Desmond Pacey became Chair and Professor of the University of New Brunswick Department of English in 1945, and served as head until 1969 and as a teacher until his death in 1975. In addition to his duties in the Department of English, Dr. Pacey also served in a variety of administrative positions. He was Secretary of the Faculty from 1952 - 1969, Acting Dean of Arts from 1955 - 1956, and Dean of Graduate Studies from 1960 - 1970. Nominated as Vice President (Academic) in 1970, Dr. Pacey frequently served simultaneously as Acting President, particularly from 1972 - 1973. Dr. Pacey also served as the first Chair of the local Humanities Association and as Chair of the UNB Library Committee, the Committee on Graduate Studies, and the Founders' Day Committee, and he served as Associate Editor and Chair of the Editorial Board of The Fiddlehead literary magazine.
This series highlights Dr. Pacey's extensive career at UNB from 1945 - 1975. A large portion of the series comprises UNB English department correspondence, reports, and lecture notes, together with other general UNB correspondence. Formats included in the series are regulations, questionnaires, minutes of meetings, typescript and handwritten correspondence, postcards, telegrams, reports, Christmas cards, conference programs, copies of examinations, and brochures. English department correspondence (Cases 28 - 31) is arranged in chronological order. Files of general UNB correspondence in Cases 32 - 33 and UNB reports, and lecture notes in Case 34 are organized in alphabetical order by topic, and then chronologically within files.
English department correspondence from 1945 - 1959 (Cases 28 - 29) includes several letters of recommendation which Dr. Pacey wrote for Beaverbrook Overseas and other scholarship applicants including Dalton Camp, Leon Loggie, Donald Gammon, Frances Firth, A. Robert Rogers, Donald Rowan, Alec Lucas, James Horner, Bob Laurence, Bob Whalen, Jack Sheriff, and Donald Stephens. He continued to correspond with many of these former students, and some of them returned to UNB as professors in the Department of English, including Lucas and Rowan. During this period, Dr. Pacey worked tirelessly to build up UNB's specialty in Canadian literature. Included in this series are letters written to book collector Louise Manny from Newcastle, requesting information on purchasing Canadiana for the UNB Library. The promotion of Canadian literature studies had been fostered earlier by the generous 1933 donation of the Rufus Hathaway Collection of Canadian Literature, housed in the UNB Archives/Special Collections department.
Dr. Pacey also was instrumental in promoting all forms of Canadian Studies, and in 1951 he helped to establish a local branch of the Humanities Association of Canada, and became active in the International Association of University Professors of English, the Association of Canadian University Teachers of English (ACUTE), and the Institute of Canadian Studies.
Dr. Pacey frequently corresponded with UNB Presidents A.W. Trueman and Colin B. Mackay during the period from 1945 - 1959. Correspondence also details Pacey's continuing work on Major John Richardson, Sir Charles G.D. Roberts, and Bliss Carman. He actively campaigned country-wide to solicit graduate students for the English program at UNB, and frequently corresponded with other Canadian English professors including A.S.P. Woodhouse, Roy Daniels, and R.M. Wiles. He worked to foster closer ties between high school and university English departments, particularly through his correspondence with O.V.B. Miller, Director of School Services with the New Brunswick Department of Education, who sought Pacey's assistance in setting the yearly English Matriculation examinations.
In 1955, Dr. Pacey was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. During this year, he served as chair of the faculty committee appointed to make recommendations for the future of drama, music, and art on the UNB campus.
Correspondence between Pacey and New Brunswick Premier Hon. Hugh John Flemming and his wife Aida also is located in this series. In 1957, Premier Flemming sent Pacey a copy of the address which he gave at the Progressive Conservative Convention, placing the name of John Diefenbaker in nomination as party leader.
UNB experienced rapid growth following the end of the Second World War and the influx of veterans and other students eager to obtain a university education. Under the Chancellorship of Lord Beaverbrook, UNB expanded dramatically during the nineteen fifties, with generous donations given by Beaverbrook, including a library wing, books, residences, and scholarships. The English department began to expand, and new professors were hired, including William Cragg, Keith Johnstone, Alec Lucas, David Galloway, Fred Cogswell, and Alan Donaldson.
In 1958 (Case 29 File 2), Pacey wrote to the Canada Council on behalf of the editorial board of The Fiddlehead, and secured a $1500 grant to expand the magazine to include prose (criticism and short stories), and to expand its circulation.
The decade of the nineteen sixties also was a period of growth for UNB. Pacey continued to correspond with Leon Loggie, Bob Whalen, Laurence Wilson, Don Rowan, and with other correspondents including Aida Flemming and Allistair McLeod.
