Fonds F-40 - Simon Fraser University Women's Centre fonds

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Simon Fraser University Women's Centre fonds

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  • Photographic materials
  • Sound recordings
  • Textual records

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  • Source of title proper: Title of the fonds is based on the name of the organization. Series titles were supplied by the archivist and are typically based on the contents of the series (exceptions will be noted in series descriptions). At the file and item level, titles reflect the records creator's original usage.

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  • 1972 - 2000; predominant 1974-1999 (Creation)
    Simon Fraser University Women's Centre

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Physical description

3.13 m of textual records
89 photographs
4 slides
9 sound recordings
2 artifacts

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Archival description area

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(1974 -)

Administrative history

The SFU Women's Centre was established in 1974 and continues as of this writing (2009) as an active organization. Funded by the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) as a constituency group, the Women's Centre provides programming, space and volunteer opportunities to self-identified women on campus, and resource information and peer support to women and men.

The Women's Centre began in 1974 when a group of women students revived the SFU Women's Caucus (originally established in 1968) and obtained SFSS club status. It opened the Women's Centre that year in a small room in the Rotunda. In 1980 the Centre moved to the Academic Quadrangle, then in 1996 back to the Rotunda (TC3013), doubling its physical space to approximately 1400 square feet.

The Centre's organizational structure has evolved over time. The Women's Centre Steering Committee developed out of the Women's Caucus, but by 1977 it had merged with the Women's Centre Collective. The Collective consists of women students who volunteer a set number of hours per week to staff the Centre and remains the decision-making body of the Centre. In 1979-80, the Women's Centre Board was created to formulate policy, promote the Centre, liaise with the university community, locate funding sources, and work closely with the Collective, which continued to be responsible for day-to-day operations and activities. The Board included representatives from SFSS, the Women's Centre Collective, the Women's Studies Department, the Women's Studies Student Union, and female administrative and clerical university staff. By the mid-1980s the Board was meeting irregularly; it was discontinued in 1990, its functions transferred to a newly created part-time paid position of Coordinator, funded by and reporting to the SFSS.

The Women's Centre provides a number of services, including a women-only lounge open 24 hours a day, a resource office, peer support, library, kitchen facilities, study carrels, couches and a quiet play area for children in the lounge. Men can access the Centre's library materials, peer support, and referral information.

Since its establishment, the Centre has undertaken numerous activities and projects. In cooperation with other campus groups, the Centre promoted the creation of a Women's Studies Department, the institution of a university harassment policy and office, the improvement of campus childcare facilities, and the organization of International Women's Day events, December 6 vigils, and women's self-defense classes.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records made or received by the Women's Centre in the course of carrying out its functions and programs. The geographical focus of the activities documented is the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and especially the Simon Fraser University campus in Burnaby. Activities documented include provision of facilities, resources and referral services; meetings of the Women's Centre Collective and the Women's Centre Board; correspondence and liaison with other individuals and groups; Centre funding, budget planning and management of its financial resources; planning and organization of projects, programs and events; and maintenance of library and reference material. Records include logbooks, correspondence, reports, account books and summaries, minutes and meeting support papers, brochures, handbooks, photographs, reference files and audio cassettes.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The Archives acquired the records directly from the Women's Centre in two accessions (1997 and 2003).


Records were originally used and maintained by the Women's Centre as a single unit of office files. In 2001 the Archives arranged the material into seven series (with some additional sub-series) in order to facilitate intellectual access to the documents by grouping records that were generated by similar functions and activities. During the 2009 processing of subsequent accruals, the archivist added a new series (F-40-8, Liaison and cooperation files) and re-organized what had been a single series (series 5) into several sub-series (see F-40-5, Education, advocacy and outreach files). The latter re-organization affected a number of files that had previously been assigned reference codes; see appendix D for a concordance between the former file numbers and the new ones. Researchers should be aware that overlap among groupings occurs, and the entire file list for the fonds should be reviewed to determine the existence of all files on a particular subject.

Within series, files are typically arranged chronologically; exceptions only will be noted in series descriptions. Within files, documents are generally organized chronologically, though strict chronological order was not always originally maintained within files nor has it been supplied by the archivist.

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Restrictions on access

Some files may contain personal or confidential information. Access to these files may be restricted as stipulated by Archives policy or the donor. 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. Item lists of audio-cassettes in series 6 are available. Appendices to this finding aid include copies of articles dealing with the Centre's history (Appendix B), and an extended administrative history with contributions by Professor Andrea Lebowitz (SFU) and Leah Georgia, Women's Centre Coordinator (Appendix C). Appendices are available in the hard-copy and pdf versions of the finding aids.

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

The Archives has acquired the records of a number of other women's organizations. Consult the archivist for details.

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As of April 2009, all accessions have been processed. According to the Agreement to Transfer signed by the Women's Centre and the Archives in 1997, the Centre will donate its inactive records to the Archives once every five years. Further accruals are therefore expected. Series should be considered "open-ended" (i.e. further accruals expected) unless otherwise indicated in the series description.

General note

In the first arrangement and description (in 2001), the fonds was titled "Simon Fraser Student Society Women's Centre." The Archives changed the fonds title in 2009 to reflect the name by which the Centre is commonly known.

Location of non-textual media:

  • Photographs are found in series F-40-5-7, Photographs.
  • Audio recordings are found in series F-40-6, Reference files (7 audio cassettes).
  • Artifacts (a button and a pin from the December 6 vigil in 1993) are found in file F-40-5-2-0-3, December 6 Vigil, 1993 (series F-40-5-2, Celebrations and special events files).

General note

Financial assistance for the arrangement and description of the records and production of the finding aid was generously provided by the Government of Canada through the National Archives of Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives' Control of Holdings Program (March 2001); the SFU Faculty of Arts (February 2000); the SFU Department of Women's Studies (February 2000); the SFU Department of History (March 2000); and the SFU Women's Centre Collective (March 2000). Funding for processing subsequent accruals was provided by the Government of Canada through the National Archival Development Program, a program delivered by the Canadian Council of Archives in partnership with Library and Archives Canada (March 2009).

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Finding aid prepared by Richard Dancy, Frances Fournier, Enid Britt (March 2001). Updated by Enid Britt (September 2006). New accurals processed and descriptions revised by Rita Mogyorosi, Frances Fournier, Richard Dancy (April 2009). Items re-numbered according to new control system (August 2012).

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