W.B. and M.H. Chung maritime history collection [cartographic materials, technical drawings, textual records, graphic materials]

Supplied title note
Title based on the name of the creator of the records.
Collection number
Physical description
10 meters of textual records; ca. 1,444 photographs; 3,828 books and periodicals; 7400 postcards
Administrative history / Biographical sketch

Dr. Wallace B. Chung began collecting Canadian Pacific Railway memorabilia as a six-year-old child growing up in Victoria, B.C. His passion for 19th and early 20th century maritime history would endure throughout his formal schooling at Victoria College, the University of British Columbia, and McGill University. After forty-years in the medical field - specializing in vascular surgery, he retired in 1991 from UBC where he was a Professor of Surgery and head of the Department of Surgery at the UBC Hospital. During this time, Dr. Chung actively served on numerous cultural boards in the local and international heritage community, among them the Vancouver Chinese Cultural Centre, British Columbia Heritage Trust, and the Canadian Multiculturalism Council.

Dr. Madeline H. Chung (nee Huang) was born in Shanghai, China and grew up in Hong Kong. In 1949 she immigrated to North America and pursued a medical career specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. In 1953 she married Wallace Chung and had two children, Maria and Stephen. Dr. Madeline Chung also contributed greatly to the Vancouver heritage community throughout her professional career and in 1999 she was made an Honorary Life Member of the British Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Chung is a former Trustee and founding Governor of Vancouver Maritime Museum Society, and is an honorary patron of the Vancouver Maritime Museum. In 1993 Drs. Chung were responsible for the construction of the Vancouver Maritime Museum Library that is named in their honor. In 2005 Dr. Chung was named to the Order of Canada and in 2006 to the Order of British Columbia for his passionate advocacy for the preservation of cultural heritage.

The W.B. and M.H. Chung Maritime History Collection housed at the Vancouver Maritime Museum represents a lifetime of collecting by Drs. Chung. It is a comprehensive collection of 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. Dr. Chung donated the collection to two repositories - the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. In 2005 the Vancouver Maritime Museum was proud to have the significance of the W.B. and M.H. Chung Maritime History Collection, Part 1, acknowledged by Heritage Canada as a certified Canadian Cultural Property.

Scope & content

The W.B. & M.H. Chung Maritime History Collection consists of archival records including pamphlets, newsletters, reports, notes, deck plans, cabin plans, menus, promotional brochures, newspaper articles, baggage tags, tickets, day programs, builder's plans, sailing schedules, and passenger lists for coastal liners on the Pacific such as the C.N.R. ships (formerly the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway), the Union Steamship Company, Pacific Steamship Co., and the Dollar Line; and the great ocean shipping lines such as Cunard, French Line, Italian Line, North German Lloyd, P & O, Union Castle, United States, White Star Lines that plied international waters in the 20th century. The collection also includes research notes and scrapbooks on various types of vessels (tug boats, sail boats, tow boats, and shipwrecks) along with historical information related to local BC maritime history and WWI and WWII. The collection also includes graphic material comprised of vessel photographs and negatives, postcards, advertising and promotional posters, commercial artwork, artifacts, and maritime books and periodicals. Canadian Pacific Railway records in the collection include payroll accounts and employee lists.


The collection has been divided into five series. Within each series are subsequent sub-series. Listings for each sub-series can be found at the series level.

Where possible, the Archivist has maintained the original order of the records (mainly alphabetical) as filed by Dr. Chung. The records were rehoused into archival folders from storage in Dr. Chung's vertical filing cabinets. File titles as written were Dr. Chung were maintained, however it was necessary to create new titles for some files. The file titles as created by the Archivist are denoted by [ title ].

In May 2007 a primary arrangement of the records into series was completed by May Chan. The final arrangement, file-level description, and finding aid was completed by VMM Librarian/Archivist, Lisa Glandt in December 2008.

Artifacts and posters related to this collection were organized by Guy Mathias, VMM Curator, in November 2008. Consult Curator for access to these records via the Curatorial Artifact database.

Books and periodicals donated as part of the W.B. and M.H. Chung Maritime History Collection have been maintained as a specialized unit in the larger VMM Library collection. Access to these books is available via the Librarian.

English, French, German, Greek, Italian
Related materials

In 1999 Drs. Chung donated part of their collection to the University of British Columbia. This material, known as the Wallace B. and Madeline H. Chung Collection is now permanently housed in the Chung Room in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Access: Access to the collection is unrestricted, however some records are fragile and require specialized handling under guidance of the Archivist.