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British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary Victoria (B.C.)
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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

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

Record books

This series consists of a variety of registers and record books created by various provincial mental health institutions from 1872 to 1998. These records were created by institutions including: Victoria Asylum, New Westminster Provincial Asylum (later Public Hospital for the Insane or Provincial Hospital for the Insane), Essondale (later Riverview), Home for the Aged (later Valleyview), Dellview, Skeenaview, Crease Clinic, Woodlands School and others. Not all volumes clearly identify which building or institution they are associated with.

The subjects of the volumes and their contents vary greatly. Many of them relate to other series in the BC Archives. The registers have been arranged in the following subject based subseries:

  1. Casebooks. This subseries only includes one volume providing a description of each of the first patients at the hospital, including how and why they were admitted, their history and treatment. Later casebooks can be found in GR-1754.

  2. Death and Cemetery records. This includes death registries, morgue records, cemetery record books showing the plots individuals were laid in and some medical certificates of death. Volumes may include information such as: name, date of death, date of burial, name of Minister, name of Undertaker, lot and block of cemetery plot, patient number, time in asylum, age, religion, cause of death, form of insanity, gender, and marital status.

  3. Admissions records. These volumes provide basic information about patients entered on their admission. Many of these volumes likely relate to the Home for the Aged (later known as Valleyview) based on patient demographics listed in the records. Recorded information may include patient number, name, residence, date of admission, relatives, religion, nationality, occupation, age, gender, marital status, level of education, physical state, date of transfer, date of death or discharge, form of admission, ward, and remarks.

  4. Number registers. These records relate to and may overlap with Admission registers. Upon admission each patient was assigned a mental health service number. This number system was used across all provincially operated mental health institutions. It appears that only a single register was used at any given time until about 1960, when individual hospitals began each using their own registers. Each hospital received a block of 100 numbers from the central registry. When they had assigned all numbers to their new patients they requested a new block of numbers. This means there is no single register in this group of records after 1960. Instead, blocks of numbers are spread among multiple registers. Number registers may record: patient number, name, address, date of admission, type of admission, and ward/building.

  5. Discharge registers. These record how a patient left the hospital’s custody and may specifically note death, various types of leave, escapes and transfers. These may record: name, patient number, gender, date of release or death, date of admission, term of residence, condition, ward, gender, diagnosis, who or where released to, and remarks.

  6. Treatments – operations. Record information about operations patients underwent. Includes: patient number, date, ward, name, age, diagnosis, operation, surgeon, assistant, nurses, anesthesiologist, anesthetic, specimen, and remarks.

  7. Treatments – x-rays. Records x-rays conducted on patients and staff. May include name, region, doctor, date, ward, and x-ray number.

  8. and 9. Treatments- miscellaneous. Each book records different treatments used in the hospital. This includes Electroencephalograms (EEGs), physiotherapy, behavior therapy, lobotomies. Subseries 8 relates to dentures.

  9. Treatments – doctor’s orders and consultations. List the date, patients name and orders or notes.

  10. Census and statistics. Note the date, number of patients in each building, staff on duty (including if away or late), patients died, admitted, discharged, on leave, from leave and transferred, as well as some notes on unusual occurrences.

  11. Miscellaneous. Includes a variety of other registers related to the operations of the hospitals, and appeal examinations for patient release.

Lists of all persons selected as competent, qualified, and liable to serve as Grand Jurors for Victoria (B.C.) District

  • GR-0859
  • Series
  • 1884-1914

This series consists of 10 volumes of Jurors' Rolls and Lists entitled "Lists of all persons selected as competent, qualified, and liable to serve as Grand Jurors for Victoria (B.C.) District". Vol. 1: 1884; vol. 2: 1885; vol. 3: 1886; vol. 4: 1887; vols. 5 & 6: 1888; vol. 7: 1890; vol. 8: 1899-1902; vol. 9: "Grand & Petit Jurors Rolls Lists," Victoria District, 1903-1906; vol. 10: 1913-1914.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Provincial Secretary correspondence

  • GR-0393
  • Series
  • 1913

Correspondence replying to the invitation of the Premier and Executive Council to dine with the Captain and officers of H.M.S. "New Zealand."

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

Correspondence and other material

  • GR-1319
  • Series
  • 1962-1973

This series contains correspondence, reports, and miscellaneous documents regarding financial grants to the City of Victoria Centennial Celebrations (1962), British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame (1968-1973), and the Vancouver Indian Centre Society (1963-1969).

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary