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Riverview Hospital historical collection

  • GR-3929
  • 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

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

Staff and patient photographs

  • GR-3421
  • Series
  • 1950-1967

The series consists of approximately 1005 black and white photographs taken by Mental Health Services between 1950 and 1967. The photographs consist of black and white prints and 4 x 5 acetate negatives.

The photographs are of Mental Health Services staff based at Essondale, Crease Clinic and Woodlands School. Some patient photographs are included. Some of the photographs show staff at work and were used for annual reports and other publications and some are "passport" style portraits. Most of the people in the photographs are identified and many include photograph classification numbers.

The photographs are arranged alphabetically by last name. The prints are in container 890935-0012 and the negatives are in container 890935-0010.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Pathological master file photographs

  • GR-3420
  • Series
  • 1946-1967

The series, called the pathological master file, consists of ca. 1483 photographs and their card index file created by the Mental Health Services between 1946 and 1967. The photographs consist mostly of black and white prints and 4 x 5 acetate negatives. There are also a few colour negatives and transparencies and 2 glass negatives.

The photographs are of the patients at Crease Clinic, Essondale and Woodlands School and document adults and children with various conditions, both physical and mental. There are whole body shots as well as close up's of specific conditions and injuries. In addition there are numerous photographs of brain samples to illustrate the pathology. The photographs have been numbered and the prints are filed within the card index, which is arranged alphabetically by condition. There is a card for each file which identifies the patient, date the photograph(s) were taken and the condition. The negatives are arranged separately by file number. There are also some unnumbered and unidentified photographs. The negatives are in containers 890935-0008 and 0009 and the prints and card file are in containers 890935-0011 and 0012.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Photographs of institutions operated by the Mental Health Services

  • GR-3419
  • Series
  • 1948-1967

The series consists of approximately 5250 black and white photographic negatives taken by Mental Health Services between 1948 and 1967. The negatives are acetate and are mostly in a 4 x 5 format with some 35 mm. There are 62 black and white prints interfiled with the negatives.

The photographs are of various British Columbia mental health institutions including the Boys Industrial School, Colony Farm, Colquitz Mental Home (Saanich), the Home for the Aged in Vernon and in Terrace, Woodlands School, Essondale (Coquitlam) and the Crease Clinic.

The photographs depict the grounds and buildings (both internal and external views) of the mental health institutions as well as photographs of construction and equipment. There are photographs of staff and patients involved in a variety of activities including medical treatments, events, ceremonies, leisure activities and other programs.

The negative files are arranged numerically in seven boxes: 1-657, 658-1004, 1005-1135, 1136-1242, 1245-1325, 1326-1409 and 1410-1499.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Miscellaneous records related to the British Columbia Coat of Arms

  • GR-3149
  • Series
  • Microfilmed 1965 (originally created 1872-1957)

The records include correspondence inward and outward of the Provincial Secretary related to the subject of design and registration of the British Columbia Coat of Arms. The correspondence is arranged chronologically and interfiled with the correspondence are reports, drawings of the crest and coat of arms, rubbings, and clippings. Some letters are typescript copies. Correspondents include: Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works; High Commissioner for Canada, Agent-General for British Columbia, Herald's College, Provincial Secretary, Deputy Provincial Secretary, Premier of British Columbia, Under Secretary of State and the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia. This appears to be a collection of records, taken from a number of different files, and gathered together because they relate to a single subject.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Dominion Council of Health records

  • GR-2826
  • Series
  • 1928-1934

The Dominion Council of Health was established by the federal government in 1919. It provided an opportunity for discussion on a wide range of health subjects by top health officials from all of the provinces. This unit consists of the files of the Provincial Health Officer relating to the meetings of the Dominion Council of Health. The records include agendas, minutes and background papers, for some years but not every year. The meetings were held twice a year, spring and winter.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Records with regard to neglected children

  • GR-2817
  • Series
  • 1929-1950

Records containing 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.

These records consist 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 children and a 1950 thesis from. Most material relates to the period between 19291935.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Admissions case files

  • GR-2733
  • Series
  • 1898, 1903-1938

Case files for children admitted to the Alexandra Non Sectarian Orphanage and Children's Home in Vancouver.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Visitor's book

  • GR-2707
  • Series
  • 1951-1986

Distinguished Visitors Books, 1951-1986, signed by the British Royal family, other royalty, Field-Marshall Montgomery of Alamein, Heads of State, Ambassadors, etc. Vol. 1, Aug. 1951 - Sept. 1969; Vol. 2, Oct. 1969 - July 1978; Vol. 3, Aug. 1978 - March 1986. Vol. 4 contains signatures of those admitted to the Order of the Dogwood, Nov. 1966 - Oct. 1980, with signatures including the British Royal Family, Major-General George Pearkes, Nancy Greene, and Terry Fox.

