Fonds MS-2-159 - George Lawson fonds

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George Lawson fonds

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  • Textual record

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Dates of creation area


  • 1854-1895 (Creation)
    Lawson, George

Physical description area

Physical description

7 cm of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

George Lawson was born 12 October 1827 at Newport, Scotland, to Alexander Lawson and Margaret McEwan. He was married first to Lucy Stapley (d. 1871) of Edinburgh, with whom he had two daughters. In 1876, five years after Stapley's death, he married Caroline Matilda Knox, née Jordan, in Halifax.

Lawson was initially apprenticed to a solicitor, but was moved to study the natural and physical sciences at the University of Edinburgh. He received his DPhil from the University of Giessen and moved to Canada in 1858 to take up an appointment as professor of chemistry and natural history at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. During his time at Queen's he founded the Botanical Society of Canada (1860).

In 1863 Lawson left Queen's to join the newly reorganized Dalhousie College as professor of chemistry and mineralogy, where he introduced laboratory work and field trips into his classes. He lectured at the Halifax Medical College, helped to organize the Technological Institute of Halifax (1877), and was an avid supporter of the Nova Scotian Institute of Natural Science (later the Nova Scotian Institute of Science). He was a charter member of the Royal Society of Canada, serving as its president in 1887–1888, and was involved in overseas organizations such as London's Royal Horticultural Society. Lawson died of a stroke in 1895.

Custodial history

Records were accessioned by the Dalhousie University Archives in 1972 and 1977. The custodial history is unknown.

Scope and content

Fonds contains off-prints of Lawson's papers (1854-1894), a handwritten catalogue of Lawson's library, handwritten botanical observations (1891), a published program of a course of botany lectures, published testimonials (1874), and an obituary (1895).

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Physical condition

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Fonds is arranged into two series:
The offprints series contains the bulk of the records; and The personal archives series contains other material created by Lawson.
Files are arranged chronologically.

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  • English

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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

Associated materials

For correspondence between Lawson and Robert Bell, his former student and replacement as professor of chemistry and natural history at Queen's University, see the Robert Bell fonds (MS-2-361).

Alexander G. Russell's notes on Lawson's chemistry lectures can be found in the Alexander G. Russell fonds (MS-2-380).

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], George Lawson fonds, MS-2-159, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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