Skip to Content

Chinese Canadian Artifacts Database Update

Chinese Canadian Artifacts Project finds permanent home at McPherson Library, University of Victoria, B.C.

The University of Victoria is pleased to provide an update on the artifacts inventory project first announced on April 30, 2015.  In July 2016, the University Library will become the permanent site for an exciting new digital collection of Chinese Canadian Artifacts. In the first stage of this project, over 6500 digital items ranging from photographs to theatre props from more than a dozen local and regional museums have been brought together in a publicly accessible database ( for the first time. This database constitutes the second largest such collection in the province, making available items that previously had only been accessible through visits to local museums. A valuable and accessible resource for research on Chinese Canadian history, the database was funded by the Ministry of International Trade and Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism, as part of the Chinese Historical Legacy Initiatives announced in 2014.

Led by Dr. John Price of the University of Victoria’s Department of History, the research team included Dr. Tusa Shea (Cultural Resource Management Program), Dr. Zhongping Chen (History), Martin Holmes and Stewart Arneil (Humanities Computing and Media Centre) and graduate assistants Brian Smallshaw and Wenjuan Lu. The project was undertaken in partnership with the B.C. Museums Association (Theresa Mackay, E.D.) and was brought to fruition through the efforts of local staff at Nanaimo Museum, Cumberland Museum and Archives, Salt Spring Island Museum, The Sidney Museum and Archives, New Westminster Museum and Archives, Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History, The Kelowna Museums Society, Barkerville Historic Town, Chilliwack Museum and Archives, Yale Historic Site, Esquimalt Archives, Lytton Museum and Archives, Revelstoke Museum and Archives, Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives, and Kaatza Station Museum and Archives.

The second stage of the project (January-June, 2016) will see accruals from a number of additional museums and the migration of the site to its permanent home at the McPherson Library. There it will take its place among the Library’s growing selection of multicultural holdings, including First Nations and Asian Canadian collections. The formal launch of the database as a permanent exhibit will take place at the 9th International Conference of the Society for the Study of Overseas Chinese to take place from July 6-8, 2016 in Richmond, B.C.

For further details contact Dr. Tusa Shea, Cultural Resource Management Program, University of Victoria, Tel. 250 721-6119 or E-mail,