Fonds UA-22 - Maritime School of Social Work fonds

Breaking barriers : report of the task force on access for Black and Native People

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Maritime School of Social Work fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • 1922 - 2010 (Creation)

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Physical description

65 m of textual records. - 65 metres of textual records

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Biographical history

The Maritime School of Social Work was incorporated in April 1941 as an independent school in response to a long recognized need for professionally educated social workers in the region. In the early years classes were taught by a cadre of volunteers drawn from various related professions under the supervision of the school’s first director, Samuel Henry Prince. Professor of Sociology at Dalhousie and the University of King’s College, Prince created the school’s official emblem—a lighthouse emanating rays of light—a symbol of what he called “the epitome of the two-fold character of all social service: prevention and rescue.”

In 1944 Phyllis Burns became the school’s first full-time employee; she was appointed as Assistant Director and Registrar and was responsible for teaching classes in child and family welfare. In 1949 Lawrence T. Hancock was appointed as the first regular Director of the School, a position he held until 1973. It was during his tenure that the school amalgamated with Dalhousie University in 1969 and received accreditation in both Canada and the United States.

Initially falling under the auspices of the Faculty of Administration, the Maritime School of Social Work is currently one of eight schools and a college grouped within the university's Faculty of Health. The political, social, cultural and economic conditions of the region continue to give direction to the school's teaching; specifically, its degree and certificate programs were designed to meet the needs of the region's Mi'kmaq population. It has maintained an affirmative action admissions program since the mid-1970s and makes special efforts to accommodate the diversity of its student population.

In the early 1980s the school added a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree program, while the Masters program (MSW) was reorganized into a one-year course of study for BSW graduates. With the advent of the BSW program, an off-site program was developed to reach students in Sydney, Saint John and Charlottetown. Since 2001 the school has offered distance delivery to students across Canada via the Internet. It also provides a continuing education program for practising professions, including workshops and certificate courses in the practice of social work.

Custodial history

Records were transferred from the Maritime School of Social Work in three accessions.

Scope and content

Fonds comprises records that document the administrative and operational activities of the Maritime School of Social Work. Record types include correspondence; committee minutes; financial records; reports; statistics; program information; course materials; examination records; newspaper clippings; memorabilia; and photographs.

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Immediate source of acquisition


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  • English

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Restrictions on access

All records are administered in accordance with applicable federal and provincial Privacy and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation. Questions about access should be directed to the University Archivist.

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Finding aids

A database describing this collection is available in the Dalhousie University Archives for staff use only.

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Further accruals are expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Maritime School of Social Work fonds, UA-22, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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