Dennis J. Duffy

Archivist (Retired)

I’ve just retired from the Royal BC Museum after 18 years as an archivist, and 21 years as a civil servant. However, I’ve actually been involved with the BC Archives’ audio-visual collections since 1978. Following two stints as a summer student at the archives, I worked under contract on and off for several years as a writer, editor, audio producer, research associate, and archival consultant. I finally joined the staff in 1998.

My publications for the Provincial Archives included:
Bright Sunshine and a Brand New Country: Recollections of the Okanagan Valley, 1890-1914 (1979)
The Magnificent Distances: Early Aviation in British Columbia, 1910-1940 (1980)
Imagine Please: Early Radio Broadcasting in British Columbia (1983)
Camera West: British Columbia on Film, 1941-1965 (1986)

I also produced the Royal BC Museum’s first DVD, Evergreen Playland: A Road Trip through British Columbia (2008), based on the archival travelogues that I compiled for the “Mighty 90 Drive-In” at the museum’s BC sesquicentennial exhibition, Free Spirit: Stories of You, Me and BC. During the exhibition, I was a regular guest on the CBC Radio program All Points West.

In 2014, I produced and edited the video presentation Answering the Call, based on 100-year-old footage of BC troops training for service in the First World War. The presentation is now touring BC as part of the museum’s travelling exhibition British Columbia’s War, 1914-1918.

More recently, I have been compiling home movie footage for potential use in the upcoming exhibition Families: Bonds & Belonging. Home movies are an excellent source for revealing the nature of family life, and some of the films in the archives’ collection are quite wonderful in that regard.

In my retirement, I plan to resume work on some research and writing projects, as well as maintaining my RBCM blog about filmmaking in British Columbia. I look forward to reading more books, watching a lot of movies, and listening to lots of jazz. At times, I may just sit and think!

Education

Camosun College: Diploma in Applied Communication (1978)
Simon Fraser University: BA in Fine & Performing Arts (1991); Certificate in Public History (1992)

Areas of Interest

Archival moving images (film and videotape)
Archival sound recordings
History of filmmaking and broadcasting in British Columbia

Contact Dennis J. Duffy

Email: djd2017@shaw.ca

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