Fonds UAA Fonds 0311 - Byron Kratchovil fonds


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Byron Kratchovil fonds

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  • Textual record
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UAA Fonds 0311

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1997 - 2004 (Creation)

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Physical description

5.80 m of textual records and 13 photographs

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Name of creator

(9.15.1932 -)

Biographical history

Byron Kratochvil was born in Osmond, Nebraska on September 15, 1932, and studied chemistry at Iowa State University, receiving his BSc. in chemical engineering in 1957, his M.Sc. in 1959, and his Ph.D. in 1961 in analytical chemistry. On graduation, he joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he taught and carried out research for six years. In 1967, he accepted a position as Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta. He was at the University of Alberta for the remainder of his professional career, serving as Chair of the Chemistry Department from 1989-1995, Associate Vice-President (Research) from 1995-1998, and Senior Advisor to the Vice-President (Research) from 1998-2001. In 1980-1981, Dr. Kratochvil had a leave from the University of Alberta to serve as a guest worker at the Centre for Analytical Chemistry at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology in Washington, D.C. While at the Institute, he co-authored a treatise on analytical sampling with John K. Taylor. Professor Kratochvil has published over 120 scientific publications and, with W.E. Harris, co-authored three textbooks in analytical chemistry (“Chemical Analysis” 1969, “Chemical Separations and Measurements” 1974, and “Introduction to Chemical Analysis” 1981). He was the Analytical Editor of the Canadian Journal of Chemistry for three years and Senior Editor of the Journal for a further five years. He served as Director of Planning and Operations for the Alberta Synchrotron Institute, a consortium of the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, and Lethbridge that supported access to synchrotron radiation for training, research, and industrial applications within Alberta. In 1989, Dr. Kratochvil was named Chair of the University of Alberta SLOWPOKE Reactor Facility Committee. He served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Chemical Institute of Canada and his areas of research interest include: oxidation-reduction reactions, non-aqueous solvents, and sampling for chemical analysis. Byron Kratochvil was awarded the Iowa State University Alumni Merit Award in 1990 and the 1990 Fisher Award of Canada, given by the Chemical Society of Canada for outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry. He is member of the American Chemical Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Chemical Institute of Canada. Dr. Kratochvil retired from the University of Alberta in 1998 and was made Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta. He continues to study and write in the area of sampling for chemical analysis and was involved with studying the problems associated with sampling and analysis of the Athabasca oil sands. Byron Kratochvil married Mariane in 1961, and has four children: Susan Joan, Daniel James, Jean Marie, and John David. He resides in Edmonton.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The Byron Kratochvil fonds documents the professional career of an important teacher, researcher, writer and administrator who was associated with the University of Alberta for over thirty years. Dr. Kratochvil attained recognition as a respected analytical chemist, and served the University of Alberta as a professor of Chemistry, chairman of the Department of Chemistry, and as an administrator in his role as Associate Vice-President (Research). The records, largely textual, document Byron Kratochvil’s career at the University of Alberta, but also touch upon his earlier teaching experiences and research interests. The records provide a significant documentation of Kratochvil’s teaching career, with several files of lecture notes, student examinations and projects, and class records. Also strongly represented in the fonds, are the records generated from the textbooks written by Kratochvil and W.E. Harris and originally computer-published by the University of Alberta. Various drafts of the textbooks are retained in the records, complete with numerous annotations, inserts, corrections and research notes. There are fairly complete files of Chemistry Department-related records in the Kratochvil fonds, which include meeting minutes, internal memorandum, and committee reports retained on an annual basis. Byron Kratochvil was chair of the Department of Chemistry from 1989-1995, so the Department material for these years provides insight into the role of the Chairman, and the relationship the Department had with the larger Faculty of Science it reported to. Included also are the documents generated by the various University committees and research groups Professor Kratochvil sat on; of particular note are detailed files related to the Environmental Research and Studies Centre. A smaller series contains records generated during Byron Kratochvil’s time as Associate Vice-President (Research). A comprehensive set of Byron Kratochvil’s professional correspondence forms one series, and provides a record of his written communication with colleagues, graduate students, and scientific associations, relating to his research and various other issues. Among Kratochvil’s research interest topics are those in the area of the theory and application of sampling for chemical analysis; the measurement of free metal ion concentrations in solution; and the development of new analytical reagents and methods in nonacqueous solvents. Two smaller series contain documents linked to professional associations Professor Kratochvil supported, with textual and photographs items documenting scientific conferences and workshops he attended; as well as consulting work undertaken. The final series in this finding-aid consists of material designated as ‘personal’, although still very related to the series that precede it. Included here are copies of personnel documents related to salary and promotions, copies of CV’s and biographies as well as day planners and collected archives. The records are in excellent physical shape and because of their completeness and the broad span of years represented, provide valuable insight into one man’s career at the University of Alberta..

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


The fonds contains
8 series:

  1. Professional Activities: Teaching/Courses Records
  2. Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Alberta Records
  3. Associate Vice-President’s (AVP) Office (Research)
  4. Professional Correspondence
  5. Professional Associations
  6. Professional Activities: Consulting
  7. Professional Activities: Research/Publishing
  8. Personal Records

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Selected files are cited for restricted access. Consult University Archivist for further information concerning access..

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UAA1981-159, UAA2002-033

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Finding aid written by Lynn MacPherson. Finding aid encoded by Raymond Frogner in June 2005.

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