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September 15th, 2019
Against the Current: The Remarkable Life of Agnes Deans Cameron
Guest Speaker: Cathy Converse
Agnes Deans Cameron (1863-1912) was an author, journalist, educator, school trustee, sportswoman, orator, adventurer, and international celebrity. She was British Columbia’s first female high school teacher and first school principal, and during her lifetime became one of Canada’s most well-known writers, publishing in the top international magazines and newspapers. Cameron stands as one of the top 150 most significant individuals in the history of the province of British Columbia.
Cathy Converse will share some of the funny incidents, discoveries, and challenges she faced during her research at archives in BC as well as at the Winnipeg Public Library Archives, Library and Archives Canada, and the Chicago Public Library Archives.
Cathy Converse is a best-selling author with several books on the BC Bestseller List. She has been writing for thirty years and has written and co-authored six books and numerous cover stories for magazines and academic journals. She is also the former chair of Social Sciences at Camosun College and was a faculty member in the Department of Sociology. For her work in writing historical biography she has been named in Canadian Who’s Who.
October 20th, 2019
Behind the Scenes at the Provincial Archives: The Women Who Did the Work
Guest Speaker: Dr. Patricia Roy, professor emeritus of History at the University of Victoria
The names of the men who were provincial archivists and librarians – the roles were usually combined – are well known. Yet, even before the Archives were formally established, women such as Alma Russell, a professionally trained librarian, organized the books and documents that became the Provincial Archives. In time, she was joined by Madge Wolfenden, Marjorie Holmes and Muriel Cree. All had long careers in the institution. They also had interesting stories themselves. Wolfenden was the daughter of Royal Engineer; Holmes, like so many other British Columbians of her day came with her family from England. Wolfenden and Holmes were trained librarians; Mrs. Cree, who had a talent for getting publicity for herself, was not.
Through their stories, this illustrated talk will relate the history of the Archives from its conception in the 1890s through the era of the Second World War when Wolfenden served as acting provincial archivist.
Patricia Roy is the author of The Collectors: A History of the Royal British Columbia Museum and Archives. She is professor emeritus of History at the University of Victoria.