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Only top-level descriptions British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General
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Inquiries conducted by coroners in Vancouver

  • GR-1503
  • Series
  • 1938-1965

This series contains inquiries conducted by coroners in Vancouver from 1938-1965. This series continues from files C49-1 and C159 in GR-1323 (Attorney General correspondence). There may be some inquisitions/inquests from Vancouver mixed in with the inquiries.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General


  • GR-1328
  • Series
  • 1859-1871

This series includes inquisitions (inquests) conducted during the colonial period, including the following:

Vancouver Island (Colony), 1859 - 18 Nov 1866
British Columbia (Colony), 1859 - 18 Nov 1866
British Columbia (United Colony), 19 Nov 1866 - 20 Jul 1871

The files usually contain an inquisition form, which indicates the name of the deceased, the coroner's name, where the inquest was held, the date, names of the members of the coroner's jury and the cause of death.

These inquests were filed in the Colonial Correspondence under the name of the coroner or person conducting them. The indexing was incomplete and only those inquests held by persons whose last name begins with letters from A-M have been listed. It is not known whether this section of listings is complete.

To locate unindexed colonial inquests, researchers should look under the heading "deaths" in the index to miscellaneous correspondence inwards to the British Columbia Colonial Secretary, 1858-1863 (C/AB/30.lKl/l). Letters to which the index refers will be found in the Colonial Correspondence under the name of the author of the letter. Researchers should also look, in indexes under the names if the Gold Commissioners, since they acted as coroners. Indexes of correspondence inward to the Colonial Secretary should be checked generally for references to deaths.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners

  • GR-1502
  • Series
  • 1938-1967

This series contains inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia for the period 1938-1967.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners

  • GR-1327
  • Series
  • [1862], 1872-1937

This series contains inquisitions and inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia [1862], 1872-1937. To obtain the inquest number for inquests on reels B02374 to B02445, consult the contemporary indexes and registers. For indexes and registers see GR-0432.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Legal opinions offered by Attorney General

  • GR-1459
  • Series
  • 1864-1879

This series contains legal opinions offered by Attorney General on a wide range of subjects. For more information on the subjects covered, please consult the attached finding aid.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Memorandum of Agreement re: Old Cariboo Road

  • GR-2051
  • File
  • 1928; 1963

The file consists of a signed agreement from 1928 between the Province represented by the Minister of Public Works and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CPR). The agreement sets out compensation to be paid by the CPR for each level crossing on the Old Cariboo Road between Haig and Spences Bridge that would be eliminated by the construction of the new provincial highway.

The agreement is accompanied by a photocopied letter from 1963 from the Office of the Attorney-General to the Chief Engineer of the Dept. of Highways instructing them to keep the agreement in their active files.

British Columbia. Dept. of Public Works

Nanaimo Gaol records

  • GR-0310
  • Series
  • 1893-1914

This series consists of records of the Provincial Gaol at Nanaimo mostly between 1911 and 1914. Volumes include a list of prisoners, 1893-1911, charge and sentence book, 1911-1914, prisoners' sentence book, prisoners' description book, prisoners' employment book, prisoners' effects book, list of provisions and stores, Gaoler's testimonials at Nanaimo Gaol, 1911-1914 and at the Saanich Prison Farm 1914-1917, punishment book, prisoners' keep account book, gaoler's diary 1911, food account books, an indexed letterpress book of correspondence outward from the Warden J. Munro and a daily minute book of admissions, discharges, calls, visitors, church services, etc.

Nanaimo Gaol

Nelson County Court civil case files

  • GR-2230
  • Series
  • 1909-1950

Series consists of civil case files from the Nelson County Court for 1909, 1913, 1917, 1919, 1922 and 1936-1950.

British Columbia. County Court (Nelson)

New Westminster Gaol records

  • GR-0309
  • Series
  • 1875-1917

This series consists of records of the New Westminster Goal, including prisoner description books, monthly lists of prisoners, and prisoners' effects books, 1875-1917.

Description books are a record and description list of all prisoners received into New Westminster Gaol, showing date, name, occupation, age, height, hair, eyes, complexion, religion, nationality, proportions, weight, peculiar marks, read and write, married or single, temperate or intemperate, offence, sentence number of convictions and remarks.

Return of Prisoners confined in New Westminster Gaol are lists arranged by month showing prisoner number and name, offence or charge, date of trial, when received in gaol, where and by whom tried, sentence, religion, nationality, whether can read or write, date of discharge, conduct, occupation in gaol, and remarks.

Prisoners' effects books show date, name, property, officer, remarks, charge and sentence.

