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Provincial Secretary executive records

  • GR-0285
  • Series
  • 1949-1975

The series consists of correspondence from various members of the Royal family expressing gratitude for arrangements made for them during visits to B.C. (1959 to 1971), certificates, reports of various royal commissions and commissions of inquiry, and minutes of various committees and commissioners on which Mr. Wallace served in his capacity as Deputy Provincial Secretary.

The series also includes a photograph album of the opening of the Hope-Princeton Highway in 1949 and other photographs.

A letter from Deputy Provincial Secretary Lawrence Wallace to Brigadier General J.W. Bishop was found in collection in 2024 and added to this series.

British Columbia. Office of the Deputy Provincial Secretary

Provincial Secretary record of naturalization and vital event registers and indexes

  • GR-0588
  • Series
  • 1872-1905, 1911, 1913

Series consists of eight volumes of records from the Department of the Provincial Secretary for 1872-1905, 1911, and 1913. Volumes include a record of naturalization for Lillooet as well as vital event (birth, marriage, and death) registers and indexes.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Proclamations

  • GR-0549
  • Series
  • 1858-1918

Proclamations and related records from the colony and province of British Columbia, 1858-1918.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Riverview Hospital historical collection

  • Collection
  • 1872-2008

This series consists of a variety of records created by various provincial mental health institutions from 1872 to 2008. Records relate to the administration and operation of Riverview Hospital and related mental health facilities at the Essondale site in Coquitlam, as well as other facilities across the province. These mental health institutions include: Victoria Asylum, New Westminster Provincial Asylum (later Public Hospital for the Insane or Provincial Hospital for the Insane), Home for the Aged Coquitlam (later Valleyview), Home for the Aged Terrace (later Skeenaview), Home for the Aged Vernon (later Dellview), Crease Clinic, Colony Farm, Colquitz, Woodlands School, Tranquille and other medical facilities.

The names and administrative structure of these institutions changed over time. Mental health functions were originally part of the Provincial Secretary’s mandate; they were transferred to Mental Health Services when it was created in 1950.

These government records were collected by the Riverview Historical Society and include a wide variety of subject matter and media. This includes subjects such as: early development of the Essondale lands and Colony Farm; the construction and expansion of the facility; admissions, transfers, and discharges of patients; administration of patient care; administration of therapy programs; patient and staff recreation; staff and nurse training; operation of the audiovisual department; library services; research into new medical and therapeutic practices; research by staff regarding mental health practices at Riverview and further afield; community involvement; volunteer activity; policy development; the redevelopment of the Riverview lands; general administration; and, administration of other services at the site such as postal, food, laundry, banking, transportation and safety services.

The collection has been arranged into the following series based on record types:

GR-3924 - record books
GR-3925 - operational records
GR-3926 - newsletters
GR-3927 - photographs and other graphic material
GR-3928 - films and videos

Classified as 20000-20 in Operational Records Classification System (ORCS) schedule 144007.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Records with regard to neglected children

  • GR-2817
  • Series
  • 1929-1950

The series consists of correspondence of the Superintendent of Neglected Children, the Deputy Superintendent of Neglected Children and the Superintendent of Welfare relating to Doukhobor children. The files contain correspondence, lists of children, case files for some of the children and a 1950 thesis. The bulk of the material relates to the period 1929 1935.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Correspondence inward

  • GR-1330
  • Series
  • 1892-1917

This series contains letters inward to the Department of the Provincial Secretary, 1892-1917. During the period covered by GR-1330 (1892-1917) the Provincial Secretary was variously responsible for the departments of Mines, Education and Immigration. Within these departments he was responsible for the Legislative Library and Archives, the Queen's Printer, the Bureau of Statistics, the Civil Service Commission, and various agencies concerned with health and social welfare. The multiplicity of his duties accounts for the range and diversity of the records in GR-1330.

