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British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary Tranquille Sanatorium
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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

Correspondence and reports from Department of Provincial Secretary

  • GR-1665
  • Series
  • 1887-1953

This series contains miscellaneous correspondence and reports. These records were originally a part of the Provincial Secretary's central registry but, for reasons unknown, became separated from the department's main files. A wide variety of subjects are addressed in these records.

Many of the records in this unit concern investigations carried out under the authority of the Departmental Inquiries Act and the Public Inquiries Act. Many relate to conditions in public institutions and activities of government employees. Many inquiries relate to hospitals and schools in the province, including Vernon Mental Hospital, Tranquille Sanatorium, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Provincial Mental Hospital at Essondale. Other inquiries and Commissions include bribery of the Liquor Control Board, the Beban Mine disaster, Royal Commission on Dominion Provincial Relations, Inquiry into the death of John Meredith Sweeney and the state and management of the Quartermaster Stores of the Provincial Police Force.

The records also relate to child welfare programs, including the general management of the Provincial Industrial School for Boys and to the Girls' Industrial School, ca. 1930-1945. Additional documents in this collection relate to subjects such as squatters' claims at the Granville Townsite [Vancouver (1887)], to the Fraser River Flood Relief programme (1894), applications for seed, the Victoria Consolidated Hydraulic Mining Co., government perquisites, legislation, estates, and to proposed sites for the University of British Columbia (1910). "Anti-Oriental" petitions and voting returns of the 1924 beer-by-the-glass plebiscite also included.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Provincial Secretary executive records

  • GR-0496
  • Series
  • 1929-1947

This series consists of executive records of the Provincial Secretary, covering a wide variety of topics. The Provincial Secretary's department was responsible for a broad range of legislation and activities - including the civil service, provincial elections and (until 1946) health and welfare services. These records comprise part of the former Provincial Secretary's Central Registry. This registry consisted of general correspondence, policy directives, branch reports, inter-departmental memoranda, circulars, grant applications, and a host of miscellaneous documents.

The finding aid consists of two parts. Part I is a box/file list showing the original order and arrangement of the records. The records fall into six categories or subseries:

A. General correspondence: correspondence inward (with replies), reports, circulars, etc.
B. Appointments: correspondence, commissions, oaths of allegiance of coroners, magistrates, and other appointed officials.
C. Resident Physicians: correspondence re: grants paid to physicians in isolated communities
D. Grants: correspondence and reports pertaining to grants paid to various community groups and charitable organizations, service clubs, etc.
E. Workmen's Compensation Board: circulars, etc.
F. Contemporary card indexes: alphabetical subject index cards. Part II: Subject Index

Part II of this finding aid consists of a subject index compiled by the Provincial Archives of BC. The index indicates the main topics or subject areas - e.g. Provincial Infirmary, Elections, Industrial Schools, etc. which are documented in GR-0496. The index does not claim to be comprehensive or exhaustive, but it should help researchers to locate documents which concern particular institutions or activities.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

District Agriculturist memoranda

  • GR-1813
  • Series
  • 1930

Copy of a memorandum (undated) to P.D. Walker, Deputy Provincial Secretary, from Rodney DeLisle, District Agriculturalist (Columbia-Kootenay), describing his visit to Colony Farm at the Provincial Mental Hospital (Essondale), Alexandra Ranch at Tranquille Sanatorium and the Provincial Industrial School for Boys at Port Coquitlam in 1930.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Deputy Provincial Secretary records

  • GR-0497
  • Series
  • 1930-1946

This series consists of the personal files of the Deputy Provincial Secretary, Paschal de Noe Walker, 1930-1946. Records deal with health and welfare facilities (hospitals, industrial schools, etc.), social services, elections, libraries, museums and a variety of other programmes and services administered by the Provincial Secretary's department.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary