Fonds F-92 - School of Communication fonds

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School of Communication fonds

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  • Photographic materials
  • Textual records

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

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  • 1970 - 1996 (Creation)
    School of Communication

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Physical description

2.51 m of textual records
25 photograph negatives

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Archival description area

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(1965 - )

Administrative history

The School of Communication has built its curriculum and research around understanding the organization, operation and meaning of the communication messages on which personal, national and global associations are built and sustained.

The School had its origins in 1965 as the Centre for Communications and the Arts, a unit in the Faculty of Education which offered credit courses, non-credit workshops, and public events. In 1970, the Faculty of Education was reorganized. The Arts program separated from the Faculty of Education to become part of the Division of General Studies. It retained the organizational title of Centre for Communications and the Arts although it no longer offered academic courses in communication studies. These courses remained in the Faculty of Education and became part of that faculty's Educational Foundations Centre. In 1972 Communication Studies became a department of the newly created Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies. In 1977-1978, its name changed to the Department of Communication.

The School concentrated on six areas in the undergraduate program: theory and systems, history of communication, communication processes, communication media, political economy, and communication policy. In 1980, the School played an active role in founding the Canadian Communication Association (CCA). In 1981 a proposal was submitted to the Universities Council of British Columbia to establish a Ph.D. program in Communication. Approval for this program was obtained in 1983, making it the only Communication Department in Canada (west of Ontario) to offer a full set of academic degree programs (Ph.D., M.A., and B.A.) in the communication field. In 1984 the School consolidated its teaching and research areas, focusing on three areas of specialized concentration: communication media, technology and policy.

In 1985 after the dissolution of the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, the School moved into the Faculty of Applied Sciences, in recognition of the fact that communication is a discipline of practical application. In 1994, the School adopted its current name, the School of Communication.

The School continues to be leader in local and international communication research and is involved in a number of projects including the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing (founded in 1987), Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology (established in 1988), The Digest (an on-line journal published by the Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology), Emergency Preparedness Information Exchange (operated by the Telematics Research lab), and NewsWatch Canada. The School also has a number of lab facilities that supporting research and communication development. These include the Assessment of Technology in Context Design Lab (ATIC-DL) created in 1997, the Emergency Preparedness Information eXchange Lab, the Media Analysis Lab and the Sonic Research Studio (home of the World Soundscape Project established at Simon Fraser University during the late 1960s and early 1970s).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records relating to the activites of the School and its predecessors. Activites and events documented include the evolution of the department's structure, functions and governance; deliberation of School committees; correspondence of the Chair with staff, faculty, other university departments and external organizations; departmental research projects, proposals, and grant applications; curriculum development files and course files; and publications.

Records include correspondence and reports; meeting agendas, minutes and supporting papers; policies and procedures; course proposals and outlines, lecture notes and planning materials; conference photograph negatives; course guides, newsletters and annual reports (1993-1994).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were transferred to Archives in two accessions in 1999.


The arrangement of the fonds into series and subseries was provided by the Archivist in June 2004. Series 5 (Curriculum files) is based on the creator's original groupings. Other series were established by the archivist to provide structure to the bulk of "general subject files" transferred by the creator.

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Restrictions on access

The fonds includes records containing personal information. Access to these files is restricted in accordance with the provisions of British Columbia's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RSBC 1996 c. 165). 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 list is available.

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

Records relating to the School's predecessor, the Centre for Communications and the Arts, may also be found in the Faculty of Education fonds (F-22, subseries 22-8-1, 22-8-5) and The School for Contemporary Arts (F-109). Thomas J. Mallinson was Chair of the Centre for Communications and Arts from 1967 to 1969; his personal papers are held by the Archives as fonds (F-124). For records relating to the School's tenure in the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, see fonds (F-23, subseries 23-3-3) and for tenure in the Faculty of Applied Sciences, see fonds (F-154, not yet processed).

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All accessions have been processed as of June 2004. Further accruals are expected.

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Finding aid prepared by Lisa Beitel, Enid Britt, Frances Fournier (June 28, 2004).

Finding aid updated by Enid Britt (September 2007).

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