History of the Site
There is rich history on the property of Royal Roads University, from its use as a gathering place for Coast Salish First Nations through to its current existence as a public university. This land has been part of a Hudson Bay Company farm, and been the location of a sawmill and a tannery. It is also the place in which one of British Columbia's most successful businessmen, James Dunsmuir, built a castle with extensive formal gardens. Additionally, Royal Roads Military College used this site for 55 years before it became Royal Roads University in 1995. The RRU Archives exists to collect the multiple stories and identities of this property in paper, photograph, and documentary form.
What is in the RRU archives?
Archives collect two-dimensional objects that are unique, original, unpublished, non-current records with legal, historical or cultural significance. Archival records take many forms: photographs, films, video and sound recordings, and electronic data files, as well as more traditional paper records, maps, letters, diaries and documents. The records of Royal Roads University (1995 -) are our principal concern, however, the Archives also collects, preserves, and makes available original research materials concerning predecessors on the Hatley Park site: Royal Roads Military College and its antecedents (HMCS Royal Roads, Royal Canadian Naval College, Royal Canadian Navy –Royal Canadian Air Force College, Canadian Services College Royal Roads; 1940 – 1994), and the Dunsmuir family at Hatley Park (1907 – 1937). The Archives works in partnership with local First Nations people to document their use of the Hatley Park area dating back to 8 000 BCE.