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Fonds AM484 - Vancouver Natural History Society fonds

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Vancouver Natural History Society fonds

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  • Textual record

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

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  • 1906-2016 (Creation)
    Nature Vancouver

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Physical description

2.31 m of textual records and other material

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Biographical history

In 1907, a number of Vancouver and district residents founded the Vancouver Naturalists' Field Club for the study of the natural history of the Lower Mainland. The first field trip was made to Kitsilano beach on 18 August. The club existed for only a few seasons. In 1918, members of the botanical section of the B.C. Mountaineering Club, led by Professor John Davidson (former Provincial Botanist), founded the Vancouver Natural History Society. Davidson organized popular evening botany classes for members of the society. The V.N.H.S. also developed a field trip program to sites of botanical interest such as Crescent Beach, and summer camps were established at Garibaldi, Botanie Valley (near Spences Bridge) and Skagit Valley, as well as several other locations. In an effort to make the Lower Mainland greener, local naturalists, including members of the Natural History Society, successfully campaigned for local arbour days. Yet the activities of the society have not focused only on botany. Field trips organized and led by Jack Armstrong, Bill Mathews and Charley Ney popularized the study of geology in the society. Members have also studied geology, entomology, ornithology, microscopy, and photography.

During recent decades the society has witnessed continued growth, as many members of the environmental movement have joined as a means of studying our natural heritage. In the 1960s, the Conservation Committee was established, which, in part, helped with the creation of the Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta, B.C. Another major project was the natural history study of Lighthouse Park, for which results were later published in “Nature West Coast.” During this time, participation in the Birding Section also increased resulting in projects such as local birding guides and observation data collected through the annual Christmas Bird Count. Over the next few decades, activities continued with field trips, summer camps, publications, programming and environmental and conservation initiatives. Organized tours around the province were incorporated into programming in the 1990s as well as the Young Naturalist Club. In 2002, the Marine Biology Section was formed. In 2007, the Vancouver Natural History Society changed its name to Nature Vancouver.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of minutes, memberships, financial records, publications, newsletters, maps, posters, and reports, including the Christmas Bird Census returns, 1960-1891. Also included are records relating to the summer camps in 1971 (Chilcotin) and 1972 (Kootenays). Arranged into 14 series: Annual reports, Camps, Conservation Committee records, Constitutions, Financial records, Lectures and reports, Membership records, Minutes, Newsletters, Photographs and sketches, Program Committee records, Publications, Subject files, and Survey records.

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Physical condition

Includes 4 maps, 5 photographs and 1 sketch

Immediate source of acquisition

The collection was donated by Verna Newson and J. G. Sarles in 1973; Frank Sanford in 1977; John Pinder-Moss in 1982; Marilyn Dutton in 1989, 1993, 1994 , 1998, 2001, and 2003; Marian Coope in 2010; and June Ryder in 2016 and 2017 on behalf of the Vancouver Natural History Society.


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General note

Add.MSS 263 and 785 have been amalgamated with Add.MSS 484; citations for these records should therefore refer only to Add.MSS 484.

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