Fonds 85 - Walter C. Koerner fonds

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Walter C. Koerner fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of fonds

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Physical description

12 binders of photographs and textual records ; 2037 photographs : b&w and col. negatives, prints, slides ; 11.3 cm textual records.

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Name of creator

(1898 - 1995)

Biographical history

Walter C. Koerner was born in what is now known as Czechoslovakia (formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). In 1939, fleeing the expansion of Nazi Germany, he left Europe and emigrated to Canada. Upon his arrival in British Columbia, Koerner, with members of his family, founded a company known as Alaska Pine. He became a major figure in British Columbia's forest industry. Koerner was a significant collector of art, most notably European ceramics and North American First Nations art. In 1941, Koerner began collecting Northwest Coast First Nations art. He is credited with making important contributions to the artistic renaissance of First Nations art through his philanthropy and patronage. Walter Koerner played a significant role in the development of the University of British Columbia campus, lending financial and political support to several projects including UBC Library, the University Hospital, and the Museum of Anthropology. Walter Koerner died on his birthday July 21, 1995.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of physical and intellectual descriptions of objects in the form of photographs and textual records that provide relevant background information and bibliographic citations relating to Koerner’s personal collections. Fonds consts of two series: W. and M. Koerner ceramics collection and Northwest Coast Indian art.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Accession number 1996-002: Records were donated to the Museum of Anthropology Archives in 1996 by The Koerner Foundation, as part of a bequest by Walter Koerner. They were later transferred to the Curator’s office for approximately 10 years before being returned to the Archives in 2010.
Accession number 2018-16: Records were donated by Dr. Maria I.C. Gyongyossy-Issa to U.B.C. Rare Books and Special Collections. They were given a cursory review by a student there before being transferred to the Audrey & Harry Hawthorn Library and Archives.


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Restrictions on access

Some records in this fonds are subject to access restrictions. Consult Archivist for details.

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Consult Archivist for details.

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Created December 9, 2015.
Revised November 2019 by Stuart Hill (added accession 2018-16)

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