Fonds F-90 - Simon Fraser University Gallery fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Simon Fraser University Gallery fonds

General material designation

  • Sound recordings
  • Textual records

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

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1965 - 2001, predominant 1965 - 1987 (Creation)
    Simon Fraser University Gallery

Physical description area

Physical description

3.32 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1970 -)

Administrative history

The Simon Fraser Gallery was established as a public art gallery in 1970 by SFU President Kenneth Strand upon the recommendation of the President's Works of Art Committee. At the same time, he appointed James Warren Felter as University Art Curator. He was charged with directing the Gallery's program and serving as curator of the University's art collection known as the Simon Fraser Collection. The Gallery was administratively located in the Centre for Communications and the Arts. The Gallery and the Simon Fraser Collection provided the visual arts component of the Centre. In 1974, the collection had more than five hundred works of art, primarily of Canadian artists.

When the Centre for Communications and the Arts became the Centre for the Arts within the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, the position of Curator/Director of Exhibitions became the Director of the Simon Fraser Gallery.

During the first ten years of its operation, the Gallery presented 127 exhibitions in its campus facility. In addition to organizing exhibitions and hosting circulating programs on the SFU campus, the Gallery developed its own program of circulating exhibitions to other public art galleries, principally in western Canada.

The 1983 programs of the Gallery reflected the University's growing financial crisis and the once extensive program of circulating exhibits was cut back. The new University President, William Saywell, restructured the Works of Art Committee. In 1984, Felter, who had been the chair of the committee, became its secretary and Professor Ed Gibson became chair. In June 1985, after receiving a proposed statement of policy from the President's Works of Arts Committee, President Saywell separated the Gallery from the Centre for the Arts to become an independent unit reporting to the Vice-President, Development. The new policy stated that the primary purpose of the Gallery was to enhance the aesthetic sensibilities of the entire University community as well as the general public. The University Art Curator, who acted as Director of the Gallery, would be responsible for planning and day to day Gallery operation.

In January 1986, Ed Gibson succeeded Jim Felter as Director of the Gallery. The President's Works of Art Committee expanded to become the Simon Fraser Gallery Board, with representation from faculty, students, staff and the community. It functioned in an advisory capacity to the Vice-President, Development.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records made or received by the Art Gallery in the process of carrying out is functions. Activities and events documented include the evolution of the Gallery's structure, functions and governance; management of the Gallery's budget; deliberations of advisory committees; correspondence of the director with other university departments and the community; and the production of numerous art exhibitions. Records include correspondence, reports, agendas, minutes, budget summaries, exhibition programs and flyers, lists and forms relating to exhibitions, news clippings, and other documents.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were acquired by the Archives in several accessions through the application of University Records Retention Schedules and Disposal Authorities (RRSDAs).


The records were arranged by the archivist.

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Script of material

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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 and item lists are available.

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

For other material related to the Art Gallery, see the fonds for the School for Contemporary Arts, "Departmental correspondence -- Art Gallery" (F-109-5-2) and "Simon Fraser Gallery Board Files" (F-109-4-32).

Related materials


All accessions have been processed as of February 2006. Further accruals are expected.

General note

Fonds includes sound recordings (2 recordings on 4 audio cassettes, originals and copies) and photographic material (236 photographs, 136 slides, 94 negatives, and 24 contact sheets).

Sound recordings are located in series 1. Photographs are located in series 5-2 relating to exhibitions; see Appendix B for a list of files containing photographic material.

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Finding aid prepared by Frances Fournier, Enid Britt (September 2003); updated by Lisa Beitel and Enid Britt (February 2006); items re-numbered and minor modifications to series descriptions, file-level access points added (September 2012).

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