columbia Social Credit Party. The Hon. W.A.C. Bennett retired as leader and resigned his seat as the member from Okanagan South.

William Richards Bennett was elected as the member from Okanagan South and subsequently elected as leader of the party. An aggressive membership campaign was undertaken, led by Grace McCarthy who replaced George Driediga as Party President, a position he held from 1963 to 1973. Peter Hyndman continued the membership drive and took the party into the December, 1975 election which Social Credit won convincingly. They continued in power under Premier Bill Bennett until 1986 and under Premiers Bill Vander Zalm and Rita Johnston until 1991.

In 1991, Social Credit lost the election and the party began to disintegrate. Many of the members and MLA's joined the Liberal Party of British Columbia.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records created by the British Columbia Social Credit Party between 1956 and 1993.

The records include Social Credit newspapers and brochures, manuals and history files, correspondence, budget and election material. The records also include member files arranged by the name of Social Credit candidates which contain biographical information and photographs.

In addition there are records relating to leadership conventions and provincial elections which include photographs, audio and video records, posters and metal election buttons, especially relating to the Social Credit leaders Bill Bennett, Bill Vander Zalm and Rita Johnston.

There are photographs in many forms including prints, negatives, slides and contact sheets of Social Credit events, training sessions and campaigns.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Accession 92-7022 donated to the BC Archives by the BC Social Credit Party in 1995. Accession 2015.55 donated by Rosemary Dolman in 2015.


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Restrictions on access

Conservation restriction: material in cool or cold storage requires special retrieval and handling.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Rights to the photographs, audio and video material remains with the authors.

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No further accruals expected.

General note

The records in container 927022-0024 were printed in January 2013 from 3.5 and 5.25 floppy disks which were subsequently destroyed.

General note

Accession number(s): 92-7022, 2015.55


Audio and video records and negatives and colour photographs have been placed in cold storage.

Physical description

Includes 41 videotapes, 42 audio reels, 163 audio cassettes, ca. 73 objects, 1012 photographs : b&w, 1347 photographs : col., 1138 photographs : b&w ; negatives, 996 photographs : col. ; negatives, 912 slides : b&w and col., 8830 b&w contact prints on 401 sheets and 1983 col. contact prints on 101 sheets.

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