McMaster's 125th Anniversary - Archival Documents Exhibit

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Filed under Library News:  Archives & Research Collections

The library is celebrating McMaster’s 125th anniversary with an exhibit of selected archival documents in the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections (September - December 2012).

McMaster University's history in Research Collections

While there is not an established official university archive, there is a sizeable collection of archival records of many types of materials maintained in Research Collections. Some of these materials have been collected by the Library; others have been deposited by various administrative offices of the university or have been acquired through donations.  The particular emphasis of the collection is on McMaster University’s history from 1957 on, though there are documents on the early history of the establishment of McMaster in Toronto. While the collection is not necessarily comprehensive, it does provide unique and useful resources for the study of the history and development of McMaster University after 1957.  Publications such as The Silhouette and McMaster Alumni News enhance the archival collection with student-centered news.  Published histories of the university, such as the two volumes of D.M. Johnston’s McMaster University (1976) provide detailed documentation on the two phases of McMaster’s history until 1957.

About the Exhibit

The early history of McMaster University is documented in the Susan Moulton McMaster fonds which contains legal documents relating to the McMaster family such as wills, land deed and mortgage papers dating from 1887-1895.  Senator William McMaster (1811-1887), provided funds for the foundation of McMaster University in 1887 and Susan Moulton McMaster founded Moulton College in 1888. Memorabilia such as Senator McMaster’s ink well and pocket knife are also on display.  Two McMaster alumni are featured in this exhibition: Bernard Trotter  (class of 1915) and Marion Pearce  (class of 1921). Letters written by Pearce during her years as a student at McMaster are on display. The Bernard Trotter fonds consists of his published and unpublished poetry, correspondence and notebooks.  Both alumni had their writing published in the McMaster Monthly.  Photographs of McMaster men who served during World War I are also on display. 

Physical Education and inter-collegiate sports play an important role in the lives of McMaster’s students.  Photographs of varsity and intra-mural sports date back to the university’s early days in Toronto. Issues of The Silhouette from the 1930s offer a glimpse into student life after McMaster’s move in 1930 to Hamilton. In 1956 McMaster began to offer students a degree program in Physical Education. Since 1950 eight presidents have headed McMaster University.  Included in this exhibition are documents from the Office of the Presidents fonds.  On display are documents relating to the first three presidents: George P. Gilmour; Arthur N. Bourns and Henry G. Thode.

Come to Research Collections and see this exhibit which will be on view till the end of December 2012.  We are open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.