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- graphic material
- textual record
- multiple media
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Edition statement of responsibility
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary
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Archival description area
Name of creator
The Dept. of the Provincial Secretary was established in 1872. Prior to that, the origins of this department was in the offices of the Colonial Secretaries for the Colony of Vancouver Island (1863-1866), the Colony of British Columbia (1864-1866) and the united colony of British Columbia (1866-1871). When British Columbia joined confederation in 1871, the name Colonial Secretary remained in place until April 1872 when a Provincial Secretary was named to assume the duties and functions (SBC 1872, c. 15).
The mandate of the Provincial Secretary included all the powers, duties and functions held by provincial secretaries and registrars in other provinces of the Dominion of Canada. They included being the keeper of the Great Seal of the Province, with the authority to issue letters patent and commissions, and being the keeper of all registers and archives of the province and previous governments of the province. As with other departments, it was also the duty of the Provincial Secretary to make an annual report to the Lieutenant-Governor. The first annual report was produced in 1872.
At various times, different agencies have been under the direction of the Provincial Secretary such as treasury and audit branches, Bureau of Mines, gold commissioners, Returned Soldiers’ Commission, Provincial Library and Archives, Provincial Board of Health, Vital Statistics, Provincial Home, and others. In most instances these agencies were later transferred to the control of new ministries established to administer the specific function or functions. At various times and for varying periods, the Provincial Secretary was responsible for industrial schools, mothers’ pensions, administration of the Infants’ Act, protection of historic sites, and arbitration of labour disputes. In 1947, the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary administered the Civil Service Commission, Government Printing Bureau, Superannuation Commission, mental hospitals, institution farms, homes for the aged, inspector of hospitals, and the Elections Act. In 1976, with the addition of travel and tourism functions from the Dept. of Recreation and Travel Industry, the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary was renamed the Ministry of the Provincial Secretary and Travel Industry (OIC 3199/76).
Name of creator
The provision of mental health services had its beginning in October 1872 when the Royal Hospital in Victoria was designated as the first Provincial Asylum under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Secretary.
On April 1, 1950 the British Columbia Mental Health Service was formally established and various mental health activities were amalgamated including New Westminster Hospital (which became Woodlands School), Colquitz Provincial Mental Hospital for the Criminally Insane (in Victoria), Essondale (including Crease clinic) and the Home for the Aged (in Coquitlam, Vernon and Terrace).
In 1959, Mental Health Services was transferred to the Dept. of Health Services and Hospital Insurance. The name was changed in 1967 to Mental Health Branch and changed again in 1975 to Mental Health Programs. The name reverted to Mental Health Services in 1980.
Between 1959 and 1968 the positions of Director and Deputy Minister were held by the same person. In 1968 the positions were separated, with Dr. H.W. Bridge as the Director of Mental Health Services, located in Vancouver, and Dr. F.G. Tucker as the Deputy Minister, located in Victoria. In September 1971 the position of Director was terminated. The statutory obligations of the Director were assumed by the Deputy Minister.
Scope and content
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.
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Restrictions on access
- These records are restricted under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
- Conservation restriction: material in cool or cold storage is inaccessible.