This BC Archives display gives us the opportunity to share our records, new donations and ongoing projects that help tell British Columbia’s story. The BC Archives display is located in the lobby of the BC Archives, beside the Royal BC Museum.

The Ida Halpern fonds (PR-0847) is a remarkable collection of audiovisual, textual and photographic records documenting the ceremonial arts of west coast Indigenous peoples. Ida Halpern, an ethnomusicologist, earned a degree in musicology from the University of Vienna just before World War II.

She went on to dedicate much of her professional life to recording musical creations offered by leading elders in Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, Tlingit, Haida and Coast Salish communities. This unique collection, recently inscribed on the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Canada Memory of the World Register, has been vital for language revitalization efforts and the preservation of cultural heritage.