Fonds F0280 - Alan H. MacDonald fonds.

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Alan H. MacDonald fonds.


  • [188-]-2010 (predominant 1972-2006) (Creation)

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Extent and medium

4.84 m. of textual records and other material:

10 audio recordings:
10 audiotape cassettes

3 video recordings:
2 VHS videocassettes

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Alan Hugh William MacDonald was born in Ottawa 3 March 1943. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (History) from Dalhousie University in 1963 and with a Bachelor of Library Services from the University of Toronto in 1964. He worked at Dalhousie University in a number of positions from 1964-1978 including Law Librarian, Government Documents Librarian, Assistant to the Director of Libraries, Serials and Documents Librarian, Assistant University Librarian and Health Sciences Librarian. MacDonald was admitted to the Master of Library Science program at the University of Toronto, and as a Fellow at Massey College in 1966 but did not take up the positions. MacDonald lectured at the Dalhousie University School of Library Service from 1969-1978 in library administration, government publications, legal information, serials, and practical skills.

MacDonald moved to the University of Calgary in 1979 for the first of three terms as Director of Libraries, through 1992. He also served as Director of The University of Calgary Press from 1984-1989. Following a sabbatical year in 1993, MacDonald became the Director of Information Services for two terms through 1999. Between 1999 and his retirement in 2003, MacDonald held the positions of Senior Advisor to the Director of Information Resources, Senior Advisor to the Director of Information Services, and Special Assistant to the Vice-President (Academic) and Provost.

MacDonald was a prolific presenter giving over 800 addresses, papers, keynote speeches, reports and other submissions, including 127 citations for Honourary Degree recipients in his role as University Orator from 1989-2002. MacDonald was also a family historian and the fonds includes genealogical research and records collected about his father Vincent, his maternal uncle Rev. Harry (John Henry) Durney, and his uncle Wallace MacDonald. Vincent MacDonald was a lawyer, educator and civil servant, serving as secretary to Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King in 1927, teaching law at Dalhousie University and eventually becoming Dean of the Faculty of Law. Vincent died in 1964. Wallace Archibald MacDonald was a silent film star, appearing in almost 120 films between 1914 and 1932. He would later become a producer of over 100 films from 1937 to 1959. Wallace died in 1978. Rev. Harry (John Henry) Durney (1904-1977) was a Roman Catholic priest from 1929 to 1977.

Following his retirement in 2003 MacDonald was involved in the Calgary Aerospace Museum in various roles as Librarian, Secretary of the Board and Executive Director. He compiled “A Chronology of Air and Space” while working there.

Alan MacDonald died in Calgary 28 January 2010.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records pertaining to Alan MacDonald's roles within the library at the University of Calgary and Dalhousie University, records pertaining to his uncle Wallace (silent film star and Hollywood producer), his father Vincent (lawyer, Dean of Law at Dalhousie University, civil servant, judge), records pertaining to the Calgary Aerospace Museum which MacDonald was actively involved with in retirement, and family-related papers.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals expected.

System of arrangement

The fonds is arranged into the following series: Professional activities and affiliations Administrative activities Correspondence Aviation Vincent MacDonald Wallace MacDonald MacDonald family Ephemera and electronic records

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Conditions governing access

Some files contain personal information and should be reviewed prior to access. Check series descriptions.

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Language and script notes

Records are in English and French.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Includes ca. 800 photographs, 50 posters, 10 audio-recordings, 3 moving images, 10 CDs and ca. 300 buttons.

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Full finding aid is available. Contact

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