Don Bourdon

Curator of Images and Paintings

Don Bourdon began his museum career in 1972 as a volunteer. He worked as an archivist for 30 years and served as manager of access services for BC Archives for six years. In 2013, he brought his expertise to bear in a new Royal BC Museum position charged with curating and raising the profile of the collection’s more than five million photographs, paintings drawings and prints.

Known for his holistic approach to acquisition and management of multi-disciplinary collections, Don was involved in significant acquisitions, preservation management and public access programs at museums in BC and Alberta. His contributions to the archival community were recognized with honorary life membership in the Archives Society of Alberta—as a founding president, and for his 26-year career in the province, 23 years of which he spent as head archivist at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.

Don also developed content for the Google Art Project and Google Cultural Initiative and is researching BC photographers and photographs of the wet-plate collodion era, a period that coincides with BC’s colonial era and waves of gold rush activity.

Areas of Interest

Specialty: History of fine art and photography in Western Canada

Areas of Expertise: Collections care, arrangement, description, public access and interpretation

Technology and practice of photography

Photographs, recorded sound and moving image records

Contact Don Bourdon


Latest Articles

Visual Noise

May 7, 2014 5:34 pm

A crossed letter or cross hatched letter, sometimes referred to as a crisscross letter, is a 19th century style of hand-written message where a page is filled and then turned and […]

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An Ominous Noise

May 7, 2014 5:30 pm

Hurrahs echoed and re-echoed from Belleville Street and Victoria West as crowds on both sides of the harbour saluted 500 raw recruits of […]

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