Series GR-0173 - Elementary School Agricultural Education correspondence and reports

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Elementary School Agricultural Education correspondence and reports

General material designation

  • textual record
  • microform

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


  • 1916-1929 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Dept. of Education

Physical description area

Physical description

3 reels of microfilm [B06395-B06397]

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

The Ministry of Education was established in 1920 under its first name, the Dept. of Education, by an amendment to the Public School Act (SBC 1920, c. 82). The educational system of British Columbia had been founded in the Crown colony period in the Common School Act (1865), replaced by the Common School Ordinance (1869), and administered respectively by the superintendent of education or inspector general of schools, reporting directly to the governor-in-council. The Public School Act (SBC 1872, c. 16) was enacted in 1872, creating a Provincial Board of Education and a superintendent of education reporting to the Provincial Secretary. The Provincial Secretary also doubled as the minister of education until 1924. It was not until the 1920 amendment to the Public School Act that a distinct Dept. of Education was constituted with the functions and responsibilities of education in the province. The Dept. of Education, under the direction of the minister of education, assisted by a deputy minister and superintendent of education, was responsible for the maintenance and management of all normal schools, the issuing of teachers’ certificates of qualification, and advising the Council of Public Instruction on all matters relating to education in the province. Home economics, high school correspondence, recreational and physical education, extension and adult education, and educational reference and school services were added as branches or divisions between 1920 and 1950. The department assumed responsibility for the School of the Deaf and Blind (Jericho Hill) in 1922, the Victoria School of Art in 1938 (closed in 1942), and Vancouver School of Navigation in 1938. In 1942 the Provincial Library and Archives, the Public Library Commission, and the Provincial Museum were transferred to the department from the Dept. of Provincial Secretary. By 1947, the work of the department was divided among the following branches: High School Correspondence Branch, Elementary Correspondence Branch, Educational and Vocational Guidance, Industrial Education, Adult Education, School for the Deaf and the Blind, School Radio Broadcasts, Division of Tests, Standards, and Research, Text-book Branch, Visual Education, Inspection of Schools, and Normal Schools. In 1976, the Dept. of Education was renamed the Ministry of Education (OIC 3199/76).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The Elementary Agricultural Education Branch was established in 1915 to promote nature study and rural science in the public schools of British Columbia. The director of the branch was John Wesley Gibson (1874-1954) who, with a team of district supervisors, established one of the most successful school gardening programmes in the country. As well as developing school gardens, the branch was also involved with patriotic fund raising projects, home garden clubs and agricultural fairs.

The series consists of records created by the branch between 1916 and 1929. It includes correspondence and reports from District Supervisors of Agricultural Instruction, submitted to Superintendent of Elementary Agricultural Education, J.W. Gibson. Included with the correspondence are the supervisors' monthly reports, giving the names of schools inspected, comments on school projects and details of events pertaining to horticulture and agriculture. It also includes memoranda and letters from applicants seeking positions as instructors. The correspondence was filed alphabetically under the names of the school district supervisors.

During the period 1916-1929 the branch supervisors and districts were as follows:
W.J. Austin, Kelowna/Vernon
J.E. Britton, Armstrong/Kelowna
W.M. Fleming, Duncan and Cowichan
W.H. Grant, Salmon Arm
H.A. Hallwright, Victoria and Saanich
S.H. Hopkins, Courtenay-Comox
T.H. Jones, Armstrong and Enderby, Penticton
A.M. McDermott, New Westminster
J.B. Munro, Armstrong/Enderby
J.C. Ready, Chilliwack
V.B. Robinson, Vernon/Penticton/Summerland
J.M. Shales, Murrayville [Langley area]
E.L. Small, Cloverdale [Langley and Surrey]
G.V. Van Talisk, Penticton
F.J. Welland, Cloverdale

Researchers should also consult the branch reports which were published annually in the Public Schools Reports.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred from Records Management Branch, Feb. 1986.


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Associated materials

This series may be used in conjunction with GR-0171, GR-0172, GR-0458, GR-01446 and GR-1447.

Related materials


General note

Accession number(s): GR-0173

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Accession area