Among the records are correspondence to, and from, the Lieutenant-Governor and the Executive Council, correspondence from Dominion officials concerning colonization and settlement, applications from organizations wishing to register under the Benevolent Societies Act, memoranda of association from businesses seeking to be incorporated under the provincial Companies Act, petitions from community groups requesting schools and improved municipal services, plus letters from private persons applying for appointments in the civil service. Also included are records arising from the administration of the provincial elections, hospitals, and asylums.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Centennial '71 Committee records

  • GR-1450
  • Series
  • 1969-1972

The British Columbia Centennial '71 Committee was established by the British Columbia Centennial '71 Celebration Act of 1969 [SBC 1969 c.2]. Its mandate was to make and carry out "all arrangements necessary for organizing a celebration of the centenary of British Columbia joining Canada." As had been the case in the centennial celebrations of 1958 and 1966-1967, the Deputy Provincial Secretary, L.J. Wallace, was primarily responsible for overseeing the organization of the 1971 celebration. Following a tradition established with the earlier centennials, the provincial government offered per capita grants to assist communities with local events and projects. The government - through the Centennial '71 Committee - also organized and helped to finance a large number of major events and programmes. Events included a Provincial Festival of Sports and a Royal Visit by HM the Queen. Educational, cultural and historical programmes included the Queen Elizabeth II scholarships, Stop of Interest plaques, and a large number of school pageants. In addition to the above, the Centennial Committee presented pioneer medallions to B.C. residents who were either born in Canada or were a resident of Canada prior to 1897. Applications for medallions may be found in GR-1490. Records include administrative and sub-committee files (dealing with particular events and activities) and project files (dealing with commemorative building projects undertaken by local communities throughout the province). Boxes 1-12 (Files A-A-1 to A-W-3) contain Administrative files, Boxes 13-44 Project files, and Boxes 30-47 Local Committee files. .

British Columbia. Centennial ’71 Committee

Regulations and circulars

  • GR-0551
  • Series
  • 1873-1908

This series consists of miscellaneous regulations and circulars emanating principally from the Provincial Secretary's office, 1873-1904, 1908.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Oversize attachments for Orders in Council

  • GR-1664
  • Series
  • 1874-1994

Series consists of oversize attachments to Orders in Council (OIC) that were removed from GR-0113. Some oversized maps and plans from 1896-1979 were microfilmed and are available on reels B07080 to B07085. Other items, which were too large to be microfilmed or were created after 1979, are only available as originals. These are listed in the attached finding aid. Additional oversize items may also be found in GR-0113 (1872-2009) and 91-0472-740 to 91-0472-751 (1993-1994). See the end of the attached finding aid.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Provincial Secretary correspondence

  • GR-0528
  • Series
  • 1947

This series consists of Provincial secretary correspondence, 1947. Records consist of subject files arranged alphabetically by file title. Includes subject index on cards.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Provincial secretary correspondence

  • GR-0344
  • Series
  • 1917-1926

This series consists of correspondence inward and outward, and interdepartmental memos of the Provincial Secretary, pertaining to provincial mental health care institutions, mothers' pensions, child welfare, and adoption laws from 1918-1926.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Bureau of Mines, Mineral Survey and Mineralogical Branch photographs

  • GR-3353
  • Series
  • 1895-1945

The series consists of photographs (negatives and a small number of prints) created by the offices of the Bureau of Mines and the Mineral Survey between 1895 and 1937, and by the Mineralogical Branch between 1937 and 1945.

The series includes a 1938 memo which indicates that selected photographs were to be used or had been used in the department's published bulletins and in its Annual Report of the Minister of Mines. Photographers include the following government mineralogists, geologists, and mining engineers (followed with dates of photographs): William Fleet Robertson, Provincial Mineralogist, (photos 1898-1908); Herbert Carmichael, Assistant Mineralogist (1901-1904); F.W. Valleau, Gold Commissioner and Mining Recorder in the Omineca Mining District (photo 1901); Harold T. Nation (photos 1903-1926); Newton W. Emmens (1914); Joseph T. Mandy, provincial government resident mining engineer for the Atlin district (photos 1926-1945); Douglas Lay, Resident Mining Engineer (photos 1906-1940); Matthew S. Hedley (photos 1936-1939); Stuart S. Holland (photos 1939-1941); J.S. Stevenson (photos 1938-1942); H.S. Sargent (photos 1936-1941); R. Maconachie (1938-1940) and John D. Galloway, Provincial Mineralogist.

A small number of photographs were collected from private sources, including professional photographers. Some are attributed to the British Columbia Provincial Police. Approximately 50 per cent of the photographs are not attributed to a photographer.

