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Archival description
Only top-level descriptions New Westminster (B.C.)
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Victoria Supreme Court letterbooks

  • GR-1827
  • Series
  • 1866-1890

Letterbooks (indexed) of correspondence outward by Registrar and Sheriff, 1866-1890. The first section of vol. 2 also serves as a letterbook of correspondence outward for the Dominion Saw Mill Co., 1884-1885. 2 vols.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Victoria)

Assize calendars from various locations

  • GR-1926
  • Series
  • 1870-1965

Criminal assize calendars for Victoria. Also includes criminal assize calendars for Yale, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Clinton, Richfield, Kamloops, Quesnellemouth, Cassiar, Laketon, Glenora and Lytton, 1870s.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Victoria)

Bench book

  • GR-2086
  • Series
  • 1889-1891

Bench book for County Court civil and Supreme Court chambers cases heard at Chilliwack, 1889-1891, by Judge W.N. Bole. The volume includes records relating to cases heard at his residence in New Westminster. It also frequently includes his reasons for judgement.

British Columbia. County Court (Chilliwack)

Bankruptcy record books

  • GR-2105
  • Series
  • 1923-1953

Record books maintained by the Official Receiver for proceedings under the Bankruptcy Act. Bankruptcy case files can be found in GR-2401.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (Vancouver)

Custom House Returns

  • GR-2957
  • Series
  • 1859-1869

Custom House Returns. The records In this volume include: lists of articles (quantity and value) imported to British Columbia from Vancouver Island, the United States and the United Kingdom; lists of articles exported from British Columbia; shipping returns from the port of New Westminster; road tolls from Yale, Douglas and Hope; and an annual summary of customs receipts (from duties, harbour dues, head money, tonnage dues, warehouse fees, inland navigation licenses, fines, and tolls at south boundary).

British Columbia (Colony)

Customs Dept. letter book

  • GR-1733
  • Series
  • 1858-1876

The series consists of a letter book created by the Collector of Customs in the Vancouver Island Customs Dept. between 1858 and 1871 and the Canada Customs Department between 1871 and 1876. It contains copies of correspondence outward from the Customs Houses in Victoria and New Westminster. There is an index to the volume.
The Collector of Customs was based as follows:
A.C. Anderson, Victoria, July 1858 - April 1859
W. Hamley, Victoria, April 1859 - June 1859
W. Hamley, Queensborough, New Westminster, June 1859 - December 1868
W. Hamley, Victoria, January 1869 - June 1876

Vancouver Island. Customs Dept.

Photograph album : Mental Health Services

  • GR-3673
  • Series
  • [ca. 1920-1940]

The series consists of a photograph album created by the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary sometime between 1920 and 1940. The album contains 215 black and white prints of varying sizes showing the buildings, grounds and patients at the Public Hospital for the Insane at New Westminster, Essondale and Colony Farm. The photographs are captioned but not dated.

Several of the exterior shots of the buildings and grounds were taken by professional photographers and have been connected together to show panoramas. There are also exterior photos of farm activities and labour performed by patients. The majority of the photographs are of the patients themselves. These photographs illustrate various pathological types that were treated at the hospitals. They include men, women and children; shown as individuals and in groups.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Letters of administration - OA

  • GR-2786
  • Series
  • 1895-1954

Letters of administration for estates probated by the Official Administrator in New Westminster County Court, 1895-1940 (Vols. 1-5) and New Westminster Supreme Court, 1895-1954 (Vols. 1-8).

British Columbia. Supreme Court (New Westminster)

Woodlands record books

  • GR-3729
  • Series
  • 1908-1974

The series consists of a variety of record books created at Woodlands School (later known simply as Woodlands) between 1908 and 1974, with the majority of the records dating from the late 1930s to the 1950s. The records relate to both staff and residents, although the majority of the records pertain to residents. Staff records include “position vacant” cards, lists of staff and the dates they joined and left Woodlands, and ledgers detailing absences and sick time for both male and female staff members. The staff lists are not comprehensive and frequently appear to provide a snapshot in time.

Records relating to patients provide evidence of the day-to-day functioning of the institution, including one- or two-sentence long hourly reports by nursing staff. Researchers should note that while specific individuals are named in the records, the records do not include case files. Some “propensity” ledgers provide alphabetical listings of patients, their admission dates and patient number, a brief one- or two-word description of why they were admitted, information about clothing, religion, and whether they left Woodlands. However, these registers do not cover the entire period of time that Woodlands operated and should not be seen as admissions registers.

The series includes a set of record books with daily shift reports that list disturbances, illnesses, numbers of residents employed in certain tasks, outings to movies and concerts, and any other noteworthy occurrences. The series contains ledgers relating to residents’ health, and other books related to their day-to-day lives. Records related to health care include those detailing medicine dosages, notes on blood pressure, and ‘doctors’ orders’ books. Records relating to daily life include notes on clothing and shoes sent to be cleaned, repaired, or discarded, numbers of residents sent to the ‘airing court’ for recreation, and records relating to the sewing and knitting done by residents. In some cases, ledgers provide assessments of the knitting skill of residents, and it appears that patients did sewing for both themselves and for staff. Records relating to shoes and clothing appear to be carbon copies of receipts issued when items were sent for repair or cleaning, and many are difficult to read. The series also includes general ward counts and statistics as well as a ward inventory listing everything from brooms to medical equipment. Some ledgers provide information on residents who were transferred to or from institutions at Essondale, Tranquille, and Colquitz.

There appear to have been three staff shifts in Woodlands, and records are often annotated with the time of the shift. Shifts ran from 7 am to 3 pm, 3 pm to 11 pm, and 11 pm to 7 am. It is common to see annotations such as 3-11 next to a report.

