We are pleased to announce that additional material is now available in the John Keenlyside Legal Research Collection. This collection is consists of primary documents related to the legal history in British Columbia, and is particularly strong in colonial documents. The most recent addition to this collection contains three different series of documents:
Bankruptcy cases: Documents from the provincial bankruptcy court, dating from 1863-1883, reflecting the post-Gold Rush economic strain felt in this province. The documents are organized into files according to the person or company in question, and are primarily legal documents such as affidavits, deeds, wills and summons. Also included in some of the files are supporting documents, such as the manuscript map below of Graham Island, which is part of a file dating from 1865 regarding the Queen Charlotte Mining Company:
Colonial documents of British Columbia: This series contains mostly correspondence, but also legal documents related to interactions in the court system. These documents reflect not only legal matters in B.C., but also the social and economic aspects of colonial life. For example, the document below is from a set of correspondence describing the courtship of a B.C. missionary’s daughter and steamship builder from Portland:
Supreme Court of Civil Justice claims: This series contains three files related to claims made at the Supreme Court of Civil Justice, which was originally established as the Inferior Court of Civil Justice in 1857 to deal with petty claims in Victoria. All three files contain summons documents, and pertain to debts owed to people or businesses, such as the summons document below:
To see the finding aid for this collection, please consult the catalogue record. For help using archival collections (including links to tutorials to help you learn to read old handwriting!) please see our Archival Material Research Guide.