Selection of the Month

Public Information Office/University Communications Biographical Files

September, 2018
University Archives

For many decades, Western's Public Information Office, and its successor, the current Office of University Communications and Marketing, maintained a series of Biographical Files on university staff and faculty. The files are a rich source of information about many of the people who have contributed to Western's history.

University Archives and Records Management has over 3000 of these files dating from 1899-2012, with most of the records covering the period 1959-2012. Each file documents a single individual and can include newspaper clippings, photographs, news releases, and other documentation relating to individuals' lives at Western and in the community. Some files span multiple folders worth of content.
The Biographical Files, along with an even larger set of files organized around topical subjects relating to Western, are available for research, by appointment, at the University Archives. Often these files supplement research into other records, typically providing a "big picture" view of a person or subject. In other cases, the files provide the missing bit of information not documented elsewhere. Because of their breadth of coverage, the Biographical files are enormously useful to conducting research into Western's history.

Image above: Dr. Thaddeus Spratlen, Professor of Economics, 1967. University Communications and Marketing, Biographical Files, Accession 85-35-006, University Archives.
Image at right: Professor Emeritus Leona Sundquist, President Jerry Flora, and others at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Leona M. Sundquist Marine Laboratory, 1973. University Communications and Marketing, Biographical Files, Accession 85-35-006, University Archives.