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Archival description
Major Matthews collection
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Series consists of reproduced copies of such items as certificates of merrit, scrolls, telegrams, letters, advertisements, speeches, addresses, voters lists, etc. Also included are photographs and photocopies of photographs featuring civic gifts given or received by the City. Subjects range widely and include the bestowing of civic honours and recognitions, anniversaries, royal visits, visits of dignitaries, etc.

B.C. Rifle Association

Series consists of records relating to the general administrative, legal, and fiscal matters of the B.C.R.A. Records also relate to the planning of matches, selection of teams, purchase and disposition of awards, and communication with the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association. Includes minute books, correspondence and reports of the secretary, legal documents (including indentures and certificate of incorporation), treasurer's account books and annual reports, invoices, news clippings, programmes and score books from annual prize meetings, and photographs.

Major Matthews private papers

Series consists of records created and collected by Matthews in both the private and public spheres of his life. It includes records created early on in Matthews' life in Wales and New Zealand, records created later in Vancouver, during his war service, and during his long tenure as City Archivist, and a file of newspaper clippings gathered after his death. The bulk of the records are made up of incoming and copies of outgoing correspondence to and from Matthews' many business and personal acquaintances and family members. Matthews created files for each of his correspondents or acquaintances, including files for his wife, Mrs. Emily Eliza Matthews and his sister-in-law and companion, Mrs. Mabel Agnes Willis. Matthews also kept meticulous records of memorials and art that he had a driving force in creating, including the Lord Stanley statue, the Larsen statue, Apodaca Park, portraits of himself and Mrs. Matthews, and historical paintings by John Innes. The series also includes files on properties owned by Matthews and files on the wills and estates he was executor of. Series comprises 4 subseries: financial records, diaries, subject files and personal files.

Maps - convenience copies

Series consists of reproduced copies of maps, plans, charts, and surveys, mainly pertaining to the exploration, history, and development of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, but also including geographic locations outside of this area. Also included are various early maps of Canada, North America, and the World and several maps featuring local Indian place names.


Series consists of documents collected by J.S. Matthews from various sources. The documents relate generally to Matthews' activities and to the history of the City of Vancouver but they share no particular activity- or subject-based relationship. Series comprises 3 subseries: general; perpetual calendar; and invoices, early Vancouver.

Miscellaneous copies of documents

Series consists of reproduced copies of documents and includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, advertisements, telegrams, maps, drawings, poetry, various legal documents such as birth, baptismal, and death certificates, etc. The subject range is very broad and includes civic, provincial, and federal political figures; prominent citizens; Indians; various members of the royal family; land and real estate in Vancouver; the Royal Engineers; Captain George Vancouver; the St. Roch and the Maritime Museum; Lord Stanley and Stanley Park, as well as various other parks; the Canadian Pacific Railway and B.C. Electric Railway; the Great Fire, as well as other fires; the shipping industry; the military; clubs and organizations; and Major J. S. Matthews and the Vancouver Archives.

Street and place names, Vancouver and area

Series consists of index cards containing descriptions which relate to the history of street names, place names, and subject categories pertaining to the City of Vancouver, Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and the B.C. coast. Many of the cards include news clippings. Arrangement is geographical by name of city or region, then alphabetical by name or subject.

Unemployment and relief, City of Vancouver

Series consists of documentary material relating to unemployment and relief in Vancouver during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Comprised primarily of news clippings. Also includes photographs, correspondence, and historical accounts compiled by J.S. Matthews. Arranged chronologically.

Incoming correspondence photographs

Subseries consists of photographs removed from J.S. Matthews' incoming correspondence file and previously uncatalogued lantern slides and oversized prints included in Add. MSS. 54. The subjects of the images are wide ranging and include early scenes within and outside Vancouver, pioneers, community leaders and activities, business and industry, government, social and family activities, celebrations, military and any topic the correspondent wished to convey to Matthews.


Subseries consists of albums of photographs collected or created by Major James Skitt Matthews. The albums cover a variety of subjects including scenes of early Vancouver, street arches of Vancouver, the construction of the Birks Building, public works activities, lumbering and lumber mills, shipbuilding, bridges, First Nations of British Columbia, and the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Topical files

Subseries consists of records relating to individuals, places, and subjects. Arrangement is alphabetical by name or subject.

Categorical files

Subseries consists of records relating to various categories of subjects associated with Vancouver and with British Columbia in general. Arrangement is alphabetical first by subject category, then by subcategory, then by file title.


Subseries consists of a collection of documents relating to a variety of activities and topics. Includes financial records, a scrapbook, record of correspondence, copy of a diary, and publications.

Perpetual calendar

Subseries consists of a perpetual calendar compiled by J.S. Matthews documenting events of note in the hisory of Vancouver. The calendar includes notes for the years 1792 to 1968, with several gaps beyond 1949.

