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Political and Social History of Northern BC

Northern BC Archives collections on political personalities, social and political activists, and political history at various levels of government in Northern BC.

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Northern BC Archives & Special Collections

Hours of Service:
Monday to Friday: 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
Closed 12:30 PM-1:00 PM daily
Closed Weekends & Statutory Holidays
Appointments Recommended

Location: UNBC Prince George
Geoffrey R. Weller Library
4th Floor (Room 5-423)


Pierre Trudeau, Margaret Trudeau, and Iona Campagnolo smile at a group in front of themThe Northern BC Archives has over 64 linear metres of textual records and other materials related to political personalities, social and political activists, and political history at various levels of government in Northern BC. Politicians include:

  • The Honourable Iona Campagnolo was MP for Skeena, Minister of State Fitness and Amateur Sport in the Trudeau Government, President of the Liberal Party of Canada, and later Lieutenant Governor for BC
  • Ray Williston was a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Prince George and served as Minister of Education from 1954-1956 and Minister of Lands and Forests from 1956-1972 in the B.C. Social Credit government under Premier W.A.C. Bennett
  • H.G.T. (Harry) Perry was involved in provincial politics (1920-1945) and served as Provincial Minister of Education (1941-45)

Other political figures in this guide include social and political activists:

  • Bridget Moran was a prominent social activist, social worker, and writer who famously wrote an open letter in a Vancouver newspaper criticizing Premier W.A.C. Bennett’s Social Credit government for what she saw as gross neglect in addressing the needs of child welfare in the province in 1964
  • Walt Taylor who was a social activist in the Okanagan region of B.C. in the 1970s, and involved with political-environmental activist movements in the Bulkley Valley-Telkwa-Smithers area c.1980s-1990s

Finally, the businessman and government lobbyist Adam Zimmerman who was heavily involved in the softwood lumber dispute and lobbied the government on the Canada/U.S. Free Trade issues.

All of these collections could be utilized in various research projects including but not limited to:

  • Political history of Northern BC
  • Northern BC's influence on national politics and government
  • Examination of the political process
  • Examination of the change of administration from one government or one MP to the next

Image: 2009.6.1.81 - Pierre Trudeau, Margaret Trudeau, and Iona Campagnolo smile at a group in front of them

Archival Speaker Series: Dr. Dominique Clement

"Equality Deferred: Human Rights Law and Sex Discrimination in British Columbia History" public lecture by Dr. Dominique Clément, Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology, University of Alberta

The research was the basis for his book Equality Deferred: sex discrimination and British Columbia’s Human Rights State, 1953-84. The research included sex discrimination cases among workers experienced c.1950s-c.1980s within the Prince George and Northern BC region.

The Northern BC Archives Graduate Research Scholarship

The Office of Graduate Research, with the generous assistance of an anonymous donation, is pleased to announce the creation of The Northern BC Archives Graduate Research Scholarship. Up to two awards per year with a value of $2,500 each will be awarded to full-time UNBC graduate students in any discipline who are pursuing archival research at the Northern BC Archives for their graduate thesis or project.

Check out our scholarship page or brochure for more information:

Applications accepted: October 15, 2019 to Jul 01, 2020

Application Instructions: Applicants must apply online through their "myUNBC" portal. Applicants must provide a detailed description of their research proposal including an in-depth explanation as to which archival materials from the NBCA they are interested in researching.

For additional information and criteria, please see the UNBC Scholarship, Bursary, and Awards Guide for the scholarship.

Apply now!