Fonds MS-2-561 - George Nicholls fonds

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George Nicholls fonds

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  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1933-1983 (Creation)

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Physical description

2.8 m of textual records of textual material ; 12 photographs

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Name of creator

Biographical history

George Van Vliet Nicholls, QC was born on October 25th, 1908 in Montreal, Quebec to Dr. Albert George and Lucia Pomeroy (Van Vliet) Nicholls. The family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1915 where Nicholls graduated from the Halifax County Academy with the highest standing in his class. He went on to Dalhousie University, and then transferred to McGill University his junior year, later graduating with honours in English literature in 1929 and a civil law degree from McGill in 1932. Nicholls was admitted to the Quebec Bar that same year and practiced law for a few years in Montreal. The Nicholls family had returned to Montreal in 1927.

Nicholls went on to work in the legal and industrial relations departments at the Toronto head office of the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association in 1937. He was commissioned by the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941, and was the first sectary and chairman of the K.R. (Air) Revision Committee. In 1943, he joined the staff of the Judge Advocate General’s Brach in London and transferred to the Reserve in December, 1945.

After the service, Nicholls was appointed Manager of the Research Department at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Montreal. Nicholls was appointed to Queen’s Council in 1953 in Quebec. He also became the editor of the Canadian Bar Review until 1957 when he joined the Faculty of Law at Dalhousie.

While at Dalhousie, he taught administrative law and labour law. He also originated and taught the courses, the Introduction to the Private Law of Quebec and Legal Research and Writing which is still part of the curriculum and became a model for legal research and writing courses at other law schools across Canada. Nicholls also assisted in the creation of the Dalhousie Law Journal, which was first published in September, 1973 and served as one of the original editors and was on the editorial board. He’s been published in multiple legal journals and reviews writing on topics covering administrative and common law, labour law and Quebec law and was the author of The Responsibility for Offences and Quasi-offences under the Law of Quebec.

Nicholls was a member of the Senate Committee, and chairman of the Art Gallery Committee and Dalhousie University’s General Committee on Cultural Activities. He was also one of the people responsible for the concept and planning of the Dalhousie Arts Centre. Nicholls also served as chairman for the public relations of the Waegwoltic Club.

George V.V. Nicholls was married to Patricia “Pat” Ross and had one daughter, Anne. Nicholls died on August 9, 1986 in Halifax.

Custodial history

Material was donated in two accessions. The majority of the material was donated in October, 1986 after Nicholls death. The second accrual was donated in May, 1989 and contained correspondence with La Revue du Droit and Canadian Bar Review, various journal articles written by Nicholls and some printed material.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of material created by or accumulated by George V.V. Nicholls. Records include correspondence, Nicholls and Van Vliet family estates and wills, course material from classes taught by Nicholls at Dalhousie’s Law School and Queen’s University, meeting minutes from professional associations, Dalhousie and community committees and clubs that Nicholls was involved with, some photographs and drafts and published legal journal articles and essays written by Nicholls.

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Language of material

  • 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.

Finding aids

Associated materials

See the Faculty of Law fonds (UA-13) for related documents.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

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