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Name of creator
The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) was founded in 1936 by Lothar Richter and Dalhousie University through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in recognition of the need for greater regional economic and social development. It began as an experimental organization, intended to make connections between Dalhousie University and the community and the social sciences and public policy. The IPA’s primary areas of activity were government, business, labour and community, with a focus on public administration.
Guy Henson was appointed director in 1957 with a mandate to reorganize the IPA. Under his guidance, the institute broadened its socio-economic research programs, including the Africville Relocation Project and significant work in labour-management relations.
In 1977 Kell Antoft succeeded Henson and in 1980 the institute moved into its own building, the Henson Centre, named after its former director. In 1984 the Henson Centre, the IPA and the Office of Part Time Studies of Extension were amalgamated to create the Henson College of Public Affairs and Continuing Education. University funding for Henson College was discontinued in 1993, which led to a decline in its activities. In 2004 the Henson College of Public Affairs and Continuing Education was folded into a new faculty named the College of Continuing Education (CCE), which was later named the Faculty of Open Learning and Career Development.
The Institute of Public Affairs maintained its own library, with holdings of more than 18,000 items, which covered topics such as economic development, local government, industrial relations, management development and labour organization. Beginning in 1984 the institute's library was gradually integrated into Dalhousie University Libraries.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of textual records created and accumulated by various groups and organizations within the Institute of Public Affairs.. Records include articles, correspondence, minutes, memos, newspaper and magazine clippings, interviews, field notes, pamphlets and reports. Many of the documents pertain to the internal operations of the IPA.
The fonds also contains research proposals and reports related to energy, community growth, urban and rural development, labour studies, education, economic and industrial development, the medical sector and housing. There is significant work on the health, employment and economic status of African Nova Scotians.
The fonds also contains reference material kept by the IPA in its corporate library, which was used in the research and drafting of various reports.
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