Douglas Shadbolt fonds

Douglas Shadbolt fonds

Part of


  • Douglas Shadbolt (creator)
  • Douglas Shadbolt (archive creator)


Douglas Shadbolt fonds

Dates of creation

1949-[before 1956]


  • archives

Level of archival description

Fonds 102

Extent and Medium

  • 62 drawings

Scope and Content

The Douglas Shadbolt fonds consists of 62 drawings, mostly photostat and diazotype prints, for 13 projects. The date range of the documents is from 1949 to about 1956, Shadbolt's most intense period working in architectural offices and on his own. Seven of the projects (counting the poorly identified National Gallery competition perspective) were designed by Shadbolt while in the office of McCarter & Nairne. These include a range of building types, including a school, housing project, church addition, Federal office and warehouse building, a residence, and a fraternity house. Shadbolt's short stay with the firm Sharp & Thompson, Berwick, Pratt is represented by a small tour bus station in Victoria.

The five single family residences designed independently by Shadbolt comprise the Archive's original drawings in graphite on paper. For the house built for the late Jack Shadbolt and his wife Doris, drawings and prints show a number of the dozen-odd preliminary design proposals the architect drew up in 1950-1951.

Reference Number


Biographical notes


Victoria, British Columbia, 1925 - Vancouver, British Columbia, 2002

Douglas Shadbolt studied at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and McGill University, Montreal, before apprenticing first with architects McCarter & Nairne in Vancouver from 1949-1954, and then Sharp & Thompson, Berwick, Pratt. Shadbolt attended the University of Oregon from 1955-1957, graduating with a B. Arch. In 1969, after which he acquired a diploma in Engineering at the Nova Scotia Technical College, Halifax. Shadbolt began teaching as a professor of architecture at McGill University in 1958, then went in 1961 to found and head the architecture school at the Nova Scotia Technical College (now the Technical University of Nova Scotia). He left Halifax in 1968 for Carlton University, Ottawa, where he started and directed the school of architecture and the school of industrial design. Shadbolt became director of the School of Architecture at the University of British Columbia in 1978, and Professor Emeritus there after his retirement in 1990. A study of architect Ron Thom written by Shadbolt was published in 1995.

Although Shadbolt is primarily known as an educator, he produced a number of interesting projects as design architect for McCarter & Nairne, and as an independent architect creating residences for private clients between 1949 and 1956. In particular, his post and beam studio house for artists Bruno and Molly Lamb Bobak, designed and built by Shadbolt in North Vancouver in 1951, and the studio house constructed for his brother, painter Jack L. Shadbolt, in Burnaby in 1956, have been acknowledged as important in the development of the West Coast style residence.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

  • The Douglas Shadbolt fonds was acquired for the exhibition "The New Spirit: Modern Architecture in Vancouver, 1938-1963". The exhibition was organized by the CCA and presented at the CCA in 1997, the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1997-1998, and the Nickle Arts Museum, Calgary, in 1998.

Archivist's note

  • The Douglas Shadbolt fonds was originally processed and described by David Rose in 1998. In 2009, the original finding aid was modified, by Alexis Lenk, in order to conform to updated documentation procedures.

General note

  • The publication "The New Spirit: Modern Architecture in Vancouver 1938-1963", by Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe, which accompanied the exhibition of the same name, was used as a source for some of the information on the architect Douglas Shadbolt, and on the projects in the fonds.

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