Series GR-3419 - Photographs of institutions operated by the Mental Health Services

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Photographs of institutions operated by the Mental Health Services

General material designation

  • graphic material

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Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series.

Level of description

Series

Reference code

GR-3419

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1948-1967 (Creation)
    Creator
    British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Physical description area

Physical description

Ca. 5250 photographs : b&w ; negatives and 62 photographs : b&w

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1872-1976)

Biographical history

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 issues 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

(1950-1967; 1980-)

Biographical history

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.

Custodial history

Scope and content

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.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred to the BC Archives in 1981 by the Ministry of Health.

Arrangement

The photographs are arranged in numerical files with some gaps. These numbered files are in rough chronological order. There are also some unnumbered files throughout the series.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

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.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

There is no finding aid.

Associated materials

GR-0542, GR-3019, GR-3420 and GR-3421.

Related materials

Accruals

No further accruals expected.

General note

At one point a file index card system existed. This index was not transferred with the photographs and may no longer exist.

General note

Accession number(s): 89-0935; 198102-002

Conservation

Graphic material may be in cool or cold storage. Contact staff for specific details.

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