Fonds MS-2-666 - James Aitchison fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

James Aitchison fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

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Fonds

Reference code

MS-2-666

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Date(s)

  • 1905-1994, predominant 1955-1992 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

4.2 m of textual records and graphic material. - 1 microfilm reel

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

James (Jim) Hermiston Aitchison was born on January 22, 1908 to James C. and Elizabeth Aitchison in Innerleithen, Scotland. He came to Canada at age four and was raised and educated in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Aitchison received a B.A. (1928) and B.Ed. (1929) from the University of Saskatchewan as well as a B.Sc. from the London School of Economics (1935). While in London, Aitchison married Oriole, with whom he had one daughter, Elizabeth. In 1953, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto.

Aitchison’s career as an educator began in 1929. He taught high school from 1929 until 1933 and lectured at Brandon College (1935-1938), University of Toronto (1938-1939), and McMaster (1939-1941). Aitchison then became an associate professor at Victoria College (1946-1948). He also served with the Canadian Army from 1942 to 1946, reaching the rank of Major.

Aitchison came to Dalhousie in 1949 and served as head or chairman of the Department of Political Science until 1973. His research centred on Canadian politics and government and he wrote profusely on the topic. He also edited The Political Process in Canada: Essays in Honour of R. MacGregor Dawson in 1963. Aitchison was active in the Dalhousie community and served as the first president of the Dalhousie Faculty Association in 1951. Even after his retirement, Aitchison maintained a close connection with Dalhousie’s Department of Political Science, continuing to work in his office as late as 1993 at age eighty-five. He was also active in a number of professional organizations, including the Canadian Association of University Teachers and the Social Science Research Council of Canada, where he served as president and chairman, respectively.

In the 1960s, Aitchison was also involved with the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party, serving as chairman of the committee for the party (1961-1962), party president (1962-1964), president and acting leader (1964-1966), and leader (1966-1968). He also ran unsuccessfully for election in the 1962 and 1965 federal elections, as well as in the 1967 provincial election.

In 1993, Aitchison’s contributions to his field were honoured by the Atlantic Provinces Political Science Association. He died in Halifax on July 12, 1994.

Custodial history

The materials in this fonds were donated by Jim Aitchison’s wife, Oriole, and daughter, Elizabeth Mantey. The materials were received in two 1994 accessions, two 1998 accessions, and one 1999 accession.

Scope and content

Fonds consists primarily of documents related to James Aitchison’s scholarly research and teaching. Records includes correspondence, course files, subject files, addresses, papers (including some written by students), notes and notebooks, newspaper clippings, offprints, printed materials, reports, and a variety of miscellaneous records.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script note

English.

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Some of the correspondence accessioned in 1998 is closed. All other 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

Detailed inventory available onsite.

Associated materials

See also the James Aitchison reference file (MS1-Ref Box 61 Folder 10).

Related materials

Accruals

Further accruals are not expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], James Aitchison fonds, MS-2-666, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2006, 2011

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