Fonds F50 - Edmund and Garry May Colchester fonds

Manager's House Superintendent's House King Edward Avenue in 1973 House in Fraser Mills House in Fraser Mills House on King Edward Avenue House in Fraser Mills Train Station at Fraser Mills House in Maillardville Boileau House Payer House House on Brunette Brunette Avenue Couteau House Bedard House Girard House Girard House Maillardville looking towards Fraser Mills Our Lady of Lourdes Church Manager's House - Fraser Mills Interior of Pare House Boileau House - Interior Paré House - Interior Boileau House - Family Fraser Mills from Maillardville Fraser Mills from Maillardville Street Fraser Mills - Lane Behind King Edward Avenue House in Fraser MIlls Fraser Mills - King Edward Avenue
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Edmund and Garry May Colchester fonds

General material designation

  • Cartographic material
  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the collection

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  • [197-] (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

7.5 cm of textual records
91 photographs : b& w and col. ; multiple dimensions
13 maps and plans ; multiple dimensions

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Name of creator


Biographical history

Custodial history

Mr. & Mrs. Colchester conceived of undertaking a project titled “Early Domestic Building in British Columbia” as part of a joint effort with Simon Fraser University Geography Department supported by Canada Council grants from 1973-1976. Following the study the Colchester’s utilized the materials gathered for a number of personal writing and research projects.

The materials donated to the City of Coquitlam Archives include the Maillardville project which was a study of the company town associated with Fraser Mills and the original inventory work of a number of Coquitlam’s heritage houses. All of the research, writing and photography was a joint effort of Edmund and Garry Colchester.

This research collection was placed in the custody of Dr. Edward M.W. Gibson, Professor of Geography, Simon Fraser University sometime prior to the death of Garry Colchester in 1994. It was the stated intent that the collection should be made available for public study in a local archives. The collection was temporarily housed at the Simon Fraser University Archives. In 1996 the SFU Archives, which did not have legal custody of the papers and determined that they did not meet their collections mandate, returned the collection to Dr. Gibson who was at that time the Director of the SFU Art Gallery. The papers were placed in storage with that institution at SFU until 2019.

Jim Wolf, Director of the New Westminster Heritage Foundation, located the collection and made enquires regarding the disposition and use of the research collection. The SFU Gallery determined that the collection should be deaccessioned as it did not meet their mandate and legally transferred to the New Westminster Heritage Foundation with the intent that any material of archival value be distributed for non-commercial purposes to accredited archival institutions for public access.

Jim Wolf decided that since there were no institutions interested in the collection as a whole, he would instead disperse the material to the relevant municipalities that were the subjects of the research materials. As such, Jim Wolf transferred one box of research materials related to Maillardville and Fraser Mills to the City of Coquitlam Archives.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of research materials created and accumulated by Edmund and Garry May Colchester in the 1970s. The material was created and accumulated in the preparation of a final report entitled "Contrasting Philosophies in Workers' Housing in Two Mill Villages: Fraser Mills Townsite and Maillardville - A Brief History”. The fonds also contains several versions of the final reports, as well as other academic writing.

Materials include photographs of houses in Maillardville and Fraser Mills, aerial photographs of Fraser Mills, maps (hand-drawn and copies), promotional materials for Crown Zellerbach, as well as other materials accumulated during the research process.

Notes area

Physical condition

Some records are printed on acidic paper.


The fonds has been arranged mostly according to the content of the records. Where there was no discernable order, the Archivist created an arrangement based on the content of the records. The arrangement is as follows:

S01: Academic Writing
S02: Research Materials
S03: Oral Histories
S04: Maps and Plans
S05: Photographs

Language of material

  • English

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No further accruals expected.

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