Leonard G. McCann Archives

The Vancouver Maritime Museum Archives are named for Leonard G. McCann, Curator Emeritus of the Museum. 

Mr. McCann joined the Museum in the early 1960s and during his distinguished career spanning over 30 years, he authored several treatises, helped build the Museum’s library, archives and artifact collections, and mentored and inspired scholars and students.  His personal library and archives were donated to the Museum in 2006 and Mr. McCann remains a valued member of the Museum’s family and an inspiration within the heritage community.

To date, the archival collection includes 60.0 meters of processed fonds and collections related to vessels, shipping companies and maritime personalities. Brief summaries of the fonds and collections are included below with a link to their finding aids. As records are processed, new finding aids will be added.

Photographs

The photograph collection contains approximately 125,000 slides, negatives, and prints from the nineteen and early twentieth century. The collection is primarily organized by vessel name, with some of the images in scrapbooks and photograph albums. Subject matter includes:

  • vessels (under sail/at sea/interiors/shipwrecks)
  • maritime personalities
  • maritime events
  • lighthouses
  • shipyards
  • canneries
  • personal travel photos
  • historic photos of the City of Vancouver, including the Littlebury Collection
  • the development of the port of Vancouver
  • coastal communities throughout British Columbia

The images are subject to the Copyright Act of Canada. Copies, reprints, and digital copies required written permission and may be subject to fees.

A portion of the photograph collection is available online through the Northern Heritage images database. It contains over 2,500 images related to the Arctic and the St. Roch, the first vessel to transit the Northwest Passage and the first vessel to circumnavigate the entire North American continent. 

Click here to enter the database

Archival Finding Aids

The Akrigg Collection consists of records related to the research completed by Helen and George Akrigg for their publication British Columbia Place Names. 

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Akrigg Collection

The Alexander Spanos Collection includes personal papers, correspondence, photographs and maritime service records of Alexander Spanos who served on a number of vessels that plied British Columbia’s coastal waters and those in Southeastern Alaska between 1951-1978.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Alexander Spanos Collection

The Ben Franklin/PX-15 Collection includes records, technical reports, correspondence, photographs and promotional materials related to the construction and operation of the Ben Franklin/PX-15 submersible and its crew during the Gulf Stream Mission in 1969.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Ben Franklin/PX-15 Collection

The British Columbia Whaling Collection consists of records relating to the daily operational activities of the Victoria Whaling Company and its successor, Consolidated Whaling Corporation Ltd.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the British Columbia Whaling Collection

The Charles M. Defieux Collection consists of research notes, correspondence, and working papers related to the maritime research undertaken by Charles M. Defieux who was a freelance journalist, lecturer in marine affairs, and who wrote the regular column on shipping news and British Columbia marine history called “Of Ships and Men” in The Vancouver Sun newspaper.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Charles M. Defieux Collection

The Clyde Jacobs Collection consists of photographs, reports and correspondence on the purpose- built newsprint carrier MV Besseggen and newspaper transportation ships in general and used by Crown Zellerbach.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Clyde Jacobs Collection

The Collins Family Fonds consists of records related to the British Columbian and international maritime careers of John Campbell Stewart, Eustace Frederick Collins, and Frederick Stewart Collins between 1875-1969.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Collins Family Fonds

The David I. Moore Fonds consists of records related to his career and interests as a naval architect. Moore designed aluminum seiners for BC Packers, ferries for Expo’86, Westminster pilot boats, BC Ferries passenger ferries, and a school water taxi for the Southern Gulf Islands. Moore was the resident Naval Architect and Shipyard Construction Overseer at Shore Boats in Richmond, B.C.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the David I. Moore Fonds

The Donald Graham Fonds consists of research files and photographs compiled for Graham’s publications on B.C. lighthouses. Graham worked at BC lighthouses for twenty years, most at the Point Atkinson lighthouse in West Vancouver.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Donald Graham Fonds

The Edward Crawford Swank Fonds consists of textual and graphic records created and received by Edward Swank during his private life and as a prominent member of British Columbia’s maritime community. Swank worked on vessels for the Union Steamships Company, Canadian National Steamships and B.C. Steamship Line.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Edward Crawford Swank Fonds

The Dr. E.W. Connolly Collection consists of records related to Dr. Connolly’s medical career and his practice throughout British Columbia.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Dr. E.W. Connolly Collection

