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Archival description
Only top-level descriptions British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General
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Coroner's inquiries/inquests

  • GR-0431
  • Series
  • 1865-1937

Inquisitions/inquests conducted by coroners in British Columbia and selected by archives staff for retention in their original formats. Most, if not all, of these Inquests also occur in GR-1327 and GR-1328.

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

Provincial Game Warden records

  • GR-0446
  • Series
  • 1905-1922

This collection is comprised of records relating to the development, implementation and administration of game management policies in British Columbia, 1905-1922. 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. 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 : Box 1
B. Correspondence : Boxes 2-117
B(1) Personal and semi-official correspondence of A. Bryan Williams, Provincial Game Warden : Boxes 2-4
B(2) Correspondence out : Box 4
B(3) Letterbooks of correspondence out : Boxes 5-11
B(4) General correspondence inward and outward : Boxes 12-94
B(5) Correspondence re: firearms licences : Boxes 95-117
C. Deputy Game Wardens : Boxes 118-149
C(1) Monthly reports Boxes : 118-126
C(2) Correspondence Boxes : 127-149
D. Returns re: firearms licences : Boxes 150-158
E. Vouchers : Boxes 159-161
F. Licences : Box 161
G. Prosecutions : Boxes 162-166
H. Miscellaneous : Boxes 166-167

British Columbia. Provincial Game and Forest Warden


  • GR-1323
  • Series
  • 1902-1937

This series contains correspondence files, inward and outward, covering all topics for which the Attorney General was responsible, including legislation and opinions to other departments. During this period, Attorney General responsibilities included industrial schools, motor vehicles, Liquor Control Board, Game Commissioner, Inspector of Municipalities, Registrar of Companies, Inspector of Factories, Inspector of Electrical Energy and Inspector of Tramways.

The finding aid (see Notes area) consists of a guide to Attorney General correspondence records held by BC Archives, and a file list showing file numbers, dates, and microfilm reel numbers. The guide relates not only to this body of records, but also to related records; the file list relates only to GR-1323.

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

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

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

Index to letters received

  • GR-0981
  • Series
  • 1858-1864

This series consists of one volume titled "Index to letters received" covering the years 1858 to 1864. It was likely used by the colonial Department of Lands and Works to track incoming correspondence and reports. The index is arranged by the sender, then chronologically. This includes sections for miscellaneous correspondence and reports and correspondence from Boards of Survey, Courts of Enquiry, the Governor, the Attorney-General, the Assistant Commissioners of Lands and Works, Gold Commissioners, and to letters from the Royal Engineers or Military.

Some sections are missing: Military (p. 26-33), Captain J.M. Grant R.E. (p. 37-44), Captain R.M. Parsons (p. 45-50), Boards of Survey (p. 51-52), and Courts of Enquiry (p. 52-54).

British Columbia (Colony). Lands and Works Dept.

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

Attorney General correspondence to the Governor

  • GR-0752
  • Series
  • 1864-1870

This series consists of letters and copies of letters from the Colonial Attorney General to the Governor forwarding ordinances and commenting on bills and ordinances, 1864-1870.

British Columbia (Colony). Attorney-General

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

Guides and indexes to correspondence

  • GR-0702
  • Series
  • 1902-1937

This series consists of guides and indexes to correspondence from the Department of the Attorney General. Records include a subject index, 1911-1918; a guide to filing system, 1902-1911, including index to subject drawers; a guide to filing system, 1919-1924; and a guide to filing system, 1925-1937.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Bills and other material

  • GR-0556
  • Series
  • 1867-1868

This series consists of bills, draft ordinances, orders of the day and other working papers for the Legislative Council of the colony of British Columbia.

British Columbia. Legislative Council

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

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

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

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

Attorney General correspondence

  • GR-0429
  • Series
  • 1872-1950

This series contains selected inward correspondence from 1872 to 1950, although most of the items date from 1872 to 1937. The Attorney General's Department used several numbering and filling systems during this time period. From 1872 to 1911 letters were assigned a number as they were received, and then filed in numerical order by year. From 1911 to 1917 a subject file drawer system was used, and thereafter correspondence was coded and filed according to the Act which applied to the issue under discussion in the correspondence.

By 1934 the B.C. Archives had acquired legal custody of a selection of the correspondence from 1872 to 1911. It is not clear whether the selection was made by the Archives or the Attorney-General's Department; the original folio listing for Boxes 1 to 18 was also created at that time. In 2005 the folio listing was expanded and revised prior to the microfilming of the records.

GR-0429 contains most of the extant inward correspondence for the Department between 1872 and 1911. A separate accession, GR-0996, also contains inward correspondence from 1883-1888. The bulk of inward correspondence from 1911-1937 may be found in GR-1323. There is no contemporary index for letters inward prior to 1911.

Although the items of correspondence from 1872 to 1911 were assigned numbers sequentially, the original order was not always maintained while the records were in the Attorney-General's Department. This means that the items are no longer in strict numerical order within a year, and items relating to a single topic may sometimes be found together, regardless of the date when they were first received. Unfortunately, almost all of the Department's letterbooks for 1872-1917 were destroyed by fire in 1939. Some correspondence was also destroyed by flooding. As a result it is not possible to locate departmental replies to most of the correspondence in GR-0429. Most of the inquests from this series were extracted and may now be found in GR-1327, although the covering correspondence may remain in GR-0429. Similarly, depositions and preliminary trial transcripts were separated and may be found in GR-0419. Oversize original items remain in their original containers and files but were filmed on Reel B09325.

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

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

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-1504
  • Series
  • 1938-1970 (1972)

This series contains inquiries conducted by coroners in British Columbia, except for Vancouver, from 1938 to 1965; and for the entire province, including Vancouver, from 1966-1970 (1972). These are known as file C81-4, which continues from files C49-1 and C159 in GR-1323 (Attorney General correspondence). The inquiry reports are arranged alphabetically by community.

These are known as file C-81-4, which continues from files C-49-1 and C-159 in GR-1323 (Attorney General correspondence). See GR-1323 for an explanation of the filing system and for some of the earlier coroner's records. Please also note that a large number of inquiries for ca.1955 to ca.1965 may be found in GR-1726 (Attorney General Correspondence), including the inquiry and correspondence relating to the December 1956 air crash of a Trans Canada Airlines flight into Mount Slesse. This C81-4 file may be found in GR-1726, Reel B07674.

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


  • 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

Attorney General correspondence

  • GR-1625
  • Series
  • 1907-1914

This series contains Cranbrook court registry correspondence with the Dept. of the Attorney-General. It includes some Magistrate's and Police court records.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General


  • 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

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