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Lewis Herbert Thomas fonds
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Associations, Committees and Boards.

This series consists of textual records and photographs. The photographs were removed from a sticky plastic sheet album, although original order and annotations were retained. The records are in good shape, and arranged in chronological order within sub-series designations. This series of records includes papers and photographs associated with the various committees, boards, and associations L.H. Thomas was involved with. The largest sub-series of records within this series is the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board on which L.H. Thomas sat as the Alberta representative for two terms (1968-1976). Smaller sub-series include: University of Alberta Committees, Archives-related committees and boards, historical associations, research foundations, funding organizations, and conferences.

The series title is based on the contents of records.

Early Records.

This is a small series of textual records that includes papers written by L.H. Thomas for courses taken during his student years at the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of California. There are also two files related to his doctoral work at the University of Minnesota, with alumni-related correspondence. Two files relate to L.H. Thomas' appointment to the Saskatchewan Archives office, by the Saskatchewan Archives Board of the University of Saskatchewan. The remainder of the records in this series are related to L.H. Thomas' experience as first a lecturer in the History Department and then an Associate Professor of History at the University of Saskatchewan. While at the University of Saskatchewan, L.H. Thomas had the opportunity to lead a summer seminar at the Duke University Commonwealth Studies Center, and files related to this program are found here.

The series is separated into two sub-series: Student records, and University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus records. The files are maintained in chronological order.

The series title is based on the contents of records.

Lewis Herbert Thomas fonds

  • Fonds
  • 1939 - 1982

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.

Research and Publication Records.

The Research and Publication records comprise the largest series in the L.H. Thomas fonds. While primarily textual in format, the series also contains maps, photographs, and imprint items. The photographs and maps are stored separately for reasons of conservation, but are described within the sub-series they relate to L.H. Thomas maintained an extensive set of clipping files which he used as a resource for teaching and writing. The sheer volume of newspaper clippings in these files meant they could not be photocopied at this time, so the acidity level in the files is high. Where possible, the clippings were placed in Mylar to protect the documents surrounding them. Generally, the records are in good physical shape. The Research and Publication files were described in one series because of their inter-relatedness. The research files would have also been important to L.H. Thomas' teaching, as he taught courses in the same areas he researched and wrote about. Only those files, however, that were clearly titled 'lecture note' material were described in the teaching sub-series (2-2). The remainders of the source files are described as part of series 3. Sub-series within the Research and Publication records include L.H. Thomas; Books; Booklets; Volumes; Reviews; Correspondence with Publishers; General Research notes; Source Material; and Talks and Addresses. The series provides a good overview of L.H. Thomas' research methods, and steps necessary to seeing a paper or book published.

The series title is based on the contents of records.


Historic Sites & Monuments Board of Canada - Agenda papers (soft-bound, marked CONFIDENTIAL)

Thomas, Lewis Herbert


Book and research materials for "The struggle for responsible government in the Northwest Territories, 1870-97", by L.H. Thomas, including much material citing A.L. Burt

Thomas, Lewis Herbert

University of Alberta Records.

The records in this series are primarily textual in format, and in excellent physical condition. Much of the series consists of correspondence, although there are also meeting minutes, reports and lecture notes. The original file titles provided by L.H. Thomas are retained, and a basic chronological order is retained within each sub-series. Researchers interested in Dr. Thomas' lecture notes and related source material should also consult series 3 where more general research-related source material is listed.

The records in this series document L.H. Thomas' sixteen year career at the University of Alberta. They are arranged in three sub-series: Administrative; Teaching; and Professional Correspondence; and are further arranged within each sub-series.

The records provide a valuable overview of Professor Thomas' career at the University, documenting his administrative, teaching and research-related duties. The correspondence files extend to L.H. Thomas' post-retirement years, with letters written to colleagues still teaching at the University of Alberta, Department of History.

The series title is based on the contents of records.