Records are arranged chronologically by type of record.

New Westminster Gaol


  • GR-0113
  • Series
  • 1872-2009

The series consists of orders-in-council arranged numerically by year and then by OIC number. The series also includes some maps and text attachments which were transferred in 1974 from the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary. The records were created between 1872 and 2009. Orders-in-council can be issued for a variety of reasons, including creating simple legislation and granting political appointments. OICs are issued in the name of the Lieutenant-Governor.

Containers 941119-0002, 941119-0004, and 941119-0006 contain proclamations. These ledgers include a copy of the order-in-council relating to the proclamation, and a copy of the proclamation. Each book contains an index listing both the OIC number and the subject of the proclamation.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Policing subject and personnel files

  • GR-0750
  • Series
  • 1942-1965

This series consists of a variety of administrative files related to the British Columbia Provincial Police Force. This includes Attorney General files P-291-2 and P-291-7, Policing of British Columbia, consisting of files on the take over of the B.C. Provincial Police by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and of various personnel files, 1942-1965.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Provincial Game Warden records

  • GR-0446
  • Series
  • 1905-1927

This collection is comprised of records relating to the development, implementation and administration of game management policies in British Columbia from 1905-1927. It includes correspondence, reports, vouchers and licences, as well as information regarding firearms regulation and prosecutions under game laws. Records were created by the Provincial Game Warden, Deputy Game Wardens and other related staff.

Researchers will find these records particularly useful for tracking the development and implementation of early provincial game management policies. General correspondence and reports from Deputy Game Wardens throughout the province contain information regarding the status of game in various areas over time. Difficulties in enforcing policies such as regulation of trophy hunters and the need for firearms licences are documented in these materials. Development of the game base as an economic resource through payment of licence fees, and international promotion of the province as a sportsperson's centre, were key components of A. Bryan Williams' approach to game management and the results of this can also be studied in these records. Conflicts between the provincial approach to the game resource and that taken by some Indigenous peoples can be studied in this collection. Additional subjects include fishing, fur farming, wildlife management and conflict between hunting with other forms and land and resource use. Many of the Deputy Game Wardens saw military service abroad during World War I and the records include some relevant correspondence.

See Table of Contents below for a general sense of the collection organization and finding aid for a detailed file/item list. The contents of some files are listed in a hardcopy index (i.e. an item list) available in the reference room. The series is arranged by record type into the following sub series and sub-sub series:

A. Indexes
B. Correspondence
B(1) Personal and semi-official correspondence of A. Bryan Williams, Provincial Game Warden
B(2) Correspondence out
B(3) Letterbooks of correspondence out
B(4) General correspondence inward and outward
B(5) Correspondence re: firearms licences
C. Deputy Game Wardens
C(1) Monthly reports Boxes
C(2) Correspondence Boxes
D. Returns re: firearms licences
E. Vouchers
F. Licences
G. Prosecutions
H. Miscellaneous

British Columbia. Provincial Game and Forest Warden

Provincial Gaol punishment book

  • GR-0349
  • Series
  • 1914-1917

Punishment book showing "punishments awarded for breaches of prison discipline in Provincial Gaol". The volume indicates the date, prisoner's name, nature of the offence, by whom reported, sentence, date of sentence and the signature of the warden, J. Munro.

Saanich Prison Farm

Railway Belt and Peace River Block lands dispute records

  • GR-0997
  • Series
  • ca. 1922-1933

This series consists of correspondence, memos, notes, reports and agreements accumulated in the course of presenting British Columbia's case to the Commission on Reconveyance of Land to British Columbia. Records were used to receive and inquire into the arguments of the Government of the Province of British Columbia in support of its claim for the reconveyance to the Province by the Government of Canada of the land conveyed by the Province to the Dominion pursuant to paragraph 11 of the Terms of Union and in arriving at the Agreement of Feb. 20, 1930, between Canada and British Columbia on the subject of the transfer of the Railway Belt and the Peace River Block.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Records of the Attorney General

  • GR-3944
  • Series
  • 1945-1972, 1974-2001

This series consists of subject files, correspondence and other records from the Office of the Attorney General from 1945-1972, 1974-2001. The records document all aspects of the Attorney General's role, including: advice to Cabinet; political oversight of the ministry; and involvement in inter-ministerial and inter-governmental initiatives. Files relate to all branches and functions of the Ministry of Attorney General and many include an overview of the work conducted by various branches of the ministry.

