Early British Columbia History

The Chung Collection traces the history of the province of British Columbia from the first voyages of discovery by Europeans to the North Pacific, made by Spanish explorers as early as 1542. More than 200 years later, interest in land possession and fur trade intensified exploration and many voyages were made by Russian, Spanish, French, and British explorers.  The British eventually established possession of the coast, and Fort Victoria was established on Vancouver Island. Travel narratives of explorers such as James Cook, George Vancouver, Dionisio Galiano, Ivan Kruzenshtern and Etienne Marchand show the international nature of our province's history.

Historical documents, photographs, books, maps and pamphlets illustrate British Columbia's political, social and cultural history.  The scope of these documents include everything from 18th-century documents and books to tourism brochures from the 1950's and 60's.  The collection includes archival records related to the explosion of the S.S. Greenhill Park in the Port of Vancouver in 1945.  Another highlight of the collection includes Order in council constituting the Supreme Court of Civil Justice of Vancouver Island (1858), thought to be the first book published in B.C.

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