The Elek Imredy Collection consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, sketches, working papers, publicity materials, and promotional materials related to Imredy’s creation of the “Girl in Wetsuit” sculpture located in Vancouver Harbour at Stanley Park.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Elek Imredy Collection

The Ex-Forestry Service Squadron Collection consists of records, photographs, personnel and vessel lists, reports, logbooks and newsletters of Ex-Forestry Service vessels that were once used by the B. C. Forestry Service. Collection also includes manuscripts, proofs and galleys, illustrations and photographs used in the book “Forest Ranger, Ahoy!” by Michael Coney.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Ex-Forestry Service Squadron Collection

The Fisherman’s Reserve Collection consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings and photographs about the history of the reserve that served on the BC coast during World War II and the two reunions held in 1975 and 1977.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Fisherman’s Reserve Collection

The Fred Rogers Fonds consists of research materials and photographs accumulated by Rogers for use during dive trips and writing about the history of local shipwrecks. Also included are draft versions of articles written by Rogers for submission to magazines and marine-related news columns. The photographs document various types of vessels (mainly tugboats) under steam and working on the water.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Fred Rogers Fonds

The Hayden Collection is comprised of records relating to the maritime careers of Charles F. Hayden Sr. and Charles F. Hayden Jr. and include maritime service records, correspondence sent and received by Charles Sr. and Jr. with family and friends while at sea, and records related to the Canadian Pacific vessels they served on between 1899-1941.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Hayden Collection

The Henry Larsen Collection consists of personal papers and correspondence received and sent by Larsen who commanded the St. Roch on her voyages in the arctic during World War II.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Henry Larsen Collection

The Hugh D. Halkett Fonds consists of records relating to maritime career of Captain Hugh D. Halkett who served with Canadian Pacific, the Canadian Hydrographic Service, the Canadian Coast Guard and B.C. Ferries.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Hugh D. Halkett Fonds

The J.M. MacFarlane Collection consists of envelopes cacheted (stamped or imprinted) with the names and logos of ships in the Canadian, British and American naval and maritime service collected by MacFarlane between 1977 and 1979.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the John M. MacFarlane Collection

The John Crosse Collection consists of records created by John Crosse, a maritime historian. The records relate to his research and writings of numerous maritime-themed journal and newspaper articles as well as drafts of his self-published manuscripts: “Thermopylae”; “In the Wake of Narvaez”, and “Thomas Manby: Seaman and Lover”.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the John Crosse Collection

The Captain John Park Fonds consists of personal papers and correspondence related to Captain Park’s maritime career as a vessel Master and marine Pilot in the B.C. Coast Pilotage Authority.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Captain John Park Fonds

The June Hickey Collection consists of correspondence and the maritime service records of Patrick Joseph Hickey who served with the Canadian Pacific Navigation Co. (predecessor to the Canadian Pacific Railway Co.) on the BC coastal service route between 1899-1911. It also includes the records of his son, Richard Joseph Hickey, who  followed in his father’s steps by undertaking a maritime career and working for the Canadian Pacific Railway Co. on the BC Coast Steamship Service route and later the Ocean Steamship Service (Empress liners) deep-sea routes between 1908-1938. 

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the June Hickey Collection

The Kingsley Navigation Company Collection consists of records and photographs related to the corporate history of the Kingsley Navigation Company and includes minutes and special resolutions from Directors and Shareholders meetings; lists of shareholders and directors; contracts and stock certificates; correspondence by Frank McNicholl about the sale of the company; newspaper clippings and journal articles about the history of the company; and a logbook containing notices and instructions to the company’s Masters about the operation of vessels and the transportation of cargo.  

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Kingsley Navigation Company Collection

The Norman Hacking Fonds consist of textual and photographic records related to Hacking’s personal life and as a well-known maritime historian, journalist and author. Included in the fonds are research notebooks and scrapbooks relating to B.C. history and the maritime history of Vancouver, newspaper articles from the Vancouver Daily Province, and unpublished drafts of manuscripts and short stories by Hacking.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Norman Hacking Fonds

The Pat Norris Fonds consists of records related to Pat Wastell Norris’s publication “High Seas, High Risk: The Story of the Sudburys”. Records include correspondence, research notes and chapter drafts, publishing correspondence, newspaper clippings and photographs.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Pat Norris Fonds