English department correspondence during the sixties focuses on staff shortages and the subsequent hiring of many English professors, including Tony Boxill, Kent Thompson, Bill Bauer, John Zanes, Ted Colson, Michael Taylor, Dick Guerin, James Woodfield, and Donald Cameron. Included in Case 31 File 1 is a copy of a carol which Bliss Carman wrote and Robin C. Bayley set to music. By the end of the sixties, Dr. Pacey had built up a strong English department and graduate program at UNB, and had made significant contributions to the establishment of Canadian studies nationwide.
Cases 32 - 33 include general correspondence related to UNB and to Pacey's activities with national humanities organizations. This portion of the series highlights many of Pacey's committee activities. He was active in the promotion of arts, music, and drama not only at UNB, but throughout the Maritimes, particularly since his wife Mary was an accomplished artist. Case 32 File 1 contains correspondence with galleries and museums throughout the Maritimes to compile information on arts in the Maritimes to contribute to a column in the Canadian Art Magazine. Included in this file is a brochure on Goodridge Roberts, UNB's artist-in-residence from 1959 - 1960. Pacey worked closely with Lucy Jarvis, Director of the UNB Art Centre until 1960, to promote art on the campus. He served as chair of a faculty committee appointed in 1955 to make recommendations for the future of art, music, and drama at UNB, and several of his letters soliciting support for this project are included in this series (Case 32 File 3). Pacey also was involved in a 1957 New Brunswick Travel Bureau project to produce The Arts in New Brunswick (Case 32 File 2).
Dr. Pacey's involvement with the Canada Council during the nineteen sixties is documented in Case 32 File 4. He assisted in the adjudication of scholarship applications and served on the Selection Committee for Postgraduate Awards and on the Academic Panel.In 1964, Pacey campaigned successfully for Canada Council funding to establish a writer-in-residence program at UNB. Norman Levine served as the first writer-in-residence from 1965-1966. A 1968 Canada Council grant brought Alden Nowlan to UNB as writer-in-residence, and Malcolm Tait as musician-in-residence.
Nineteen fifties correspondence with faculty and administration is housed in Case 32 File 7. Included in this file is 1953 correspondence from A. Robert Rogers, Assistant Librarian, concerning additions to the Rufus Hathaway Collection. Other correspondents include Alfred Bailey, B.F. Macaulay, A.A. Tunis, and Registrar Edith McLeod.
The Founders' Day ceremony, instituted in 1830 by Edwin Jacob, head of King's College, and reconstituted by Colin B. Mackay in 1942, was an annual celebration in honour of the seven men who signed the 1785 petition which led to the establishment of UNB. Included in the celebrations was an annual address by a prominent speaker, usually concerning the past, present, or future of universities, or the general role of higher education. Founders' Day Committee correspondence for the nineteen fifties and sixties is located in Case 32 File 8. Included in this file is correspondence with Professor Gerald Graham, Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at University College, London; Gratten O'Leary, President of the Ottawa Journal, and Dag Hammarskjold. Also included are notes for participation in a panel discussion on the future of UNB, held during the 1957 Founders' Day ceremonies, emphasizing the importance of graduate study, the need for more staff and space, and the strengthening and enlarging of a program of creative arts for the university.
Dr. Pacey also was active on the UNB Library Committee (Case 33 File 1), serving as Chair in 1958. Included in this file are minutes of the April 28, 1959 and May 8, 1959 Library Committee meetings. Among the correspondents are Nan Gregg, A. Robert Rogers, Gertrude Gunn, and Marjorie Thompson. School of Graduate Studies Executive Committee minutes for January 17, 1967 are included in Case 33 File 2, together with correspondence with President Colin B. Mackay, from 1965-1970.
In 1960, Dr. Graham S. Mackenzie, head of the Geology Department at UNB died, and as Secretary of the Faculty, Dr. Pacey was instrumental in organizing a fund raising campaign to hire Lucy Jarvis to paint a memorial portrait, which was unveiled on March 23, 1962. A brochure issued during this unveiling ceremony is included in this series.