Subjects include: mines, collieries, quarries, mineral veins and specimens; mining crews, equipment and operations; prospectors and placer mining activities; coke ovens, mills, smelters, concentrators and cement works; towns, modes of transportation; topographic features such as mountains, lakes, rivers, creeks. The photographers also captured a very wide range of subjects concerning British Columbia cultural and social history. Examples of this are First Nations activities and culture, including graveyards and bridges built by First Nations. The numbering system runs from 1 to 993. A single number may represent a series of photos on the same subject (for example: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d).

British Columbia. Dept. of Mines

Joint Reserve Commission collection

  • Collection
  • 1869, 1876-1910; predominant 1876-1878

The collection consists of records generated by the Joint Reserve Commission, predominantly from 1876-1878. The
collection includes correspondence inward and outward, memoranda, and reports. Many of the records were sent from Commissioners to representatives of the Canadian and British Columbia governments, such as the Provincial Secretary and the Department of Indian Affairs.

Joint Reserve Commission

Indigent Fund administration files

  • GR-0289
  • Series
  • 1914-1933 [predominant 192-]

The series consists of records created by the Deputy Provincial Secretary between 1914 and 1933 pertaining to the administration of funds for the "aid of the destitute, poor, and sick."

Between 1872 and 1942, an annual vote of funds was included in the estimates of the B.C. legislature. The fund, which was administered by the Office of the Provincial Secretary, originally contained $500. By 1935, this figure had risen to $110,000; but in the fund's final year of existence, 1943, the vote of funds had declined to $40,000.

The Indigent Fund, unlike the Mother's Pension, the Old Age Pension (1927), or the Veterans Assistance plans was not tied to an Act of Parliament, and thus relief was provided to people under a wide range of circumstances, and included many who failed to qualify for assistance under specific federal or provincial schemes. The fund was designed to meet the immediate and shortterm needs of rural B.C. residents (municipalities had their own funds) who through misfortune or bad planning had found themselves without "the necessities of life." The key to the fund, until the early 1930s, when the position of Superintendent of Welfare was created, was the Deputy Provincial Secretary, for it was often at his discretion that assistance was provided. He was aided in his duties by the various Government Agents, who were responsible for handling vouchers, disbursing cheques, and reporting to Victoria any new developments in individual cases. They, in turn, were assisted by Provincial Police constables who usually investigated each case and submitted a report.

The records consist of correspondence inward and outward from the Deputy Provincial Secretary's office; correspondence from Government Agents to the Deputy Provincial Secretary; Provincial Police reports on the condition of Indigents; correspondence from indigents or persons representing them to the Premier, Ministers, and the Deputy Provincial Secretary; and miscellaneous correspondence to and from various government departments and agencies such as Workman's Compensation Board, Department of Immigration, public hospitals, police departments etc.

The files are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the indigent. They are not, however, arranged alphabetically within each folder. There are two alphabetical series, as well as two sets of files titled "miscellaneous". All files have been preserved in their original order.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Mental Health Services correspondence

  • GR-0283
  • Series
  • 1947-1966

The series consists of correspondence of the Deputy Minister and minutes pertaining to the federal Advisory Committee on Mental Health, 1947-1966; report on mental health legislation in B.C., by the Faculty of Law, U.B.C., May 1959; and correspondence and position papers of the province at various federal-provincial conferences and for various Royal Commissions.

British Columbia. Mental Health Services

Election records from Victoria

  • GR-1667
  • Series
  • 1871-1872

This series consists of poll-books, voters' lists, and correspondence relating to two landmark elections in British Columbia: the election of 1871 of representatives to the provincial legislature, and the election of 1872, called to elect provincial members to the Dominion House of Commons - respectively the first provincial election and the first federal election held in B.C. These records document B.C.'s last "open voting" elections (i.e. a secret ballot was not used). Compiled by A.F. Pemberton, Chief Returning Officer for Victoria, the records pertain to Victoria City, Victoria District, Esquimalt and Metchosin.

The election of 1871 was held in various parts of the province between October and December. It was conducted in accordance with the Colonial Election Regulation Act [34 Vic., No. 13, a statute which affirmed the practice of open voting (as opposed to the secret ballot). Thus, the poll books in this collection show the names of electors and the candidates for whom each elector voted. Voter's qualifications were determined by the colonial Qualification and Registration of Voters' Act [34 Vic., No. 156]. To qualify for the franchise, a voter had to be male, a loyal British subject, over twenty-one years of age, literate (at least able to write his name), and a resident in B.C. for no less than six months. In addition, qualified electors had to meet one of the following criteria: occupy premises with an annual rent of $40 or more; own freehold property having an assessed value of at least $250; have a pre-emption claim of 100 acres or more; possess a free-miners' license.

