Title and statement of responsibility area
Lewis Herbert Thomas fonds
General material designation
- Multiple media
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Title statements of responsibility
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Edition statement of responsibility
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1939 - 1982 (Creation)
Physical description area
-8.6 m of textual records. - 59 photographic items. - 17 maps.
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Archival description area
L. H. Thomas retained his records in his offices until they were given to the Archives in a series of donations.
Scope and content
The Lewis H. Thomas fonds span a period of over forty years, and provide a valuable record of the research, teaching, and life experiences of a significant scholar and long-serving member of the University of Alberta's faculty. In his career as an archivist; professor; and researcher and writer of scholarly history, Dr. Thomas' papers encompass a wide range of topics related to the historical development of Western Canada. The source material and research files in this fonds include a wealth of archival documents, bibliographies, imprint items, and research notes on subjects related to the exploration, settlement, and growth of Western Canada, particularly the Prairie region. Dr. Thomas published extensively in this area, and his research files and lecture note material provide insight into the many subjects he lectured and wrote about. They provide insight also into the research methodologies and strategies that he applied in his own work. There is information related to his teaching career at both the Universities of Saskatchewan (Regina) and Alberta, and documents related to the Department of History at the University of Alberta, and Professor Thomas' position as chairman of this department. Among his papers are files of professional correspondence that contain letters written to colleagues, including many well-known Canadian historians, across the country. There is correspondence with graduate students whose work Dr. Thomas supervised, and letters of recommendation prepared by Thomas for these same students as they applied for grants or employment opportunities. Shortly before he died, L.H. Thomas wrote to a young writer that "the aspect of my work which has given me the greatest satisfaction is teaching, and associations with students." (See Accession #87-130-4) He supervised the work of six doctoral students, several masters' students, and sat as a member of many thesis supervising committees. As the long-serving Alberta representative on the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board, L.H. Thomas' papers contain a great deal of information about the workings of the board with particular reference to the naming of historic sites in Alberta and Northern Canada. L.H. Thomas' varied committee experience and affiliation with other national organizations and associations is well documented in the papers. As well, L.H. Thomas' experience as an archivist, and his life-long interest in promoting and encouraging the use of archival documents in historical research, is a subject touched upon frequently in his papers. He corresponds with archivists, writes about archival practice, and fills his source material files with items gleaned from archival holdings. Finally, researchers interested in the topic of Canadian socialism may find these records relevant. L.H. Thomas was himself a life-long supporter of socialist doctrine, and published articles on the CCF and Socialist movements. His last major work before his death was a transcription of a series of taped interviews with Tommy Douglas, and records related to this subject are included in the papers. The records are in excellent physical condition and have been arranged into four series: Early Records; University of Alberta Records; Research and Publication Records; and Associations, Committees and Boards Records. Within these broad series designations are sub-series that further organize the records. Where possible, the file titles provided by L.H. Thomas are retained. A brief description of each series is provided, followed by a detailed file listing. A subject and name index is found at the end of the inventory to assist in locating specific files.
Immediate source of acquisition
The fonds consists of the following series:
- Early Records
- University of Alberta Records
- Research and Publication Records
- Associations, Committees and Boards
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
There are no access restrictions on these records. Restrictions on Use There are no use restrictions on these records.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Lecture notes: Upper Canada/The Maritimes,1960's, 1970's" File 47 Accession number 80-170, L.H.Thomas Fonds, University of Alberta Archives.
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Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Finding aid written by Gertrude C. Pomahac. Encoded by Raymond Frogner on August 20, 2003. Revised on June 21, 2004. Created by MMCFARLANE 12-17-2007. Updated by MACS 7-3-2009.
Updated by M.Fraser on 26 March 2020.