Photographs depict visits to Victoria and Vancouver by Prince Philip and Prince Andrew as part of a Royal tour which included the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, AB. Photos include sites visited such as the Vancouver Rowing Club, downtown Victoria and a presentation of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards held in the Legislative Assembly chamber. Also depicted are: Minister, Provincial Secretary and Travel Industry, Grace McCarthy; Mike Young (Mayor of Victoria); Premier W.R. (Bill) Bennett, and Lieutenant Governor Henry Pybus Bell-Irving.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Administrative records

  • GR-2569
  • Series
  • 1890-1947

The Provincial Secretary was responsible for the administration of grants to public hospitals, and later regulation of the the hospitals, until the Hospital Insurance Service was established as the third branch of the Department of Health and Welfare in 1948. At that time the regulation of hospitals became the responsibility of the Hospital Insurance Service Branch. This collection is comprised of 6 series of records relating to the administration of the public hospitals of B.C.: files for individual public hospitals relating to special grants (1915-1947), annual reports of the public hospitals (1921-1933), correspondence of the Provincial Secretary and the Deputy Provincial Secretary with the public hospitals (1921-1933), a card series detailing monthly grants to the individual hospitals (1923-1941), a card series entitled "Liquor profits to hospitals" (1922-1929) and a card series detailing grants to orphanages and other charitable institutions and organizations (1890-1934). The series are not all complete. While there are annual reports of the hospitals for the years 1921-1937, the only complete sets are for 1921, 1923-1925, 1934 and 1936. Boxes 1-11 : Files re: special grants to individual hospitals (may contain blueprints, photos, reports, correspondence, etc.) 1915-1947 Boxes 12-15 : Annual reports of hospitals 1921-1937 Boxes 16-19 : Correspondence of the Provincial Secretary and Deputy Provincial Secretary re: hospital funding 1921-1933 Boxes 20-22 : 3 card sets detailing funding to hospitals and other charitable institutions 1890-1941

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Hospital construction and equipping cost statements

  • GR-2530
  • Series
  • 1920

The series consists of financial statements solicited by the Provincial Secretary's office in 1920. Forms were sent to hospitals throughout the province requesting that each hospital provide the cost of constructing and equipping their hospital for the period 1903 to 1920. Some of the completed forms are accompanied by correspondence.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Unemployment Relief Committee files

  • GR-2524
  • Series
  • 1930-1933

The series consists of Unemployment Relief Committee files kept by the Provincial Secretary from 1931 to 1933. The files contain records regarding the provision of direct relief for unemployed men and include: organization charts, financial information, circulars, copies of registration forms, correspondence between Provincial departments as well as intergovernmental correspondence between the Provincial and Federal or Municipal governments. There are also memoranda prepared for the Provincial Secretary and reports and requests for information from the Provincial Police, Government Agents, District Engineers and other groups.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Annotated copy of the Schedule referred to in order-in-council 911/23

  • GR-2039
  • Series
  • 1923

Annotated copy of the Schedule referred to in order-in-council 911/23, regarding confirmation of Indian reserves, new reserves, and the reduction and cut-offs of reserves within various British Columbia Indian Agencies. The Schedule amended the work of the Commission on Indian Lands and Indian Affairs in general in British Columbia, 1913-1916, and is commonly known as the Ditchburn-Clark Report. This copy of the Schedule has been "certified correct" by William E. Ditchburn (for the Dominion government) and John William Clark (representing the provincial government) and is dated 10 May 1923. See also GR-0931.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Provincial Secretary diary journal

  • GR-2014
  • Series
  • 1899-1900

Volume II, July 1899 - Feb 1900 (vol. I not extant), of a Diary Journal kept by the Provincial Secretary, Charles Augustus Semlin, noting appointments and letters inward relating to many aspects of the office.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Records with regard to reconstruction of Government House

  • GR-1962
  • Series
  • 1957-1963

The series consists of records created by the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary between 1957 and 1963 with regard to the reconstruction of Government House. The records include correspondence with donors, suppliers and government agencies regarding the rebuilding and refurnishing of Government House after the fire of 1957, including the redesign of the gardens. There are six photographs showing a donated silk carpet, artwork and chairs. The series also includes six plans showing aspects of the house and gardens (including layout and names of plants). The plans have been given the following registration numbers: 24112B, 24113B, 24115B, 24117B, 24114C and 24116C.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Indexes to Orders in Council

  • GR-1955
  • Series
  • 1872-1984

The series consists of volumes of indexes to Orders in Council (OIC) created between 1872 and 1984. The indexes relate to GR-0113 Orders in Council. The oversize volumes were maintained by the Provincial Secretary's office prior to the introduction of an automated indexing system in 1985 and digitization of the records, now available on the BC Laws website: http://www.bclaws.ca/. In most instances, OICs are indexed under the name of the statutes to which they relate. The series also includes ledgers recording documents issued under the Great Seal. The ledgers are arranged by Act name and list the relevant OIC as well as the name and address of the appointee mentioned in the OIC.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

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

Education Branch correspondence.

