Fonds F-13 - Department of Languages, Literature and Linguistics fonds

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Department of Languages, Literature and Linguistics fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title of the fonds is based on the name of its creator.

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  • 1964 - 1988 (Creation)
    Department of Languages, Literature and Linguistics

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Physical description

2.25 m of textual records

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(1965 - 1988)

Administrative history

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics was established by the Board of Governors in 1965 under the name of the Department of Modern Languages. The Department was responsible, through its Head, for the promotion of research and the development and delivery of programs in the discipline of languages and linguistics. Initially, the Department offered a B.A. program in four language divisions— French, German, Russian, and Spanish— or in linguistics. In 1966, a M.A. in Linguistics was introduced, followed in 1967 by a Ph.D. program. The curricula developed and expanded steadily and by 1970, language courses consisted of three sections: the language itself, linguistics, and literature. While the French and Spanish programs expanded, the German and Russian divisions had smaller enrollments and faculty allocations were reduced. In 1974, an M.A. (Teaching French) program was added and in 1980 the French Language Training Centre was opened. In 1978, the Department was renamed Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, and in 1989 it was disbanded. Upon its dissolution, the Department was replaced by the Departments of French, Linguistics, and Spanish and Latin American Studies. All other language instruction, including Chinese, Hindi, Italian, Latin, and Swahili, was moved to the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Faculty of Arts.

The Department was initially organized administratively into a Chair, four sub-departments or divisions (French, German, Russian, and Spanish), and a number of standing committees. The Chair was the chief administrative officer, whose responsibilities included the management of the operational budget; faculty tenure, promotion and salary recommendations; teaching assignments; and representation of the Department to external bodies. While the Chair had overall responsibility to the Department and the Dean of Arts for the efficient operation of the Department, most decisions were made at the committee level with major issues referred to departmental meetings. The Departmental Assistant was responsible for much of the day-to-day administration of the Department, which included the management of the departmental budget, the scheduling of courses, the provision of liaison with administrative offices, and advising students.

The number and composition of departmental committees varied over time. In 1966, there were eleven committees, including the Departmental Advisory, Scholarship, Library, Graduate Studies, Curriculum, Journal, Promotions, Projects, Amerindian, Teaching Experiments and Textbook, and Laboratory committees. There were also departmental meetings under the name of the Plenary committee. By 1969, the number of committees had been reduced to four, including the Committee of Chairmen, Graduate Studies, Tenure, and Salaries. The number of divisions within the Department had also expanded to five to include Linguistics, and each of these bodies conducted its own meetings under the leadership of a director who reported to the departmental chair. At the time of an external review in 1975, the significant change to the committees structure was the addition of a Committee of Chairmen -- consisting of the Department Chair, the Departmental Assistant, the five divisional directors, and the chair of the Graduate Studies committee -- and Tenure, Promotion, and Salaries committees. Throughout its history, the Department formed ad hoc committees when required.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics consists of records created and received in the course of the administration of the department and the carrying out of its functions of providing instruction and promoting research. The activities documented include policy and procedures development; the planning, initiation and administration of curriculum and programs; departmental and faculty meetings; faculty salary, appointment, promotion and tenure deliberations; departmental reviews; and the publication of journals and reports. The types of documents include meeting agenda, annual reports, correspondence, course outlines and examinations, faculty files, memoranda, minutes of meetings, and reports.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were transferred in a number of accessions from the Department beginning in the early 1980s.


The titles and arrangement of series were provided by the archivist.

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Some access restrictions apply in accordance with Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation. Consult the appropriate series level description and the archivist.

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File lists are available.

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

Consult the records of the Departments of French, Humanities, and Linguistics, as well as the Programs in Latin American Studies and Spanish. Also consult the inventory of the Faculty of Arts fonds, F-2.

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All accessions have been processed as of May 2004. No further accruals are expected.

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Finding aid prepared by Bruce Schinkelwitz, Ian Forsyth, Enid Britt, Kadimola Lomamba, Judith Thiessen (October 1997).

Revised by Frances Fournier, Enid Britt (May 2004).

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