Fonds AR247 - Lara Gilbert fonds

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Lara Gilbert fonds

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  • 1981-1995 (Creation)
    Gilbert, Lara

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Physical description

60 cm of textual material and graphic material

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Biographical history

Lara Gilbert (Catherine Grace Lara Lian Gilbert) was born in Burnaby, British Columbia on November 26, 1972. Her mother is Vancouver artist, Carole Itter, whose sculptural installation, The Pink Room: A Visual Requiem was acquired by the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2007. Itter is also the co-author of the book, <em>Opening Doors: Vancouvers East End </em> (1979). Gilbert grew up in Vancouver's Strathcona and Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods. Described as a solitary child, she excelled academically, and earned academic awards at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels. She was considered a gifted writer from an early age; she began journal writing at approximately 8 years old, and continued writing until her death at age 22. She also attended Lord Strathcona Elementary School, Brittania High School, and the University of British Columbia (UBC), where she earned an honours degree in biochemistry. Following the completion of undergraduate studies, she applied unsuccessfully to a number of Canadian medical schools. While continuing with her studies, Gilbert suffered from mental illness and underwent various treatments including prescription medication, talk therapy, and psychiatric ward admission with electroshock therapy. On a few occasions, she returned to the Downtown Eastside, and experimented with street drugs. Following many suicide attempts, Gilbert died from an intentional pharmaceutical drug overdose on October 7, 1995. Excerpts from Gilbert's journals were published posthumously in <em>I Might Be Nothing </em> (Trafford Publishing: 2004), edited and with an introduction by Carole Itter.

Custodial history

Donated to the University of Victora Archives by Carole Itter in 2006, with the assistance of the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records documenting Gilberts thoughts and experiences from childhood to early adulthood. The fonds have been arranged in four series: 1) academic and employment records; 2) correspondence; 3) journals; and 4) unbound prose and poetry.

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BCAUL control number: UVICARCH-486

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