Fonds 2000.23 - Audrey Smedley L'Heureux fonds

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Audrey Smedley L'Heureux fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Moving images
  • Electronic record

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  • 1958-2005 (Creation)
    L'Heureux, Audrey Smedley

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Physical description

  • 1.8 m of textual records
  • 151 photographs
  • 16 computer diskettes
  • 14 maps
  • 1 optical disc (DVD-R)

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(10 August 1925 - 12 February 2013)

Biographical history

Audrey Ruth Smedley L’Heureux (1925-2013) was a Northern BC author, journalist, and newspaper editor. She was born Audrey Ruth Spencer in Vanderhoof B.C. on August 10,1925 to parents Marion Lucy Auld Graham Spencer and Ernie (Bert) Spencer. Audrey had two siblings, Pat and Jim Spencer, and a pet moose named Pinto.

Audrey served during World War II as a commercial radio wireless operator. She married her first husband, Jack Smedley, and they had three children: Albert, Georgina, and Teddy. They lived on Smedley Farm, approximately two miles south of Vanderhoof, which later became the headquarters for Custom Products and Timber Limited. In 1957, the Smedley's sold the farm and divorced.

With more personal time, Audrey decided to pursue her love of research and decided to start the Nechako Chronicles newspaper in 1964. Although she sold the newspaper in 1971, Audrey had found her passion for journalism. Audrey later applied for the editor position at The Interior News and worked there from 1974 to 1975. Later, Audrey became the editor for the Ingot, the Alcan newsletter. During her time at the Ingot, Audrey met and married Edmond “Ed” Joseph L’Heureux (1917-2001) on August 12, 1976. Audrey left the Ingot in 1976 and pursued her passion for researching northern British Columbia history. Audrey published “Northern BC In Retrospect " in 1979, “From Trail to Rail: Surveys & Gold, 1862 to 1904” in 1987, and “Trail to Rail: Settlement Begins, 1905-1914” in 1989. Audrey also created another volume of “Trail to Rail”; however, it was never published.

L’Heureux became a pillar in her community, winning several awards such as the 125th Anniversary Commemorative Medal of Canadian Confederation in 1993, Community Booster of the Year from Vanderhoof Chamber of Commerce in 1998, appointment to the Senior’s Advisory Council of B.C. in 1997, and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. Audrey was also a member of the Nechako Valley Historical Society, the Senior Citizen’s Counsel, and a member of the Elder Citizens Recreation Association (ECRA).

Audrey Ruth Smedley L’Heureux died on February 12, 2013.

Scope and content

This fonds encompasses the journalism, writing, and research of Audrey Ruth Smedley L'Heureux. L'Heureux's research interests focussed on northern and central British Columbia, beginning with pioneer settlement through to community life in the 2000s. L'Heureux's research also covered transitional phases of British Columbia history such as natural resource extraction, the impact of the railways, industrialization, and interactions with Indigenous communities. Predominantly organized in subject files, the L'Heureux's fonds provides collected research material on many topics relevant to the history of northern and central British Columbia. L'Heureux also collected numerous oral histories from pioneers in various northern and central British Columbia communities which informed her journalism and published works.

The Audrey Ruth Smedley L'Heureux fonds consists of three series. The first series consists of L'Heureux's research and subject files, a collection spanning her career as a journalist and author from 1970 to 2005. The second series consists of records relating to L'Heureux's writing, including manuscripts from her "From Trail to Rail" book series. The third series contains a small selection of L'Heureux's personal records, including a video that recounts L'Heureux's life story and accomplishments.

Notes area


Arrangement by the archivist based on original order and functions of the creator.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

    Location of originals

    This fonds contains a significant number of reproductions from other archives, particularly BC Archives, that were collected for research purposes. Requests for reuse of another archives' holdings (for purposes other than research and private study) will be re-directed to the originating institution.

    Availability of other formats

    Electronic records have been migrated from floppies and DVD where possible. Digital versions are available for access.

    Restrictions on access

    No restrictions.

    Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

    Personal or academic use of materials is welcomed under the standard fair dealing and educational use clauses of Canadian Copyright Law. Commercial use is, however, forbidden without the express permission of the copyright holder. For information on obtaining written permission from the copyright holder, please contact the Northern B.C. Archives and Special Collections.

    Finding aids

    Associated materials

    Audrey L'Heureux's published works are available in UNBC Library Special Collections.

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    No accruals expected.

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