Fonds P135 - Meilan Lam fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Meilan Lam fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Sound recording
  • Moving images

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the fonds.

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Reference code


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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1931-1999 (Creation)
    Lam, Meilan

Physical description area

Physical description

80 cm of textual records
40 video cassettes
4 audio cassettes
1 audio reel

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Meilan Lam was born in Vancouver in 1950. She began to work as a film-maker in 1971 at the National Film Board of Canada, specializing in animation and other technical skills on over 80 productions. Her credits include Atmos (1980), The National Scream (1980), Four Centuries: The Firearm in Canada (1982), Victoria Bridge: The 8th Wonder (1988), The Road Taken (1996), Under the Willow Tree (1997), and Moving Pictures (2000). She was director and researcher for the 1998 documentary film Show Girls:Celebrating Montreal's Legendary Black Jazz Scene (French version: Les Girls).

Custodial history

The documents were donated to Concordia University Archives by Meilan Lam in 1998 and 2000. The fonds was transferred from Concordia University's Records Management and Archives Department to Concordia University Libraries' Special Collections March 16, 2016, April 6-7, 2016, April 13, 2016, April 19-20, 2016, and May 17, 2016.

Scope and content

The fonds provides information on Montreal's Black jazz scene from the 1920s to the 1960s, chronicling the lives of three women - Tina Baines Brereton, Bernice Jordan Whims, and Olga Spencer Foderingham - who danced in night clubs such as Rockhead's Paradise, The Terminal, and Café St. Michel.

The fonds consists of materials gathered, and in some cases created, during the National Film Board of Canada's production of Show Girls / Les Girls. It includes research notes, edited sequences on videotape, video tapes and transcripts of interviews with the film's principals, audio tapes of interviews with various sources, stock footage, shot lists, clippings of night clubs ads, historical reference books, and VHS copies of the documentary.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The documents were donated to Concordia University Archives by Meilan Lam in 1998 and 2000.


Language of material

  • English
  • French

Script of material

    Language and script note

    The documents are in English, though the fonds contains a French copy of the film.

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    A box listing is available.

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