The majority of records are annual subject or correspondence files documenting the Attorney General’s liaison with government ministries and other government bodies, such as BC Ferries and BC Hydro. For earlier records, this includes annual correspondence files with Members of the Legislative Assembly, Ministers, and a few members of the public such as concerned citizens, and representatives of various organizations or companies. These files may contain correspondence in and out, alongside related reference material. In later series outgoing correspondence may be filed separately as flimsies (outgoing correspondence sent by the Attorney General). Some of the flimsies reply to correspondence written by members of the public and subsequently forwarded to the Attorney General from various officials for a response.

In addition, many records are copies requiring review or approval by the Attorney General, such as requests for legislation, and orders in council (OICs) and related background information.

Other types of records vary over the years and may include: Police Board records, including minutes; settlement offers with First Nations; Police Services complaints commission records; Human Rights Tribunal records, including reasons for decision; annual reports; legal opinions; press releases; newspaper clippings; staff personnel records; newsletters; correspondence; statistics; reports; budgets; audits; Freedom of Information requests; Treasury Board submissions; newspaper clippings; court records; files related to sessions of parliament including Bills, notes and responses to questions; daily journals or agendas (these are the only records in the series covering the years 1945-1951); briefs submitted to Cabinet from interested third parties. Many records appear to be informational to keep the Attorney General informed about various issues or the progress of programs and projects.

The subjects included in these records are extremely diverse, as the Attorney General interacted with all branches of government. A few prominent subjects include: liquor control, Doukhobors, Policing, allegations of corruption and abuse of authority by government officials or police, horse racing, conferences, Royal Commissions, Bank of British Columbia, Columbia River Treaty and power development project, and Dominion Provincial Conferences.

The records include a VHS videotape providing an overview of Thomas R. Berger’s report addressing claims of sexual abuse at Jericho Hill School for the Deaf. The videotape also contains the Attorney General at the time, the Honorable Colin Gablemann’s ministerial statement tabling Berger’s report to the Legislature on June 28th, 1995.

Names and dates of Attorney Generals covering these records are:
Robert Bonner (1952–1968)
Leslie Peterson (1968–1972)
Alex MacDonald (1972–1975)
Brian Smith (1983-1988)
Bud Smith (1988-1990)
Russell Fraser (1990-1991)
Colin Gabelmann (1991-1995)
Ujjal Dosanjh (1995–2000)
Andrew Petter (2000)
Graeme Bowbrick (2000–2001)
Geoff Plant (2001–2005)

These records are covered under Executive Records schedule 102906. Accession 86-0270 is covered under onetime schedule number 860140.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Records of the Attorney-General’s office

  • GR-3775
  • Series
  • 1876-1894

This series contains several draft documents and letters, the majority of which appear to have originated from the office of Theodore Davie, Attorney General of British Columbia from 1889 to 1892.
The records cover a diverse range of topics and do not appear to be arranged in any specific order. The majority of documents appear to be drafts of court documents or correspondence, many of which are hand-written or have hand-written annotations and corrections. There are also copies of pamphlets, published reports of select committees (court proceedings) and papers related to various Supreme Court of British Columbia cases.
Many of the records in this series appear to be related to matters of transportation, health, new legislation and legal cases in the Supreme Court. At least four files are related to railway or ferry transportation subsidies in the province and include indentures or other agreements between the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works and the Kootenay Valley Company, the Canadian Pacific Railway, James Uren of the Savona Ferry, the Victoria and Sidney Railway Company, the Alberta and British Columbia Exploration Company Ltd, Nakusp & Slocan Railway Company and the Nelson and Fort Sheppard Railway.
Records related to health issues can be found in at least two files and mainly concern legislation around preventing the spread of smallpox including the appointment of Health Officers, the appointment of a commission to investigate outbreaks of smallpox, and mandatory vaccination. There are also letters and pamphlets sent to Chief Justice Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie from anti-vaccinators asking to repeal compulsory vaccination.
Drafts for new legislation and orders in council submitted by the President Executive Council can be found in at least three files and relate to welfare for new settler families arriving in BC from Scotland to work in the fishing industry (Crofter Settlement Act, 1892), education including the establishment of the University of British Columbia (British Columbia University Amendment Act), the census, amendments to city limits, appointments of public servants, issues around expenditures (Royal Commission for Investigating the Municipal Management of the City of Victoria), the alleged hostility of the Chilcotin, and the amendments or new drafts of the Act of Incorporation, the Court Act, the Juror’s Act, the Land Registry Act, The Magistrate’s Act, An Act to enable the Lieutenant Governor in Council to establish courts of revision from cities of the Province, the Municipal Act, The Land Agents Regulation Act, The British Columbia Railway Act, an Act respecting the unauthorized use of the provincial coat of arms, the Constitution Act, and the Mining Partnerships Act among other legislation.
There is also a significant amount of draft records related to legal proceedings in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. These include cases such as John Nicholson Muir vs. the Queen, the Queen vs J.D. Demers and Numa Demers, The Esquimalt Graving Dock Contract case, the Attack on Funeral Procession of Ellis Roberts case regarding hostilities between union and non-union miners, Horace S. Shepard vs. Samuel Maxwell regarding revenue taxes, and Cooley et al. vs. Fitzstubbs regarding rights to mining plots.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Records of the Inspector of Legal Offices

