Robert Craig Brown

Title: Robert Craig Brown Fonds

Date(s) of creation: 1958-2005

Physical description: 4.93 metres of textual, graphic, moving images and sound recordings records.

Admin. history/Biographical sketch:

Robert Craig Brown was born in Rochester, New York, on 14 October 1935. He received his BA (honours) from the University of Rochester in 1957 and then moved to the University of Toronto to do graduate work under Donald Creighton in the Department of History. He received his MA in 1958 and his PhD in 1962. The theme of his doctoral thesis, ‘Canadian-American relations in the latter part of the nineteenth century’, was one he would pursue in subsequent books and articles.In 1961 Brown was hired as an assistant professor by the University of Calgary. There he served as treasurer of the Faculty Association in 1962-1963 and as vice-president the following year. He also sat on several university and departmental committees.

In 1966 he returned to the University of Toronto as assistant professor with tenure, was promoted to associate professor in 1966 and to full professor in 1970. In addition to his teaching load, Professor Brown has supervised 26 doctoral students and one MA student. He has also undertaken a wide range of administrative duties, both within the University and outside of it. From 1967 to 1970 he sat on the council of the Faculty Association, in 1974-1975 was a member of the University of Toronto Press Publications Committee, and served on the University of Toronto Research Board from 1982 to 1989.

In the Department of History he served as director of graduate studies in 1972-1973, as associate chair from 1974-1977 and as chair from 1992 to 1998. In the School of Graduate Studies he sat on the Review Committee on International Studies in 1980-1981, served as associate dean, Division I, from 1981-1984 and as acting dean in 1985. In the Faculty of Arts and Science he was vice-dean from 1987 to 1992, and has been the dean’s designate for academic integrity since 2000.

Professor Brown was active on the Governing Council from 1985 through much of the 1990s. He sat on all of the committees of the Academic Board, especially its committee on appointments policy (1989-1992). From 1986 to 1988 he was a member of the humanities panel of the Connaught Committee of the Governing Council. In 1992-1993 he took part in the Governing Council’s review of the Office of the Ombudsperson. He has also served on numerous presidential and provostial committees, especially the President’s manuscript review committee for the University of Toronto Press (1982-1989) and the President’s advisory committee on archives (1992-1998), and as a chair member of the Provost’s advisory committee on Robert F. Harney professorship (1992-1996). He was vice-president Human Relations and a member of the Labour Relations Management Board from 1989 to 1998, and was a member of the Labour Relations/CUEW negotiating team in 1992-1993.

Outside the University of Toronto, he has been an appraiser of the Departments of History at Simon Fraser University (1974), University of Calgary (1988, 1995), and King’s College, University of Western Ontario (1995). The Ontario Council on Graduate Studies hired him to appraise the Graduate Departments of History at Wilfrid Laurier University (1985) and the University of Waterloo (1987). He also appraised the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Alberta (1997).

Professor Brown has also been active in a number of professional organizations. He sat on the council of the Canadian Historical Association from 1964 to 1967 and from again from 1978-1972, was vice-president in 1978-1979 and president the following year. He has long been a member of the American Historical Association and from 1966 to 1968 chaired the Joint Committee of the Canadian Historical Association/American Historical Association. He was also associate editor of the Canadian Historical Review from 1964-1968 and editor from 1968 to 1973. He was editor of the Champlain Society series of books from 1987 to 2004. At the Canada Council, he served as leave grants officer in 1973 and adjudicator in 1975. He was a member of the research council and a member of the executive committee of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research from 1982 to 1985.

In spite of his many administrative duties, Professor Brown has published widely. His tally includes eleven books, some in several editions. The earliest, Canada’s National Policy, 1883-1900, appeared in 1964. In 1974 he co-authored, with Ramsay Cook, Canada, 1896-1921: a nation transformed, a volume in McClelland & Stewart’s centennial series on the history of Canada. His two-volume biography of Robert Laird Borden appeared in 1975 and 1980. More recently, he edited the Illustrated History of Canada, which has appeared in six editions, beginning in 1987, and in three languages. His Generation of excellence: a history of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research appeared in 2007. He has also co-authored or co-edited several books, including Canada views the United States, with S. F. Wise (1966), Confederation to 1949, with Margaret Prang (1966), The Canadians, 1867-1967, with J.M.S. Careless (1967), Canadian Historical Reprints, No. 1-8, with Carl Berger and Ramsay Cook (1967-1969). Twentieth century Canada, with J.L. Granatstein, et al., (1983), followed by Twentieth century Canada: a reader (1986), and Nation. Canada since Confederation, with J. L. Granatstein et al. (1990).

He has had published at least fifteen essays, the same number of papers in scholarly journals, and a chapter in the Historical atlas of Canada, Volume 3 (1993). During his years as editor at the Champlain Society, seven titles appeared, including the journals and/or correspondence of Alexander Henry the Younger, Sir John Franklin, Joseph Harris and Samuel Anderson, and between John Hale and Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Lord Amherst. He has also penned about twenty biographical sketches, especially for the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, and presented numerous papers at meetings and symposia. His book reviews have appeared in the American Historical Review, Canadian Historical Review, Canadian Literature, Canadian Forum, Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, and the International History Review.

Professor Brown has been invited to lecture widely at universities across Canada and, in the United States, at Harvard University, the University of Maine, Duke University and the University of Rochester. He has been the recipient of a number of honours. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 1984 and has served as vice-president, president and past-president of Section II. He has been a Senior Fellow of Massey College since 1988.

Professor Brown is married and lives in Toronto.

Scope and content:
Personal records of Robert Craig Brown, professor emeritus of History, consisting of professional correspondence; teaching files; files on professional activities, especially with the Canadian Historical Association, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and the Royal Society of Canada/Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Canadian democracy project; research files and manuscripts for his biography of Robert Laird Borden and the history of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, along with manuscripts for other books, essays, articles, and other writings; and addresses. Includes photographs, audiocassette tapes of interviews, and a video.

Access/Use: Restricted. The personal correspondence in B1985-0024 (boxes 009-013) is restricted until five years after the death of the Donor. The files on the appraisal of graduate student theses in Series 3 [B2007-0006/002(11-14) and 003(01) and (02)] are restricted for 75 years from date of file activity. The files in B2007-0006 (boxes 007-017) documenting the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR) history project are restricted until 1 January 2036. All other records are open.

Finding aids: Robert Craig Brown Fonds. This finding aid does not include B1980-0009.

Related records in a different fonds:

Accruals: Further accruals are expected.

Corresponding accessions: B1980-0009, B1981-0036, B1985-0024, B2007-0006.