Fonds uofa-2667 - Douglas Elstow Smith fonds

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Douglas Elstow Smith fonds

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CA UOFA uofa-2667

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40 cm of textual records. -- ca. 300 photographs

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Biographical history

Douglas Elstow Smith was born in Syndenham, Ontario on March 10, 1912. He was the child of C. Kenneth Smith, a railway station agent, and A. Maud Davis, a schoolteacher. He attended high school in Belleville, Ontario. Owing to the itinerant nature of station agent work, the family moved often and Smith's mother gave Douglas considerable home schooling until high school. Smith excelled in school, winning scholarships in middle school and high school. These included a County Scholarship, Memorial Scholarship, and finally a scholarship to attend university that he applied to his studies at Queen's University in Kingston. By his second year Smith began to place his focus on psychology. While at Queen's Smith studied psychology almost exclusively under George Humphrey. In his fourth year Smith won a scholarship to continue studying psychology as a Queen's graduate student. He completed his Queen's M.A. Thesis, "Inhibition in Maze-Learning by the White Rat", under Martyn Estall in the spring of 1934. The following year Smith went to the University of Chicago to continue graduate studies in psychology under the renowned Karl Spencer Lashley with the ultimate intention of completing a Ph.D. in psychology. The following year Lashly moved to Harvard University and Smith followed to continue studying under him. He completed his dissertation, "Cerebral Localization in Somaesthetic Discrimination in the Rat, " in 1937. In 1937 the University of Alberta contacted Harvard University looking for a Canadian graduate candidate in psychology. Smith accepted the University of Alberta's offer of a position as sessional instructor; the position became permanent in 1939. During this time, Smith gradually became involved in the Second World War. In 1938 he went into the COTC. He began training as a provisional Second-Lieutenant. By 1941-42 he had advanced to Captain working at the basic training centre in Vernon. In 1942 he moved to the Department of Personnel Selection Headquarters in Ottawa where he applied his knowledge of psychology to military duty selection. After the war, Smith returned from Ottawa to the University of Alberta. He became Dean of Arts and Science on a part time basis in the fall of 1957 and he was appointed acting Dean in August of 1958. Smith continued to teach a course in the history of psychology in the Department of Psychology but his primary responsibility remained as an administrator. Smith took a sabbatical leave in 1972-73 to do research in the Department of Psychology in University College London. Upon his return to the University of Alberta he resumed a position as professor of psychology and worked as a counselor in the University Student Counseling Services. He continued in these positions until retirement in 1975. Smith passed away in 1995.

Custodial history

A portion of the materials was donated to the University of Alberta Archives by Nora Smith in 2001. Other materials were transferred to the University of Alberta Archives by the Provincial Archives of Alberta. It is unclear how the provincial archives acquired the materials.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records Smith produced in the span of his life from childhood in Eastern Ontario to Dean of Arts at the University of Alberta. The records document his work as a student, professor of psychology, academic administrator and military officer in the Second World War. The fonds contains 8 series: I. Military Service (1939-1969). These records consist of National Defence correspondence, military certificates, and photos relating to Smith's active military service and involvement in the C.O.T.C. II Education (1933-1938). These records document D.E. Smith's academic career in both his undergraduate and graduate studies at Queen's University and Harvard. They consist of a thesis, a dissertation, diplomas, course and research notes. III Speeches/Addresses (1939-1978) These records consist of notes and complete speeches delivered to Edmonton municipal societies, national and regional professional associations and local Edmonton radio. The speeches are in chronological order. Some speeches are handwritten notes while others are complete, typed speeches. IV Photographs (to be described). V Academic Career (1938- 1995). Series consists of correspondence, pay stubs, administrative reports, research notes and diagrams documenting D.E.Smith's career in academia as an administrator, researcher, teacher and counselor. VI Correspondence (1894-1968). Series consists of typed and handwritten personal correspondence from friends and relatives of D.E. Smith. Included in the correspondence are newspaper clippings, some pamphlets and other printed material and some photographs. VII Personal Affairs (to be described), and VIII Miscellaneous (to be described).

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  • The material is in English.

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Contact the University Archives for further details.

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Record No. 70-73, 71-62, 71-141 (small accessions), 83-45, 87-104, 89-126 (small accessions), 2001-1, predominant 2001-1<br><br>

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