Series GR-0111 - Provincial Museum correspondence inward

Kermode bear in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria

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Provincial Museum correspondence inward

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  • textual record

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  • 1897-1970 (Creation)
    British Columbia Provincial Museum

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Physical description

6.5 m of textual records

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Biographical history

The museum was established in Victoria on October 25, 1886, as “Provincial Museum of Natural History and Anthropology.”

In 1967 a new Museum Act (15 16 Eliz. 2, c.41) was introduced. Under the new act, the museum's objectives were "to secure and preserve specimens and other objects which illustrate the natural history and human history of the Province" and "to increase and diffuse knowledge in these fields by research, exhibits, publications, and other means." The new act was introduced at a time when the museum was moving to new quarters from the east wing of the Parliament Buildings and it broadened the museum's mandate. Specifically, it allowed the museum to devote itself not only to ethnology and natural history, but also to the modern social and industrial history of the province.

The name was changed again on October 13, 1987, to “Royal British Columbia Museum.”

Custodial history

Scope and content

The series consists of correspondence inward (with responses) to the director, assistant director, curators, and other personnel of the Provincial Museum. The correspondence is with collectors, amateur and professional naturalists, museum officials, and federal and provincial government departments and agencies and was created between 1897 and 1970.

The files include correspondence with the museum's first three directors (called "Curators" prior to 1913): John Fannin (1886-1904), Francis Kermode (1904-1940), and G. Clifford Carl (1940-1969). However, very little of the correspondence generated during Fannin's tenure has survived, while most of the Kermode files date from the post-1918 period.

The series also includes index cards created between 1925 and 1937 which records index details about letters in A-Z, and letters out, A-R.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred to the Provincial Archives by the Provincial Museum in 1975.


The files are arranged roughly in alphabetical order with some noticeable gaps. Many of the museum's subject files, which may have originally formed part of this series, have been retained by the various Museum departments.

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Restrictions on access

These records are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or other acts and access may be restricted. Please contact the BC Archives to determine the access status of these records.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Finding aid: there are seven sorts of the files to provide access:

Associated materials

For related records, see:
GR-0544: BC Provincial Museum, correspondence of the director
MS-1077: Newcombe Family papers (C.F. Newcombe served as acting curator of the museum in the late 1890s and his son, W.A. Newcombe was assistant biologist in the late 1920s)

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General note

Archives code(s): GR-0111

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Accession number(s): 76-G-041

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