Fonds 1738 - A. Edward Safarian fonds

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Reference code

UTA 1738


A. Edward Safarian fonds


  • 1922-2017 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

22.54 m of textual records (114 boxes) and 13 photographs

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Prof. Albert Edward Safarian (19 April 1924 – 29 January 2016) was a University of Toronto Professor of Economics in the Dept. of Political Economy (1966-1989) and Professor Emeritus of Business Economics in the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management (1989-2016). He is best known for his contributions in the study of Canadian public policy, especially in the areas of foreign direct investment, federalism, free trade, and governance of multinational corporations.

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Prof. Safarian was raised by Armenian immigrant parents in the Cabbagetown district of Toronto during the Great Depression. He entered University College, University of Toronto in 1942 and graduated with a B.A. (hons.) degree in 1946. He went on to graduate studies at the University of California Berkley, where he received a Ph.D. in economics in 1956.

Between 1950 and 1955, Prof. Safarian worked in the International Trade Division of the Dominion Bureau of Statistics in Ottawa. He then became Associate Professor in the Department of Economics and Political Science at the University of Saskatchewan in 1956. In 1962, Prof. Safarian was promoted to Full Professor and Head of the Department. Later, in 1966 he joined the University of Toronto's Department of Political Economy and served as the Department's last Head from 1976 to 1982 before its reorganisation. Between 1971 and 1976, he was also Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Following his retirement and appointment as Professor Emeritus in 1989, he became a Professor of Business Economics at the Rotman School of Management.

In addition to his academic activities at the University of Toronto and Saskatchewan, Prof. Safarian taught courses at the Banff School of Management and in the Faculty of Law and Economics at the University of Nice. He held various research positions, most notably Associate Director of the Program on Economic Growth at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for International Studies. He also served as a consultant to various federal and provincial governments, including for the Task Force on the Structure of Canadian Industry.

Prof. Safarian’s major publications include Canadian Economy in the Great Depression (1958), Foreign Ownership of Canadian Industry (1966), Canadian Federalism and Economic Interpretation (1973), Governments and Multinationals: Policies in the Developed Countries (1983), and Multinational Enterprise and Public Policy: A Study of the Industrial Countries (1993). Prof. Safarian’s contributions to the social sciences were recognized in various appointments and awards, including as Senior Fellow at Trinity College and Massey College, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Member of the Order of Canada, and as a recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Award.

Aside from his accomplishments in the academic arena, Prof. Safarian was also active in numerous other areas. Music and dance were a part of his life from a young age, which eventually led to his becoming director of the Danny Grossman Dance Company. He was an avid fisherman and belonged to the exclusive Tadenac Fishing Club, and was also a collector of art and Oriental rugs. He had strong ties with the Armenian-Canadian business community and in his later years served on the Board of a Canadian “think and do tank” the Mosaic Institute.

Prof. Safarian died in Toronto on 29 January 2016 at the age of 91.

Sources: Obituary for Edward Safarian. The Globe and Mail, 15 February 2016 and Address given by David Safarian (son) at the Safarian Conference, April 2004.

Archival history

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of 6 accessions:

B1989-0032: Addresses, articles, correspondence, manuscripts, notes, press clippings and reports documenting Professor Safarian's career as an economist and professor at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Toronto. Included are files on federal, provincial and University committees, task forces, and royal commissions. Subject areas include foreign ownership and control, constitutional change, and higher education (18 boxes, 1955-1980).

B1994-0019: Correspondence, course and lecture notes, memoranda, reports, manuscripts of publications, addresses, reports, briefs, certificates and diplomas, press clippings and photoprints documenting Edward Safarian's career as an economist specialising on foreign investment and as a professor and administrator at the Universities of Saskatchewan and Toronto (41 boxes, 1922-1993).

B1996-0034: Course and lecture notes, correspondence, addresses, research notes, manuscripts and publications documenting Edward Safarian as a student, economist specializing in international trade, and an administrator (6 boxes, 1943-1993).

B2000-0008: Professional correspondence, lecture notes, addresses, and student notes documenting Dr. A. Edward Safarian's career as a student, economist of international trade and administrator at the University of Toronto. Records predominantly consist of professional correspondence concerning publications, student references, teaching, the Encyclopedia Brittanica and consultancy work. In addition, there are also teaching materials, course notes and student essays. No personal records are contained herein (4 boxes, 1945-1997).

B2006-0030: Personal records of Edward Safarian, Professor of Economics at the University of Toronto consisting of personal correspondence, including files on the Table Ronde d'Economistes France-Canada (7th : 1991 : Paris) and the granting of an honorary degree by the University of Toronto to Arthur E. Child (1994); research files, including interviews, for Safarian's writings on foreign ownership and multinational enterprise; and files on his professional association woth the Canadian-American Committee, including notes on its confidential meetings (1972-1992), and on confidential meetings of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (1991-1997), espeically its Economic Growth and Policy Program. The files for the last include confidential minutes, notes on discussions and correspondence with offiers of the CIAR and the directors and members of the Growth program, presentations by Safarian to the CIAR and addresses to outside bodies on behalf of the CIAR (8 boxes, 1956-2004).

B2018-0023: Accession consists of the last remaining records of Professor A. Edward Safarian. Material predominantly consists of records documenting his professional life as a professor and researcher. These include teaching files from his time at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Toronto as well as research files and drafts of publications on topics primarily related to multinational enterprises and public policy, mergers and acquisitions, foreign direct investment, free trade, and NAFTA. This accession also contains material reflecting Professor Safarian’s international outlook, including several personal and business trips to Armenia, a research project on China, and involvement as a board member of the Mosaic Institute. Records include correspondence, annotated articles and notes, reports, lecture notes, research files and drafts of publications and addresses. (1945-2017, 4.68m, 36 boxes).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Each accession is described and arranged as a distinct entity, though an effort has been made to arrange the material into the following common series in the larger accessions: correspondence, course notes, employment, teaching files, professional activities, conferences & addresses, manuscripts & publications, and research. Some accessions include only file lists.

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-Added to AtoM by Karen Suurtamm, September 2016




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