Chinese Canadian Stories

For more than 200 years, migrants of Chinese heritage have traveled to Canada to live, to work, and to raise their families. They have come at different times and from different places in China and throughout the world. Many have called a variety of places home before coming to Canada, but once here, they formed vibrant communities that have significantly shaped Canadian society. "Chinese Canadian Stories" is a path-breaking project gathering the work of universities and community groups from across Canada. Our vision is to give Canadians--young and old--the tools to discover and make their own history, using the latest advances in digital technology to access, recover, and record our neglected past.

This digitized collection consists of materials that document Chinese Canadian history represented in the holdings of UBC Library, SFU Library, City of Vancouver Archives, Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP) community partners, and other community contributors. The collections contain digitized photographs, audio/video recordings, manuscripts (including correspondence and diaries), and organizational documents. The collection consists of 10 sub-collections and fonds:

Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society

The Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society Collection includes 244 items that preserve, document and celebrate the role of Chinese Canadian veterans in the service of Canada's military. 

Chock On Fong Fonds

The Chock On Fong Fonds consists of the incoming correspondence of Wo Shou, Wo Sai Jik and other members of the Wo Association. The letters were mainly concerned with cannery labour-related business and fundraising activities. The fonds also consists of records and printed material relating to the native place issues in Canton, China, the Wo Association in Canton and in B.C., Chock On business and other activities, and the local Chinese community. 

Gorsebrook Research Institute (GRI) for Atlantic Studies

The Gorsebrook Research Institute (GRI) for Atlantic Studies Collection includes 93 items that follow the history of the early Chinese in the Canadian Maritimes. Most of the items in the collection are photos and artifacts, such as old laundry tickets and restaurant menus, which overlap with the donor Albert Lee’s own family history.

Henry Lock-tin Lee

Henry Lock-tin Lee was a member of the Kuomintang (KMT), or Chinese Nationalist Party, and was also a traditional Chinese medicine doctor. His collection includes 15 boxes of books and journals, one box of framed photographs and nine musical instruments. The collection also includes newspaper clippings.

Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies

The INSTRCC (Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian studies) Collection contains 54 videos that tell the stories and histories of Asian Canadians. While most of the videos focus on the life of Vancouver residents, stories about the residents' lives before they moved to Vancouver and accounts of life in other Canadian cities also make up part of the collection.

Kamloops Chinese Cultural Association

The Kamloops Chinese Cultural Association (KCCA) Collection is a 60 item collection based on the histories of five Kamloops and British Columbia families: Dang, Kong, Lee, Lim, and Marr.

Louie Papers

In 2012, the University of British Columbia received permission from Peggy Leong to digitize the Louie Papers, which is one of the rare and important historical records documenting the participation of Chinese Canadians in WWI for Canada. The papers were originally owned by Peggy’s mother, Margeurite T. Louie.

Norman Kwong Collection

Norman 'Normie' Kwong (born October 24, 1929 in Calgary, Alberta) is an important figure in Chinese Canadian history. He is a former Hall of Fame athlete, sports executive, and was the 16th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. The Norman Kong collection contains newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and other published sources detailing the sports and public career of Normie Kwong.

Ron Bick Lee Fonds

The collection consists of records of the Lee family, including those of Ron Bick Lee and Foo Hung Co. The collection includes financial records; mainly account books, business letters and receipts. Other documents included are correspondence, certificates, newspaper clippings, Lee family photographs and published materials kept by Mr. Ron Bick Lee.

Wah Shun Company

The fonds (1919-1938) consists of records created or received by the Wah Shun Company of Vancouver including contracts, correspondence, cheque books, invoices and photographs. 

The Chinese Canadian Stories digital collection is made available in compliance with Canadian copyright law. If you are a rights holder and wish to contest the use of a specific resource, please contact UBC Library Digital Initiatives at