  • GR-1709
  • Series
  • 1871-1889

This series includes a suggested draft for the 1872 Public Schools Act by Thomas Nicholson (1871), correspondence regarding the school at Burton's Prairie (1882) and correspondence regarding a request for an additional teacher at New Westminster High School (1889).

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Provincial Secretrary miscellaneous correspondence inward

  • GR-1708
  • Series
  • 1873-1907

This series includes a report by R.E. Sproule on Kootenay mines (1882), a petition for bridge over Thompson River at Penny's Crossing (1884), a petition for a mining recorder at Kaslo (1894), correspondence regarding the return of Goose Spit, Comox, from the Admiralty (1906), and mss. voters' list for Skeena district (1907).

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Correspondence and by-laws

  • GR-1707
  • Series
  • 1871-1886

This series contains correspondence and by-laws for Saltspring Island (1871-1882) and the Municipality of Surrey (1880-1886).

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Schedules of returns of convictions

  • GR-1706
  • Series
  • 1874, 1896-1916

This series contains schedules of returns of convictions.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Provincial Secretary and Travel Industry executive records

  • GR-1672
  • Series
  • 1976-1977

This series contains general correspondence files of the Minister's office, Ministry of Provincial Secretary and Travel Industry. The first series (B06231-B06239) relates to the Provincial Secretary component and the second series (B06240-B06246) relates to the Travel Industry component of the ministry. Many of the files deal with tourism promotion and other travel industry-related topics.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Provincial Secretary correspondence on diverse topics

  • GR-1671
  • Series
  • 1950-1982

This series consists of correspondence and reports concerning laws, statutes, titles, and emblems. Records include files regarding the Provincial Elections Act, Engineering Profession Act, Daylight Saving Act, Public Documents Disposal Act, and Historic Objects Preservation Act. Records also concern the authorized use of the name "British Columbia", provincial coat-of-arms, and royal styles and titles. Additional files concern Court mourning observances and Princess Margaret's Portland Island. These records were originally part of a larger series, transferred separately to the PABC and catalogued as GR-1661.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Provincial Secretary correspondence on diverse topics

  • GR-1668
  • Series
  • 1872-1934

Miscellaneous correspondence inward and outward on diverse topics. Most of these records pertain to the 1920s and early 1930s. Included are files dealing with the exclusion of Orientals (1921), the preservation of Craigflower schoolhouse and other historic sites, acquisitions (of paintings and photographs) by the Archives department, removal of Indian totem poles, petitions protesting the dismissal of Judge Helen Gregory MacGill (1929), and the Bedaux Sub-Arctic Expedition (1934). Early files include a memorandum on the benefits of establishing a Treasury Board for the provincial government (1872) and a letter of introduction for John Blair, landscape architect (1896).

These records were originally a part of the Provincial Secretary's Central Registry, and so may be used in conjunction with GR-0496, GR-0526 and other collections of general subject files.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

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

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

Records of the Deputy Provincial Secretary

  • GR-1661
  • Series
  • 1954-1983

This series contains records of the Deputy Provincial Secretary relating to the operations of the Ministry's branches. Many of these records deal with heritage conservation, museums, and cultural organizations. Records also deal with the administration of Royal Canadian Humane Association awards for bravery and life-saving.

GR-1661 is a pot-pourri of records accumulated by the office of the Deputy Provincial Secretary and by his various Assistant Deputy Ministers.The diversity of this collection is testimony to the multi- faceted operations and responsibilities of the Provincial Secretary's department.

A substantial number of the files deal with Heritage Conservation policies and heritage sites, such as Craigflower Schoolhouse, Barkerville, and Fort Steele.Many of the files also deal with cultural organizations and activities, with provincial fitness and recreation programmes, and with special interest groups.Other files in this unit pertain to the Royal Canadian Humane Association awards for bravery (which were coordinated by the ministry), to specific legislation re:the provincial flag, the provincial tartan, etc., and to the organization of out-of-town cabinet meetings.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Hospital Programmes Administration Files

  • GR-1549
  • Series
  • 1911-1946

This series contains Hospital Programmes Administration files covering the period 1911-1946. Records include correspondence and reports relating to the operations of community hospitals throughout the province. Includes correspondence pertaining to resident physicians, local hospital boards, and the administration of the Hospital Act.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

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