The Dominion election of 1872 was held under the authority of two federal statutes: the Interim Parliamentary Election Act of 1871 [34 Vic., c.20] and the Act to Re-adjust the Representation in the House of Commons, 1872 [35 Vic., c.13]. The first statute made provisions for holding a federal election in B.C.; the second confirmed the number of MPs to be elected from B.C. [6] and established federal electoral boundaries. 2 MPs were elected from the district of Victoria; 1 MP from the district of Vancouver (i.e. Vancouver Island north of Victoria and adjacent to the Gulf Islands); 1 MP for each of the districts of New Westminster, Yale, and Cariboo. Section 5 of the Interim Parliamentary Elections Act declared that the laws already in force in B.C. would apply to the election of 1872. Accordingly, polling for the province's first federal election was carried out under colonial legislation noted above. The Dominion election was also carried out in accordance with B.C.'s Corrupt Practices Prevention Act [34 Vic., No. 158], a colonial statute which stipulated that candidates had to declare all expenses incurred during their campaign. Hence the documents in Box 1, files 6 & 7 of this collection.

The records in GR-1667 relate solely to the Victoria electoral district. For elections to the provincial legislature, the riding included areas within the city's limits. Federally, however, the electoral district of Victoria embraced the City of Victoria and adjacent areas of Saanich (Victoria District), Esquimalt and Metchosin. A.F. Pemberton was the district's chief Returning Officer in both elections. In the provincial election -- held on 16 October 1871 -- Pemberton established the district polling station at the Police Barracks in Bastion Square. In the Dominion election -- held on 2 September 1872 -- he established six polling stations. The polls were open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Three candidates contested the two Victoria seats: Amor DeCosmos, Henry Nathan and Robert Beavan. DeCosmos, and Nathan were elected. The results of the election, and returns from each of the polling stations, were published in the Victoria Daily Colonist (3 Sep 1872).

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Indian lands correspondence and other material

  • GR-0504
  • Series
  • 1861-1877

This series consists of correspondence, petitions, accounts, statements of population, and reports relating to land of Indigenous peoples in British Columbia from the Department of the Provincial Secretary.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Correspondence regarding interpretation of the Superannuation Act

  • GR-0168
  • Series
  • 1920-1922

The series consists of correspondence of the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary with the Civil Service Commissioner from 1920 to 1922 regarding interpretation of the Superannuation Act and representations made by the Provincial Civil Service Association on various matters.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Indigents Fund applications

  • GR-0166
  • Series
  • 1939-1941

The series consists of Application for Relief forms created by the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary between 1939 and 1941. Each form gives applicants' name, age, place of residence, marital status, financial status and number of dependents.

The forms, which are numbered from 600501 to 604500, were evidently a part of a larger registry. Unfortunately, other application forms from the registry have not survived. Contemporary registers and indexes to the application forms have not survived either.

Most of the forms in this series are from August-November 1939, although a few are dated as late as November 1941. The forms are arranged by community, with a very few discrepancies in the order. Application forms from the city of Vancouver are, for the most part, arranged alphabetically by the first initial of the applicants' surname.

An oath of allegiance was required from those applying for financial assistance from the provincial government. Oath of Allegiance forms from the years 1940-1942 are to be found in Box 7 of this collection. There is no discernible order to the Oath forms, although a number of them refer to the Application for Relief forms noted above.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Scrapbook of accounts

  • GR-0165
  • Series
  • 1911-1912

The series consists of a scrapbook created by the Dept. of Provincial Secretary from 1911 to 912. It contains accounts submitted by provincial newspapers for payment of advertisements of government notices.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Provincial Secretary records with regard to protocol

  • GR-0158
  • Series
  • 1964-1974

The series consists of Dept. of the Provincial Secretary general office files, 1964-1974. It contains records with subjects relating to protocol and routine operations of government.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Provincial Secretary correspondence

  • GR-0157
  • Series
  • 1913-1916

The series consists of correspondence, 1913-1916, that was originally a part of the Provincial Secretary's Central Registry. The records include grant applications from charitable organizations (e.g. Salvation Army Rescue and Maternity Home, Vancouver); petitions from various citizens groups and trades organizations (e.g. re: Pacific Great Eastern railway, prohibition, and Weekly Half Holiday Act); plus files on diverse topics such as the Belgian Relief Fund (which was administered by the Provincial Secretary), the Progress Club of Vancouver, the provincial coat-of-arms, prohibition, half-day closing, the Provincial Archives and W.W. Walkem's "Stories of Early British Columbia".