Personal files

Subseries consists of records of Major Matthews' personal life. These comprise correspondence with friends and family, estate records of family members, private property records, wills, Matthews' wartime records, and family photographs. Includes the vital records of Major Matthews and family, such as birth, death, and marriage certificates.

Financial records

Subseries consists of financial records of Major Matthews, his projects, the City Archives, and those closest to him--including Mrs. Mabel Agnes Willis and Hazel Valentia Abbott. Includes Major Matthews' income tax files, insurance papers, stocks and bonds, pension records, property documents, bank account records and correspondence relating to financial matters. Also includes the financial records of some of Major Matthews' public endeavors, such as the Lord Stanley Statue Trust, the Larsen Statue account, the Archives of Vancouver Society bank account, and the City Archives Endowment Fund.

Subject files

Subseries consists of records of Major Matthews' public life. Subjects comprise Matthews' business and public endeavors, such as the Lord Stanley Statue, portraits and memorials of family members and historical figures, property donated to the public, and the City Archives of Vancouver. Includes correspondence to public or private figures associated with Matthews' business matters and photographs of public subjects.

[Abraham W. Watson album]

File is album of photographs of unidentified adults and children (family and friends of Abraham Watson?) and early scenes of Vancouver (including houses in the West End, the 1600 Block Robson Street, English Bay pier, Stanley Park and a dentist at work), Victoria, Banff and other locations. Nearly all of the photographs are unidentified.

[C. King album]

File is album of various scenes of Calgary, Banff, Lloydminster, Portage La Prairie, Winnipeg, Lytton, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver and North Vancouver (photographs 32 to 51), Steveston canneries (photographs 74 and 76), Niagara Falls, Toronto and other locations. Photographs include a number of Canadian Pacific Railway scenes and pictures of the Winnipeg Rowing Club, as well a numerous photographs of Mr. King and his family and friends.

[Construction of Birks Building, B.C. Electric Railway Building and Credit Foncier building photograph album]

File contains progress photographs of construction of the Birks building (M-14-1 to M-14-54), the B.C. Electric Railway Company building (M-14-55 to M-14-71) and the Credit Foncier building (M-14-72 to M-14-95), mainly exterior views. File also includes some photographs of the completed buildings. Some of the photographs show views of surrounding streets and buildings.

[E. Harris album]

File is album of family photographs taken in England, Victoria and Vancouver and other unidentified locations. The photographs show numerous family groupings and people engaging in activities such as camping, swimming and boating. Almost all of the photographs are unidentified.

[English cathedrals and other photographs]

File is album of photographs depicting mainly cathedrals and countryside scenes in England. Album also includes the following photographs: English Bay (L-12-37); Greer's Beach (L-6-66); Observation Point, now Prospect Point (L-12-69); and houses on Eveleigh Street (L-12-70).

[George Fowler Hastings Album]

The file consists of the Hastings family photograph album containing copy photographs of family members, ships, buildings, aboriginal peoples, early scenes in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, the Cariboo Road, Esquimalt and sites in South America. Also included are copies of an engraving of the Earl of Derby, news clippings and illustrations of Sir James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak and Admiral Sir James Gordon, Governor of Greenwich Hospital.

Hastings, George Fowler

[J.A. Byron album #1]

File is album of studio portraits taken in Ontario. Some of the people in the portraits are identified on the backs of the photographs.

[Jamieson family photograph album]

Album contains photographs depicting various Vancouver buildings and scenes, including shots of the Fire department. The album also contains photographs from Port Moody, New Westminster, Rivers Inlet and Victoria.

[Kitsilano Ratepayer Association album]

File contains the history of the Association between 1907 and 1947 including: photographs of the Kitsilano area from 1895 including Kitsilano Beach and Pool and Presidents of the Association; addresses and biographies of Presidents including: F. Scudamore, A. Owens, Anna Fagan, J.Z. Hall, G. Thompson, W. Taylor, J.S. Matthews, Col. Endacott, P. Pettipiece, F. Crone and others; reports of meetings; newspaper clippings and cartoons

[Major J.S. Matthews' album of Vancouver Scenes]

File contains photographs of historic boats and ships, beaches, waterfronts, piers and docks, maps, buildings, Hastings Mill, False Creek, Downtown, English Bay, Kitsilano Beach, Jericho Beach, logging, street scenes, churches, schools, pioneers, Victory Square, hospitals, hotels, railway stations, trains, bridges, Stanley Park, North Vancouver ferry dock, north shore mountains

[Military scenes and early Vancouver]

File is album of photgraphs showing militia groups and military contingents in early Vancouver and elsewhere. Album also includes numerous photographs of scenes of Vancouver and British Columbia, as well as scenes of unidentified places and portraits of unidentified people.

