Fonds F-50 - Simon Fraser University Library fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Simon Fraser University Library fonds

General material designation

  • Photographic materials
  • Textual records

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

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Dates of creation area


  • 1964 - 2006 (Creation)
    University Library

Physical description area

Physical description

13.05 m of textual records
173 photographs: prints; black and white

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1965 - )

Administrative history

Preparations for a University Library began in 1964 with the hiring of Donald Baird as University Librarian. The Burnaby campus was still under construction so the Library was set up in Vancouver at the BC Tel Building on Wylie Street under the Cambie Street Bridge. Baird began by obtaining copies of library book lists developed by new state universities in California and they served as the basis for SFU's collection. By the fall of 1965, the Library had 42 employees (12 of whom were librarians) who had catalogued and prepared 13,000 volumes for the new Library.

When the Library opened in September 1965 it served as a multi-purpose building with tenants that included administrative departments along with the Registrar's Office and the Office of the President. The first phase of the Library had 5 floors - the subject divisions were decentralized by floors and each floor had its own specialized subject information staff.

The earliest organization of the Library included a Processing Division and three Collections Divisions - Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences. By 1966 the Processing Division grew to five sections: Searching, Acquisitions, Cataloguing, Serials, and Government Publications and the Collections Division increased to four sections: Bibliographic Services, the Social Science Collection, the Humanities Collection, and the Science Collection. Two Assistant University Librarians were hired to oversee the Processing Division and the Collections Division and they reported to the University Librarian, who in turn, reported directly to the President until 1970. The Library also promoted an emphasis on automation that resulted in the formation of the (Information) Systems Division. In 1966, the University's Audio-Visual Services began in the Library.

The 1970s were a time of administrative and operational growth for the Library. During this time (1970-1979), the University Librarian reported to the Vice-President, Academic. By 1970 there were four Assistant Librarians, each heading a division – Processing, Collections, Information Systems, and the Audio Visual Centre. In late 1970 an ad hoc committee met to examine the concept of Special Collections and Archives that had been steadily growing as part of the Library's holdings. The Archives, established in 1968, functioned within the Special Collections Division of the Library. Various members of the library staff carried out archival duties. By the end of 1971 the university's administrative offices had moved out of the Library and the Library took on the operating responsibility for the University Bookstore. In 1973 the Audio Visual Centre moved out of the Library and in 1974, the Information Systems Division was replaced by the Planning and Budgeting Division. By 1978, the University Archives had become a separate administrative unit outside of the Library. That same year Baird retired as University Librarian and became University Archivist, a position he would hold until his retirement in 1990. Theodore (Ted) Dobb, previously serving as Deputy Librarian, was appointed the new University Librarian.

From 1979 until 1985, the University Librarian reported to the Associate Vice-President, Academic. In 1982 the Library was renamed the W.A.C. Bennett Library in recognition of the strong role that Bennett, former Premier of B.C., had in the creation of SFU. In 1985, the Library added a Reference Division and the Collections Division was renamed the Collections Management Office. From 1985 to 1990, Dobb reported to the Vice-President, Research and Information Systems. In 1990, the Librarian was again reporting directly to the Vice-President, Academic until 1994. That year, Paul Baldwin was appointed Associate Librarian, a position he held until 2002.

By 1991, the Library had grown to ten Divisions: Reference, Monographs, Collections Management, Serials, Loans, Systems, Support Services, Building, Belzberg Library, and the Bookstore. The heads of these divisions, as well as an Associate Librarian and Library Secretary reported to the University Librarian. In 1994, the Librarian began reporting directly to the renamed Vice-President, Research.

In 1998 Lynn Copeland replaced Ted Dobb as the new University Librarian. In 2005, Copeland was reappointed as University Librarian and Dean of Library Services.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records arising from the establishment and ongoing activities of the University Librarian and the Library, such as administration, acquisition, cataloguing, loans, automation, information dissemination, and the operation of the Special Collections Division, University Archives and the University Bookstore. Records include correspondence, agendas and minutes, reports, policies, reviews, statistics, budgets and financial working papers, newsletters, student library handbooks, and publications.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were transferred to Archives through the regular application of university Records Retention Schedules and Disposal Authorities (RRSDAs).


The records in this fonds were arranged under two separate projects. Records were initially processed in 1998 by Caitlin Webster. At this time, all of the series and subseries groupings were created. In 2007 Lisa Glandt processed the outstanding accruals and records were added to existing series. During this second project, record series F-50-12 was added.

Where applicable, the creator's original file classifcation codes have been recorded in the Archives AIS database.

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    Script of material

      Location of originals

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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

      Series descriptions and file lists are available for this fonds.

      Generated finding aid

      Associated materials

      For other material relating to the University Library, see the following finding aids:

      F-11, Facilities Management fonds (building renovations/maintenance)
      F-29, Vice-President, Academic fonds
      F-46, Robert F. Harrison fonds (construction plans and contracts)
      F-51, Archives and Records Management Department fonds
      F-86, Office of the Vice-President, Research fonds
      F-193, Office of the President fonds
      F-200, Office of the Vice-President, Academic and Provost fonds

      Records relating to the correspondence between the Library and academic departments can also be found in individual finding aids.

      A history of Special Collections written by Percilla Groves and Eric Swanick (2004) is available in the Collections file.

      Related materials


      As of May 2007, all accessions have been processed. Further accruals are expected.

      General note

      PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 173 photographs located in F-50-9-8-0-9

      General note

      Financial support for appraisal, arrangement, description and production of the finding aid was generously provided by the University Librarian in 2007.

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      Dates of creation, revision and deletion

      Finding aid prepared by Caitlin Webster, Frances Fournier, Ian Forsyth, Enid Britt, Sarah Cooper (February 1998); updated by Enid Britt (July 2006); accruals processed and finding aid updated by Lisa Glandt (May 2007).

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          Accession area