  • GR-3983
  • Series
  • 1918-1921

This series consists of records created by the Inspector of Legal Offices in the Department of the Attorney-General from 1918-1921. There is one file labelled Department of Industries, as well as one file of some additional records. Most records are correspondence with the Commissioner of Industries regarding loans and mortgages to various companies. Some records also relate to the Superintendent of BC Soldier Settlement regarding housing and loans for soldiers.

Records include correspondence, minutes, memoranda, agreements, indentures and copies of Orders-in-Council.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Records pertaining to Indian lands

  • GR-0200
  • Series
  • 1763; 1859-1870 [photocopied 1976]

The series consists of certified copies of records pertaining to Indian lands obtained by the Dept. of the Attorney-General in 1976 from the Public Record Office, London.

It includes selected page copies of proclamations (PC 2/110), correspondence, and despatches (C.O.5/65, C.O.42/24 and C.O.398) from successive Secretaries of State to the Governor of British Columbia pertaining to Indian lands and Crown lands in North America as well as British Columbia.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Register of letters inward

  • GR-1326
  • Series
  • 1916-1937

This series contains a register of letters inward from the Department of the Attorney-General. The records are arranged alphabetically by the name of the correspondent and by year with government departments following the end of general correspondence listings in each register.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Registers and indexes to coroner's inquiries/inquests

  • GR-0432
  • Series
  • 1874-1937

This series consists of registers and indexes to coroners' inquiries and inquests, 1874-1937. In the registers (1889-1937), names are listed chronologically by year. In the indexes (1879-1937), names are arranged alphabetically by year.

Coroners' inquiries and inquests that are registered and indexed in this accession are held in GR-1327 and GR-1323.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Registrar's records

  • GR-0847
  • Series
  • 1948-1951

This series consists of the Registrar's monthly returns of criminal appeals, including appeals from summary convictions, 1948-1951.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Reports submitted by provincial coroners

  • GR-0627
  • Series
  • 1954

This series consists of reports of inquests, juries of inquiry submitted by provincial coroners as required by the Coroners Act, 1954.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Saanich Prison Farm records

  • GR-0306
  • Series
  • 1914-1917

This series consists of records documenting the admission and discharge of prisoners, their daily activities and medical needs; account books for the running of the gaol; time books for the guards and gaolers; and a letterpress book of correspondence outward from the warden, J. Munro. Volumes 1-5 are statements showing the Employment of Prisoners in Saanich Prison Farm. This is a daily record which shows the date, number and name of prisoner, all are male, all do hard labour, most are under sentence and a few are under capital sentence.

Saanich Prison Farm

Speedy trials and returns

  • GR-0705
  • Series
  • 1934; 1955-1956; 1964-1968

This series consists of County Court Criminal Court records regarding speedy trials and returns. Volume 1 covers 1934; volume 2, 1955; volume 3, 1956-1957; and volume 4, 1964-1968.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Superintendent of Provincial Police correspondence inward

  • GR-0063
  • Series
  • 1898-1912

The series consists of correspondence from the Dept. of the Attorney-General to the Superintendent of Police between October 1898 and August 1912.

British Columbia. Superintendent of Police

Superintendent of Provincial Police correspondence outward

  • GR-0064
  • Series
  • 1898-1918

The series consists of 12 volumes of correspondence from the Superintendent of Provincial Police outward to Attorney General. The records were created between December 1898 and April 1918 and are letterpress copies. There are subject indexes at the start of each volume.

British Columbia. Superintendent of Police

Supreme Court calendars

  • GR-0703
  • Series
  • 1917-1933; 1964-1969

This series consists of Supreme Court calendars, 1917-1933 (v.1), 1964-1966 (v.2), 1967-1969 (v.3).

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Telegrams to Superintendent of Provincial Police

  • GR-0065
  • Series
  • 1896-1906

The series consists of three volumes of telegrams to the Superintendent of Police, from 1896-1897, and 1900-1906. They are arranged alphabetically within chronological groupings.

British Columbia. Superintendent of Police

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