Fonds F1055 - Alex Johnston fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Alex Johnston fonds


  • 1911-1974, predominant 1911-1949 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

135 photographs. -- 4 audio reels. -- 11.5 cm of textual records

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Alexander Johnston, 1920-1989, was born in Webb, Saskatchewan, received a BSA degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1941, did graduate work in field husbandry, and later received an MS degree from the University of Montana, USA. He was a range ecologist and specialized in methods of assisting ranchers in the better use of prairie grassland. In 1937 he began work at the Swift Current Experimental Station, and in 1941 moved to the Lethbridge Experimental Station where he worked until his retirement in 1980. His work at the station was interrupted by his Second World War service, 1943-1946, work in range management in Pakistan for the UN, 1961-1962, and CIDA work in Kenya in 1978. He wrote 200 technical papers throughout his career. He was president of the Whoop-Up Country Chapter of the Historical Society of Alberta, 1962-1986, was a leading supporter of heritage preservation, served on the Glenbow Museum board and became volunteer historian at the Sir Alexander Galt Museum in 1981. He published a number of books on local history including Cowboy Politics : The Western Stock Growers' Association and Its Predecessors / Alex Johnston. - Calgary : Western Stock Growers' Association, 1971, and Lethbridge, a Centennial History / Alex Johnston and Andy A. den Otter. - Lethbridge : City of Lethbridge and the Whoop-Up Chapter, Historical Society of Alberta, 1985. Johnston received the Alberta Order of Excellence in 1984.


Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Alex Johnston, 1960-1983.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of photographs of Lethbridge Experimental Station and projects (1911-1942), soil erosion in Alberta and Saskatchewan (1930s), and agricultural views; discussion notes on irrigation for experimental station staff seminars and meetings (1933-1949); and Alex's papers on agriculture for the station (nd). Also consists of research materials including photographs of southern Alberta in the 1890s to 1910s, Alex's address on the history of the Western Stock Growers' Association (1971), and recorded conference on the Mounted Police held at University of Lethbridge (1974). Includes recorded Glenbow Foundation staff conference (1959), manuscript of "Indians of the Western Plains" by Mike Mountain Horse (1936), and miscellany.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

The material is in English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

No finding aid, but some of the photos have been digitized.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Other Alex Johnston papers are held by the Sir Alexander Galt Museum, Lethbridge.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents of records.


M's should be amalgamated.


Link added to Archives Photographs on February 22, 2018.

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Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Thursday, February 22, 2018




Accession area