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Ballots and other material

  • GR-0156
  • Series
  • 1945

The series consists of ballots (blank and marked) and general instructions on voting procedures, along with a list of returning officers for the 1945 general election.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Records with regard to Royal visits

  • GR-0155
  • Series
  • 1938-1959

The series consists of records with regard to Royal visits created by the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary between 1939 and 1959. The records include correspondence, circulars, programmes, press releases, menus, etc. concerning the visit to British Columbia by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, 1939. Also includes programmes re: 1958 visit of the Princess Margaret and the visit of H.M. the Queen and Prince Philip in 1959.

The series also contains 2 photographs of paintings and some maps.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Provincial Secretary general office files and indexes

  • GR-0154
  • Series
  • 1951-1962

The series consists of general office files created by the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary between 1951 and 1962 with their card indexes.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Records pertaining to care of indigents and destitute persons

  • GR-0150
  • Series
  • 1911-1925

The series contains records pertaining to the care of indigents and destitute persons created by the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary between 1911 and 1925.

Files consist of applications for relief, supporting documents from police constables and government agents, case files, administrative reports, and general correspondence. Reports on unemployment in specific communities in British Columbia, ca. 1911-1918 are also included.

Records created prior to 1923 were filed numerically and constituted a separate records series within the Provincial Secretary's office. Records created after 1923 were kept alphabetically, by name of applicant. Regrettably, contemporary registers and indices for these records have not survived.

Although it was "the duty of every city and district municipality to make suitable provision for its poor" [Municipal Act, RSBC 1911, c.170 s.526], the Department of the Provincial Secretary was largely responsible for the care of indigents and other destitute people in British Columbia. In fact, prior to the creation of the Department of Health and Welfare in 1946, the Provincial Secretary's office was often the only source of support for deserted wives and children, indigent widows and elderly persons, disabled workers and others in need of public welfare.

The Provincial Secretary administered funds to such groups through charitable accounts, the Workmen's Compensation Board, the Provincial Board of Health, and other agencies. At the local level, relief payments were often distributed by Provincial Police constables or Government Agents.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Returned Soldier's Aid Commission records

  • GR-0126
  • Series
  • 1916-1920

The series consists of records created by the Provincial Secretary between 1916 and 1920, in his capacity as chairman of the British Columbia Returned Soldiers' Aid Commission. Appointed by Order-in-Council on 29 Nov 1915, the Commission was established to help with the resettlement of soldiers, sailors, and airmen who had served in the First World War.

The records include daily orders issued by Col. J.S. Harvey, Commander of Unit "J", Military Hospitals, No. XI District Depot Casualty Company and Hospital Section (Victoria, B.C. and Hastings Park, Vancouver, B.C.). The series also includes lists of B.C. men who served in the armed forces of Canada and Great Britain during the First World War. The lists are arranged by servicemen's former civilian occupation.

The records are arranged into two subseries:
A. Daily orders
B. Lists

British Columbia. Returned Solders’ Aid Commission

Correspondence and copies of theatre programmes

  • GR-0115
  • Series
  • 1932-1957

The series consists of records relating to school and community drama created by the Dept. of Education. It includes copies of theatre programmes from communities throughout the province from 1933 to 1939; correspondence regarding the 5th Annual BC Drama Finals in Vernon, 1957; and a British Columbia Drama Association cashbook dated 1932 to 1955.

British Columbia. Dept. of Education. Community Programmes Branch

Correspondence on the naming of British Columbia

  • GR-0003
  • Series
  • Typescript 1971 (originally created 1858)

The series consists of copies of correspondence between Queen Victoria and Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton on the naming of British Columbia, 24 June to 26 July 1858. The copy, made in 1971, was a gift of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, on the centenary of the province, 1871-1971.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

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