In addition to his extensive commitments to UNB, Dr. Pacey also was active in provincial and national organizations. Case 33 File 4 contains correspondence relating to his involvement with the New Brunswick Department of Education Secondary English Sub-Committee from 1959-1966, including minutes of meetings. Correspondence with the Humanities Research Council, established in 1943, is included in Case 32 File 11, and contains minutes of the annual meeting for March 20, 1948. In 1950, the Humanities Research Council established the broader based Humanities Association of Canada to foster interest in the humanities and to promote effective teaching in languages, literature, history, and philosophy. Minutes of the Humanities Association of Canada executing meeting of November 16, 1953 are housed in Case 32 File 10. Dr. Pacey helped to establish a local Fredericton branch in 1951. Pacey also participated in the Governor General's Awards Board, which administered the Governor General's Literary Awards. Included in this correspondence is a typescript of regulations governing the awards in June, 1955. In 1959, the Canada Council reorganized the board, and began to focus on three awards for fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.
Case 34 contains English lecture notes for engineering students, notes for a 1952 graduate course, conference programmes, notes on women writers of Canada, and miscellaneous committee reports.
File titles are taken from file contents.
These English Department files may be consulted with the permission of the Chair of the department; otherwise, a thirty year restriction on access applies to this material.
Other records relating to the UNB Department of English are located in the UNB Archives/Special Collections Department. Users should consult Archives staff for further assistance.
Left to Right: Alfred G. Bailey, Colin Mackay, Dr. Pacey,
H. Northrop Frye (Honorary Degree Recipient)
Case 28 - UNB English department correspondence, 1945 - 1955. File 1 English department correspondence, 1945 - 1952. -- 1945-1952. File 2 English department correspondence, 1953 - 1955. -- 1953-1955. Case 29 - UNB English department correspondence, 1956-1959 File 1 English department correspondence, 1956-1957. -- 1956-1957. File 2 English department correspondence, 1958 - 1959. -- 1958-1959. Case 30 - UNB English department correspondence, 1960-1965 File 1 English department correspondence, 1960. -- 1960. File 2 English department correspondence, 1961. -- 1961. File 3 English department correspondence, 1962-1963. -- 1962-1963. File 4 English department correspondence, 1964. -- 1964. File 5 English department correspondence, 1965. -- 1965. Case 31 - UNB English department correspondence, 1966-1976 File 1 English department correspondence, 1966. -- 1966. File 2 English department correspondence, 1967. -- 1967. File 3 English department correspondence, 1968. -- 1968. File 4 English department correspondence, 1969. -- 1969. File 5 English department correspondence, 1970-1976. -- 1970-1976. Case 32 - UNB general correspondence, A-H File 1 Correspondence re arts in the Maritimes. -- 1959-1962. File 2 Correspondence re The Arts in New Brunswick. -- 1957-1958. File 3 Committee on Arts, music and drama at UNB. -- 1955. File 4 Canada Council 1961-1968. -- 1961-1968. File 5 Correspondence re Charles G.D. Roberts Prize. -- 1959-1962. File 6 Correspondence re Commonwealth conference, Brisbane, Australia. -- 1966-1968. File 7 Correspondence with faculty and administration. -- 1951-1956, 1959. File 8 Founders' Day Committee correspondence -- 1957, 1959-1960, 1966-1967. File 9 Governor General's Award Board correspondence. -- 1952-1955, 1959. File 10 Correspondence with Humanities Association Council, 1950-1968. -- 1950-1954, 1957-1958, 1961-1962, 1966, 1968. File 11 Correspondence with Humanities Research Council, 1948-1968. -- 1948-1952, 1954, 1956, 1959, 1961-1963, 1965, 1968. Case 33 UNB General correspondence I-Z File 1 Library Committee, 1958-1960. -- 1958-1960. File 2 Correspondence with Colin B. Mackay, 1965-1970. -- 1965-1970, predominant 1966-1969. File 3 Graham S. Mackenzie Portrait Fund Committee. -- 1960-1962. File 4 New Brunswick Department of Education Secondary English Sub-Committee, 1959-1966. -- 1959-1960, 1962-1966. File 5 Correspondence re Student Conference on Creative Writing in Canada, 1962. -- 1962. File 6 Correspondence with Dr. F.J. Toole, 1948-1961. -- 1948, 1950-1951, 1953-1961. Case 34 - UNB reports, lectures, and notes. File 1 Answers to Higher Education Commission Questions. -- [n.d.]. File 2 Engineering lectures, 1944-1945. -- 1944-1945. File 3 Notes for a graduate course given by Dr. Pacey, 1952-1953. -- 1952-1953. File 3B Programmes. -- 1952, 1960-1961, 1965, 1968-1970, 1972-1974. File 4 Report of a committee on first and second year survey courses. -- [n.d.]. File 5 UNB-CAUT brief to Deutch Royal Commission. -- 1961-1962. File 6 Women writers of Canada - notes. -- [n.d.].