Fonds MS-14-1 - Melville Cumming fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Melville Cumming fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Object

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Fonds

Repository

Reference code

MS-14-1

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1900-1970 (Creation)
    Creator
    Cumming, Melville

Physical description area

Physical description

32.2 cm of textual records
Graphic material

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Name of creator

(1876-1969)

Biographical history

Melville Cumming was the first principal of Nova Scotia College of Agriculture and the namesake of Cumming Hall, the administration building at the heart of Dalhousie University's Agricultural Campus. He was born in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, on 5 January 1876, to Thomas and Matilda (McNair) Cumming. After graduating from Colchester County Academy as a Gold Medalist, he earned his BA from Dalhousie University in 1897. In 1899 he received a BSc in Agriculture from Iowa State College, USA, and in 1900 he was granted another BSc Agr from the University of Toronto, which was affiliated with the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, where he held his first professorial appointment from 1900-1905. He also received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Dalhousie in 1918.

In February 1905, Cumming was appointed principal of the newly formed Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro, Nova Scotia, where he also taught animal husbandry, agronomy, bacteriology and public speaking. He took on a concurrent appointment in 1907 with the newly formed Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, which he held until 1925. On leaving NSAC in 1927, he moved to Halifax as the director of marketing for Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, where in 1933 he became the head of provincial agricultural statistics. He retired in 1947.

Cumming was active in the wider community, serving as an elder in Halifax's Fort Masse United Church, president of the Men’s Club and superintendent of the Sunday School. He was president of the Truro Canadian Club, vice-president of the Nova Scotia Association, chairman for Colchester County of the Canadian Patriotic Club, president of the Truro Golf Club and of the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children. He was a chairman of the Farm and Finance Committees at the Maritime Home for Girls and honorary vice-president of the Nova Scotia Tuberculosis Association, of which he was a charter member. He was also a charter member of the Canadian Society of Technical Agriculturalists (now the Agricultural Institute of Canada) and a member of the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists. In 1905 and again in 1907, he travelled to Scotland to purchase Clydesdale, Hackney and Thoroughbred horses. The administration building (Cumming Hall) at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College was named in his honour.

Melville Cumming was married to Mary Alice Archibald in 1905, with whom he had two sons and three daughters. He died on 16 April 1969.

Custodial history

The records were held by members of the Cumming family until they were received by the Agricola Archives in a number of accessions, dating between 1999 and 2017 (accessions A1999-001 ; A2017-049 ; A2017-055 ; A2017-190 ; A2011-268)

Scope and content

Fonds contains photographs of Melville Cumming, as well as addresses, research articles/manuscripts, and letters related to agriculture in Nova Scotia written by Melville Cumming. Other material consists of records that were created while Dr. Cumming served as the first principal at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College from 1905-27. He was also an instructor animal husbandry, agronomy, bacteriology and public speaking, and also served as the Secretary of Agriculture for the province from 1907-25. Includes records from 1900-1970 comprised of photographs, certificates, articles, and speeches from the passing of Dr. Cumming.

Notes area

Physical condition

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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 MacRae Library. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

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Further accruals are possible.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Melville Cumming fonds, MS-14-1, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives, Agricola Archives, Bible Hill, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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Status

Final

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

1999 (creation)
July 2020 (revision)

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

Sources

Accession area