Fonds F-6 - Department of Chemistry fonds

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Department of Chemistry 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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  • 1965 - 1986 (Creation)
    Department of Chemistry

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Physical description

2.5 m of textual records

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Archival description area

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(1965 - )

Administrative history

The Department of Chemistry at Simon Fraser University was founded in 1965 as a charter department in the Faculty of Science. The Department has been responsible, through its Head, for the promotion of research and the development and delivery of programs in organic, inorganic, physical, theoretical, nuclear chemistry, as well as biochemistry. It became known for its breadth of programs and was unique in Canada for its involvement in the nuclear field, which is commonly found in physics departments.

The Department offered degrees at all levels from the beginning. Honours and majors degrees in Chemistry are awarded at the B.Sc. level and after a separate program in Biochemistry was instituted in 1968, similar honours and majors degrees in Biochemistry were added. In addition, minor programs are offered in all areas. A joint program with the Physics Department in Chemical Physics was initiated early in the history of the Department, and in the early 1980s, a joint Nuclear Science minor program with the Physics Department was started. An undergraduate cooperative education program began in 1982.

Administratively, the Department began with a Head of Chemistry who was appointed without term. In 1968 this was changed to an elected Head which, in turn, was changed to a Chair in 1972. In addition to the elected Departmental Tenure Committee, there were 3 main standing committees charged with the responsibility of ensuring the smooth and effective operation of the Department's business. They were the Undergraduate Studies Committee, the Graduate Studies Committee, and the Appointments Committee, which also acted as a long-range planning committee. These committees were appointed by the Chair and, in the case of the Undergraduate and Graduate Committees, had separate chairs. There were additional minor committees such as the Space Committee and the Safety Committee. Departmental operations were also assisted by Academic Advisors in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Graduate Admissions Officer. The Laboratory Coordinator (formerly the Departmental Assistant), helped with many administrative tasks.

The Department has been involved with TRIUMF (Tri-University Meson Facility) since its establishment in 1974, which marked the beginning of a major local research program in the nuclear sciences and associated areas. A long-standing research collaboration with members of the Department of Biological Sciences, called the Chemical Ecology Research Group, was formed in 1981.

During the Department's first year 12 faculty members were appointed. After an initial rapid increase in the next few years, the Department had a relatively stable number of 26 permanent faculty members by 1986.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds of the Department of Chemistry 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. Also included are the records of the Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairmen. The activities documented include policy and procedures development; the planning, initiation and administration of curricula 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, correspondence, course outlines and examinations, an external review, 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 between 1981 and 1989.


The records have been arranged into eighteen series in an order chosen by the archivist because the original order was not apparent. In some cases series consist of only one file. In others, records which appeared to fall under the same function, such as proposals for programs, were united under one series because this appeared to reflect how they were originally maintained. The above arrangement was also decided upon in order to facilitate intellectual access to the documents. In devising this arrangement, the archivist consulted the file classification system of the Department of Chemistry.

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Restrictions on access

Some files may contain personal or confidential information. Access to these files may be restricted as required by law. Files marked 'pending review' must be reviewed by an archivist prior to release, and as a result of the review access restrictions may apply. Please see the file lists and consult the archivist for more details.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

File lists are available.

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

Consult the inventory of the Faculty of Science fonds, F-24.

Related materials


Additional material has been accessioned but not yet processed as of September 2002 (33 cm., 1983-1988). Please consult the archivist for information about using these materials; restrictions may apply. Further accruals are expected.

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Finding aid prepared by Bruce Schinkelwitz, Ian Forsyth, Enid Britt, Kadimola Lomamba (February 1997); updated July 2006 (re-formatted) and January 2012 (access points added at series level).

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