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- textual record
- graphic material
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- Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series.
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Dates of creation area
- British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary
Physical description area
12 cm of textual records and 3 photographs
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Name of creator
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 issue 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 1872.
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).
Scope and content
This series contains general correspondence between the Deputy Minister and Agents-General for British Columbia in London. The series includes a confidential report from the Fire Marshall on a fire that occurred at Government House in 1957. There is also general correspondence with the B.C. Commissioner for Trade and Tourism, San Francisco (1962-1974) and general inquiries to the Hon. the Premier (1953-1969). Letters includes notes and petitions from Vancouver City Archivist (Major Matthews) to HM the Queen, praying that the Westminster Regiment be allowed to bear the suffix "Royal." There are also three photographs of BC House in London, England, taken in 1951.
Immediate source of acquisition
Transferred from the Deputy Provincial Secretary's office, 1983.
The photographs were removed from the records in 1983, transferred to Visual Records and reaccessioned as 198305-011. They were reunited with the original files in 2021.
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Accession number(s): G83-010, 198305-011
Standard number area
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Matthews, James Skitt, 1878-1970 (Subject)
- Wallace, Lawrence James, 1913-2006 (Subject)
- Canada. Armed Forces (Subject)
- British Columbia. Agent-General in the United Kingdom (Subject)
- British Columbia. Commissioner for Trade and Tourism, San Francisco (Subject)