The Register of Seamen Shipped Ledger Collection consists of 47 volumes documenting the seamen who shipped out of the Port of Vancouver. The collection dates from 1898 to 1967 and is a unique record of merchant marine history. These large, hand-written ledgers include the name of the ship, a list of the crew and their position on the ship, wages earned, and a home address. Popular with genealogists, the Register has also been used by Veteran Affairs in allocating merchant marine wartime service pensions.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Register of Seamen Shipped Ledger Collection

The Robert G. Halford Fonds consists of records related to Halford’s research for his publication “The Unknown Navy: Canada’s World War Two Merchant Navy”. Records include correspondence and interview excerpts with crew members of merchant marine vessels, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and research notes.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Robert G. Halford Fonds

The VMM Salmon Can Label Collection consists of original salmon can labels printed for packing companies along the west coast of British Columbia and Washington. Some of the labels are from companies located overseas – such as C.E. Morton (New Zealand) Limited and Tokyo Food Products Limited. The collection includes labels in four sizes – rectangular labels measuring 3 ¾ oz, 7 ¾ oz, and 15 ½ oz; and one round label.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Salmon Can Label Collection

The S.S. Master Society Fonds consists of textual records relating to the history, administration and restoration of the S.S. Master. Records include agendas, minutes and annual reports; correspondence; registration and insurance documents; licenses; financial papers and grant proposals; a logbook recording crew hours; publications and media releases; newspaper clippings. The fonds also includes pilot house logbooks from the S.S. Master dating 1940-1959 that chronicle her activities while towing for Marpole Towing Company Limited.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the S.S. Master Society Fonds

The St. Roch Research Collection consists of historic records created and received by the crew of the St. Roch and other members of the RCMP during the ship’s active existence; Vancouver Maritime Museum and Parks Canada administrative records, research files, and photographs regarding the restoration and ongoing preservation, display, and interpretation of the ship. 

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the St. Roch Research Collection

The Thomas F. Bayard Collection consists of records related to the history of and preservation efforts for the schooner Thomas F. Bayard. Also included are records from the Thomas F. Bayard Restoration Society, the Thomas F. Bayard Restoration Committee, and the Vancouver Maritime Museum on their efforts to acquire and restore the vessel.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Thomas F. Bayard Collection

The Union Steamship Company Collection consists of records and photographs related to the history of the Union Steamship Company that provided cargo and passenger service along the B.C. coast from 1899-1959. This collection also includes records donated by Harold Cecil Biles, former employee; James Richard Southworth, former Marine Constable; and authors Gerald Rushton and Arthur Twigg who wrote numerous histories on the company. 

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Union Steamship Company Collection

The Vancouver Outboard Motor Club Fonds consists of records related to the Vancouver Outboard Motor Club from 1953-1983 and includes bylaws; newspaper articles; financial reports; membership applications; correspondence; meeting minutes; club rosters; and photographs.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Vancouver Outboard Motor Club Fonds

The Vickie Jensen Fonds consists of records related to Jensen’s research for the book “Saltwater Women at Work” that includes interviews with B.C. women who earned their living or working on vessels of all types including deep sea ships and coastal freighters, charter yachts, fish boats, ferries, Coast Guard and DFO vessels, tugboats and water taxis.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the Vickie Jensen Fonds

The W.E. Darwell Fonds consists of records related to Darwell’s maritime career with the Royal Navy and includes maritime service records; his hand-written logbook while serving on the H.M.S. Ganges in Esquimalt (1859-1861); and newspaper clippings and records related to the collision of the H.M.S. Tyne while under Darwell’s command.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the W.E. Darwell Fonds

The W.B. & M.H. Chung Maritime History Collection is a comprehensive collection of 19th and early 20th century maritime history as told through archival records, books, photographs, paintings and artifacts on the exploration of the Pacific Northwest, the history of British Columbia, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Collected by Dr. Chung, the collection has been acknowledged by Heritage Canada as a certified Canadian Cultural Property.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the W.B. and M.H. Chung Maritime History Collection

The William Kaye Lamb Collection consists of records related to Dr. Lamb’s collection of maritime and shipping research and original manuscripts of ship-related publications.  Some personal memoirs are included that reflect his role as a life-long historian and as the National Librarian and Dominion Archivist of Canada from 1948-1969.

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the W.K. Lamb Collection

The William Carl Tyack Collection consists of records and photographs related to the life and work of Tyack, a member of the RCMP who as a quartermaster, was in charge of purchases for the Arctic. He worked with Henry Larsen to supply the St. Roch while in the Arctic and while transiting the Northwest Passage. 

Click here to view a detailed finding aid to the William C. Tyack Collection