[Spillman album]

File is album of photographs taken by Miss Margaret Edna Spillman (later Mrs. W.E. (Jim) Drewett of Lytton, B.C.) Margaret (Maggie) Spillman was the eldest child of Edmund Spillman a Vancouver decorator and artist. She was a teacher at Central School as well as an amateur painter and photographer. The photographs include family and friends in various locations including Perth, Ontario, Dawson, Yukon Territory and Buccaneer Bay on North Thormanby Island, B.C.. Images from Vancouver include banks, churches, retail stores, streets, post office, hotels, C.P.R. station and yards, Stanley Park (including Brockton Point lighthouse, Deadman's Island and the water works cottage) and C.P.R. Park. There are some good images of Victorian household interiors (which may have been decorated by Edmund Spillman).

[T. Branson Sands album]

File is album of studio portraits, evidently of members of the Sands family. The photographs were taken in various portrait studios in England.

[The Lord Beaverbrook Ministry of Information Album]

File contains photographs of Lord Beaverbrook's (William Maxwell Aitken) travels in France, Belgium, Scotland, England duringWorld War I including meetings with French journalists, President Poincare, Lord Derby, Canadian Commissioner in Paris, war damage in Ypres, Sir Douglas Haig, General McRae, Canadian Forestry Detachment Camp and sawmill, Canadian Light Railway, Lord Lovat, General Stewart and General McRae, Canadian Cavalry, Canadian Red Cross and Nursing Sisters, Vimy Ridge, Lewis Gun, front lines (Canadian and German), Edinburgh Castle, Glasgow, aerodrome near London, biplanes, members of the news corps (E.H. Macklin, F. Smith, W.J. Southam), tankdrome and tanks

[Tour of small towns in British Columbia by unidentified group]

File is album of photographs showing Prince Rupert, Lillooet, Vanderhoof, Ocean Falls, Quesnel, 147 Mile House, Prince George, Anyox, Smithers, the Cariboo Road, scenes on the Fraser River, Stuart Lake, 7 Mile House, 83 Mile House, Soda Creek, Fort George, Nechaco River, 150 Mile House, and other locations. The photographs show streets, groups of people, Native Indian groups, ports and waterfront scenes, and scenes related to mining and other industrial activity.

[Vancouver Exhibition Album]

File contains photographs of company product displays including: The Office Specialty Manufacturing Company, Star Brand laundry tubs, Canadian Milk Products Limited (KLIM skimmed milk powder), W.T. McArthur and Company, Graham Hirst Company (Corona typewriters), Fraser Valley Dairies Limited, B.C. Electric, British America Paint Company, Vancouver Trunk and Bag Limited, David Hall signs, Trubilt Toy, Shelleys bakery, Addressograph, Langmuir's Shingle Stains (Bogardus-Wickens Limited), The Success Business College, Simmons Steel Beds, California Wine Company (Rockey Mountain Brand logan juice), Ritchie Brother's seeds, Central Creameries Limited, Barrington Chocolates, Day-Smith Motors Limited automobiles, Gregory Tires and vegetables, horses, cattle and the interior of the Forestry Building

[Views of Early Vancouver, Hawaii, and Japan]

Album contains photographs of early Vancouver scenes, including the S.S. Beaver on the rocks at Stanley Park and C.P.R ships. Album also contains photographs depicting areas around British Columbia including Harrison Hot Springs, Yale, Vancouver Island, and men in a mining camp in an unidentified location. Pictures of Japanese cities and villages and Hawaiian scenes are also included.

Canadian Pacific Railway : first train, 1887

File is a commemorative album compiled to mark a celebration of the first train to Vancouver and the return of locomotive 374 to Vancouver. The celebration took place on August 22, 1945. The album depicts the arrival of the first train in Vancouver as well as photographs taken of the celebration itself. Album contains some copy photographs and photographic reproductions of maps, as well as textual records and other memorabilia.

Early Indian Scenes and Portraits, Vancouver Island (North)

File is album containing photographs of West Coast First Nations people, works of art and buildings (interior and exterior views). The photographs in the album were originally taken by B.W. Leeson between 1894 and 1939 while he was living in Quatsino Sound, where he worked as a customs official. The album includes detailed captions written by Leeson.

False Creek pictorial

File is a commemorative album compiled to depict the development of False Creek from the earliest days of European settlement to the opening of the Granville Street Bridge in 1954. The album shows waterfront views, houses, industrial development and people engaged in work and leisure activities in the False Creek area. The late 19th and early 20 centuries are well represented. Album contains copy photographs and photographic reproductions of paintings and maps.

Early photographs, Vancouver, B.C.

File is a an album of copy photographs from the J.S. Matthews collection showing scenes of early Vancouver. File also includes photographic reproductions of a small number of related textual records and maps.

Granville Bridge, 1954

File is album containing photographs of the construction of the fourth Granville Street Bridge, completed in 1954. The album also includes some copy photographs of a number of related subjects, including engineers and officials, the opening of the bridge in 1954, and early scenes of Vancouver and earlier Granville Street bridges. Also included are several maps and diagrams and some textual records pertaining to the construction of the bridge.

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