Many of the ledgers were not labelled and do not have original titles on them. Titles in square brackets were supplied by the Archivist on the basis of the file list that accompanied the records when they were transferred to Archives custody. Where the assigned title does not appear adequate, a further explanatory note has been included. Explanatory notes have also been included in square brackets when the title on the ledger book was vague or potentially misleading.

Within the ledgers, the bulk of the records are organized chronologically. Some books contain indexes or are arranged alphabetically by surname, although due to the nature of the records it is more common to see chronological progressions.

Records in this series were selected for retention by staff working with the Records Management Branch in the early 1990s.

British Columbia. Dept. of Human Resources

New Westminster Supreme Court cause books

  • GR-1564
  • Series
  • 1881-1947, 1961-1977

The series consists of cause books, and later case record cards, for civil cases heard in the New Westminster Supreme Court. The series covers a variety of civil matters, including divorce. Cause books and case record cards provide details such as the name of parties involved, the names of their solicitors, and a listing of proceedings in the case. Cause books were gradually replaced by case record cards in the 1970s and 1980s. Entries in cause books and case cards also provide a volume and folio number, which can then be used to obtain a copy of the final order.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (New Westminster)

Star Shipyard (Mercers) Ltd. fonds

  • PR-0260
  • Fonds
  • 1910-1970; predominant 1940-1965

The fonds consists of the records of Star Shipyard (Mercers) Ltd. and includes textual records, photographs, architectural plans and drawings, and audio recordings. The records date from just after the founding of the company in 1908 until it was sold in 1970, however most of the records date from after the late 1930s.

Textual records include general correspondence, financial and employment records, and records concerning contracts for the construction, repair and refit of ships. These include bound office record books (journals and ledger books), which record information such as employee time worked on projects, specific construction projects or “jobs,” salary and payroll records, cheques paid out, ledgers organized by account holders, bank books, monthly time books, and annual statistics reports.

Photographs, almost all black and white, include images of ship exteriors and interiors, ship construction and repair, views of the shipyard, workers, owners, launching/christening ceremonies, dignitaries, and the New Westminster and Vancouver waterfronts. A large number of photos were produced by the Stride Studios of New Westminster.

The fonds consists of many records relating to ship launchings, including photographs, audio tapes, a radio script, invitations and event programs.

Star Shipyard (Mercers) Ltd.

New Westminster divorce trial books

  • GR-3747
  • Series
  • 1957-1977

The series consists of six volumes of divorce trial record books created by the New Westminster Supreme Court between 1957 and 1977. The books are arranged in a similar manner to divorce cause books, but list the Central Divorce Registry file number rather than a volume and folio number. Divorce trial books also provide a list of exhibits used in the case, and the names of individuals who provided affidavits.

Similar to cause books, trial books provide evidence of divorce proceedings that may later have been abandoned or dismissed, thereby not resulting in a divorce order. In these cases, the trial record book and cause book may be the only evidence that still exists of such cases.

Records in the trial books are arranged chronologically from the back of the volume to the front, and are assigned a four-digit number in addition to the number provided by the Central Divorce Registry. Please see GR-3748 for alphabetical indexes to these volumes.

Researchers should note that the volumes were frequently referred to as "Divorce and Matrimonial Causes record books." This is in reference to legislation which governed divorces in BC until 1972, and does not refer to the type of court record known as a cause book.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (New Westminster)

New Westminster divorce trial book indexes

  • GR-3748
  • Series
  • 1967-1974

The series consists of seven small volumes of indexes to divorce trial record books created in the New Westminster Supreme Court registry between 1967 and 1974. The indexes provide a number which can be used to locate the corresponding divorce trial record in the appropriate book. Trial books are arranged by this number in reverse order, with the earlier numbers found at the back of the book. Numbers were continuous across volumes and do not reset to 1.

It is unclear whether these indexes were originally tucked inside the trial record books, or if they were maintained separately as a manual indexing system.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (New Westminster)

New Westminster divorce cause books

  • GR-3749
  • Series
  • 1968-1977

The series consists of 8 volumes of divorce cause books created by the New Westminster Supreme Court between 1968 and 1977. The cause books are arranged chronologically, and cases are assigned a number in the cause book. Cause book entries generally consist of the names of the parties, their solicitors, a list of the proceedings, and a volume and folio number which can be used to obtain a copy of the divorce order. Cause books are a particularly valuable source of information, as they list proceedings for divorce trials that were ultimately dismissed or abandoned. In these instances, the only surviving evidence that the case took place is found in the divorce cause books, as no final order would have been issued.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (New Westminster)

New Westminster Suitor's fund books

  • GR-1830
  • Series
  • 1890-1957

Suitor's fund books (indexed) for proceedings in New Westminster Supreme Court, 1890-1957and New Westminster County Court, 1947-1957.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (New Westminster)

New Westminster Supreme Court wills book

  • GR-1831
  • Series
  • 1894-1900

Wills book (indexed) containing copies of wills probated in New Westminster, 1894- ca. 1900. These are convenience copies; the original probated wills were sent to the Victoria Court Registry and are found in GR-1052.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (New Westminster)

New Westminster Supreme Court judgements

  • GR-2571
  • Series
  • 1949-1951

Judgements (volumes 47 and 48), mostly but not all, divorce and matrimonial cases; includes index by plaintiff.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (New Westminster)

New Westminster Supreme Court orders

  • GR-2749
  • Series
  • 1945-1947

Supreme Court orders. New Westminster orders are also found in GR-1606, GR-1806 and GR-2018.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (New Westminster)

Presentments of the Grand Jury

  • GR-2841
  • Series
  • 1880-1905

Presentments of the Grand Jury.

British Columbia. Supreme Court (New Westminster)

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