Shaw TV’s Jen Muranetz visits the historic Pemberton family chapel and then reports on Pemberton Holmes’ donation of archives to the Royal BC Museum.

Pemberton Holmes donation of business archives to the BC Royal Museum

Our business dates back to the 1880’s with the formation of a small real estate brokerage in the Victoria area. In 2012, we donated our business archives to the Royal BC Museum in order to make these artifacts available for study now and in the future. The collection included more than 2400 client files, 300 photos, maps, plans, and approximately 180 bound volumes of correspondence. It is one of the largest and most significant single business holdings to be donated to the Royal BC Museum.

The transfer of these documents plays a small part in preserving the local business and economic history of Victoria, British Columbia. Paper and photographic archives are the only sources of information we have to examine the lives and lifestyles of people in that era. The collection opens up important new sources of information on the early development of our province and business on Vancouver Island and there is a strong interest in this type of material by the public, students, and historians.

The Pemberton Holmes family has an enduring connection to our city and our province and it has long been our wish to find the best home for these records. We know from our many visits to the Royal BC Museum and their care and love for our province that these archives are now in good hands. Perhaps this donation will inspire other prominent businesses to make a donation of archives. We encourage our business associates to explore the opportunity to preserve and showcase their work in history.

We would like to acknowledge the estate of Geoffrey Taylor for making funds available through the BC Archives Trust that allowed the Royal BC Museum to do the detailed work of cataloguing and organizing the Pemberton Holmes Ltd. Collection to make it accessible to the public.