Fonds F205 - British Columbia Mountaineering Club fonds

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British Columbia Mountaineering Club fonds

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  • 1907 - 2012 (Creation)
    British Columbia Mountaineering Club
    North Vancouver

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Physical description

35 boxes of textual records and other material

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Administrative history

The British Columbia Mountaineering Club was first established on 22 Oct 1907 as the Vancouver Mountaineering Club. Its first annual meeting was held on 1 Mar 1908 and it was later incorporated as a Society under the Friendly Societies Act on 25 Nov 1912. At the club's second annual meeting, held 29 Mar 1909, it was decided to change the name of the club to the British Columbia Mountaineering Club, or BCMC. The BCMC has been involved in a number of activities including the organization of regular mountaineering trips, winter and summer mountaineering camps, conservation and land use issues - including advocating for the establishment of several provincial parks - as well as social and educational events for club members. The BCMC's Natural History Section became the Vancouver Natural History Society in 1918. The BCMC celebrated its centennial in 2007 and remains an active organisation today.

Custodial history

The records of the BCMC remained in the custody of the club until their deposit with North Vancouver Archives in Sep 2011. Until this time, the records had been in the custody of the club. In the earliest years of the club, it was a responsibility of the club librarian to house the club's records. The librarians successively responsible for the records included: William Taylor (1912-1915; 1943); Les Ford (1916); Tom Fyles (1917); Phyllis James (1918-1919); Mickey Dodds (1920); Neal Carter (1921-1922), Dorothy Elliot (1923); Edith Henley (1924-1926); Hazel Nunn (1927); Harold O'Connor (1928-1929; 1931-1932); Harry Sommerville (1930); Marjorie Sing (1933-1935); Ernie Smith (1936-1937; 1939); Tom Lyus (1938); Jack Walsh (1940-1942); Audrey Moon (1944); Elliot Henderson (1945); Kay Smith (1946) and Ian Kay (1947). The executive position of librarian was eliminated in 1947 and responsibility for the library, and presumably the records also, ostensibly passed to the Editor. From about 1947 onwards, the records were in the custody of Dick and Doris Chambers. It is not clear whether the records remained with Dick Chambers throughout this time, but the records are next mentioned in the custody of George Hamilton in 1989. Shortly therafter, an inventory was prepared which described the archival holdings as occupying two 4-drawer letter-sized filing cabinets. George Hamilton also had custody of the BCMC library and map collection at this time. From George Hamilton, in 1999, first the textual and later the photographic materials were transferred to the custody of Michael Feller. The archives were transferred from Michael Feller to the custody of the North Vancouver Archives.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of administrative records of the club, including minutes, reports, correspondence, financial statements, cabin visitor books, summit registers, membership records and others. It also contains many hundreds of photographs, glass plate negatives, films and other moving images, as well as publications of the BCMC, including the B.C. Mountaineer, the BCMC Newsletter, as well as hiking and climbing guides in whose publication the BCMC was involved. It also contains many news cuttings relating to hiking and climbing in British Columbia and activities of club members. These records document many aspects of the club's activities including their involvement in mountaineering, advocacy for land conservation, and natural history. The fonds also contains the records of Mary and David Macaree which they created and accumulated during the course of researching their publications '103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia' and '109 Walks in B.C.'s Lower Mainland'.

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Physical condition

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The records of the BCMC were transferred to the North Vancouver Archives by Michael Feller of the BCMC in Sep 2011.


Many of the club's textual records appear to have been originally arranged chronologically: notably the Secretary's correspondence, the minutes, reports, and financial statements. At some later date, perhaps the 1980s, much of the correspondence was re-arranged according to subject. Newer material was added to these subject files, though other new files were also created - including a chronological series of Secretary's correspondence. Many of the new subject files were retained and formed the basis of the first series arrangement, devised in 1999. Many of these series were not, however, proper series - for example, they were essentially files of Secretary's correspondence about a particular subject, or several distinct series were lumped together under the heading 'Administrative Records'. A new series arrangement was therefore devised when the records were processed by the North Vancouver Archives. This series arrangement was based on the records' function, with the result that many former series were amalgamated, while other newer ones were identified. While the files making up these series were placed together physically (for the most part), with the exception of weeding duplicate material, the original order within the files was maintained. Photographic material has, for the most part, been maintained in separate boxes dedicated to their storage. They were listed at the item level by the BCMC, though their arrangement according to series or subseries has not yet been completed.

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  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

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Finding aids

The first comprehensive finding aid to the archives of the BCMC was prepared by Carrie Eirene Stevenson between 1999 and 2002, when the records had been transferred from George Hamilton to Michael Feller. This word document was successively updated and revised by Michael Feller as new material was added to the archives. At some point, an excel spreadsheet was created in order to identify the numerous photographs in the BCMC archives. Until item level descriptions are added to the online catalogue, this spreadsheet remains the most effective way of locating individual photographs. Please consult with the reference historian at the North Vancouver Archives.

Associated materials

Records of the BCMC may also be found at the BC Archives and at the City of Vancouver Archives in the following fonds and collections: John Davidson fonds, Greater Vancouver Regional District fonds, Mary Gruchy fonds, the Major Matthews collection, the Pamphlet collection, and the Vancouver Natural History Society fonds. Records of the BCMC can also be found in the John Davidson and Charles J. Heaney fonds at the University of British Columbia Archives.

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Further accruals are expected.

Physical description

Incudes 10 boxes of photographs, 4 boxes of moving images and 4 boxes of published material

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North Vancouver Museum and Archive

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Created on: 2013-06-20.

Language of description

  • English

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  • Latin


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