Collection MsC-188 - Union of Socialist Geographers collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Union of Socialist Geographers collection

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  • Textual records

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  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the contents of the collection

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Dates of creation area


  • 1974 - 1977 (Contribution)
    Union of Socialist Geographers
  • 1972-1977 (Contribution)
    Department of Geography

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Physical description

8 cm of textual records

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Custodial history

This collection was acquired by Simon Fraser University Special Collections and Rare Books in 2017

Scope and content

In September of 1974, 12 members of the SFU Geography Department voted to form a Vancouver chapter of the Union of Socialist Geographers (USG). For the first few years this chapter, comprised of both faculty and graduate students, was responsible for collecting, editing and publishing content for issues of the USG newsletter. Eventually, volumes comprised of multiple issues of newsletters were produced and the first few of these were also published from SFU. By 1978, however, support from the Geography department at the University was waning. M. E. Eliot Hurst, a key founding member of the USG, was replaced as Chair of the Department of Geography and graduate students were leaving, so the Minnesota chapter stepped in to become the principle organizing and publishing collective for volumes 5 and 6.
Superseded by a splinter group, the USG fizzled out of existence around 1981. In the years since, several original members of the Union have worked to collect and digitize original published content, though it remains incomplete. SFU Special Collections and Rare Books holds 17 issues of the USG newsletter, representing volumes 1-4 in their entirety and portions of volumes 5 & 6. A few more issues can be found at the website for the Antipode foundation (
This collection is comprised of miscellaneous contextual records that serve to illustrate some of the atmosphere and attitudes towards socialist geography that existed at SFU in the 1970’s. There are source project reports that clearly inspired SFU students to develop their own geography project in Vancouver; notes and memos from within the SFU Department of Geography discussing the relative merits of a socialist geography course or agenda; a compilation of collaborative papers generated by USG members for presentation at a conference; and minutes from meetings of the Vancouver chapter of the Union of Socialist Geographers.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


When these records were received there was no arrangement or original order of any kind. Order and arrangement was provided by the archivist. As there were no assigned titles for files a title was created by the archivist based on the contents of the file. With the exception of titles assigned based on proper article or paper names, which can be found in quotes, assigned titles have been placed in square brackets.

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  • English

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No known restrictions

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Entry created December 13, 2017. JMH

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

Peake, L and Shppard, E. (2014) “The Emergence of Radical/Critical Geography within North America”. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 13 (2), 305-327. Downloaded 11Dec2017 from:
Union of Socialist Geographers (22-24 Nov., 1974) “Seminar in Marxist Geography”. Presentation notes, Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA. Downloaded 11Dec2017 from:

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