Fonds 2001 - Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Bursar’s Office fonds

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Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Bursar’s Office fonds

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CA ON00357 2001

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  • 1831–2016 (Creation)

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16.07 m of textual records
815 photographs
4 photograph albums
448 architectural drawings

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Administrative history

The Bursar of Victoria University was the chief financial officer of the University and head of its business administration. From the mid 1940’s the Bursar also served as Secretary to the Board of Regents and its standing and special committees. Between 1932 and 1985, the responsibilities and duties of the Bursar were considerably increased.

Prior to 1932, the financial and business administration of the University was given little attention. It appears from the minutes of the Board of Regents that between 1907 and 1918 financial matters were in the care of a member of the Board of Regents. The terms "Bursar" and "Treasurer of the Board of Regents" were used interchangeably, and the only record of the Bursar's work is found in references in the minutes to the financial reports presented annually to the Board. In 1918, however, the two positions were separated and both the Bursar and the Treasurer presented reports to the Board. Thereafter, the position of Treasurer was an honourary post held by a member of the Board, who had to present the annual financial reports, while the position of Bursar became a salaried post on the staff of Victoria University.

The next major development was the appointment of an accountant, which the Board agreed to in 1920[1]. From 1921 to 1932, the position of Bursar was held by the University Librarian, F.L. Barber, and so increasingly the work of the Bursar's Office fell to the Accountant, W.J. Little. During this period, Little was appointed secretary of various financial appeals and building funds; and it was Little who appeared at meetings of the Board of Regents to answer the questions of members of the Board when the Treasurer presented the financial reports. Victoria University faced a financial crisis in the early 1920s, and carried a serious deficit into the 1930s which revealed the need for a full-time Bursar. In 1932, the Board recognised this when it moved:

That we accept Dr. Barber's suggestion that he relinquish the office of bursar, and that the Rev. W.J. Little be appointed bursar of Victoria University [2].

Little described his work in his first annual report to the Board of Regents in 1934. At this point, in addition to his financial and accounting responsibilities, the Bursar was Secretary to the Finance Committee and Property Committee, and business manager of Burwash Hall and the Men's Residences. In his routine duties, Little included the collection of fees; payment of accounts; bookkeeping and record keeping; the preparation of financial statements; printing and supplies; and publicity and advertising. He also prepared payroll reports for the Workmen's Compensation Board of Ontario. As Secretary to the Property committee, his main task was described as the supervision of insurance on all buildings and their contents. Finance committee work involved co-operation with the staff of the National Trust Company which acted as the financial agents of the University.

The two areas of Property and Burwash Hall and Men's Residences (later Residences and Services) formed what came to be known as the auxiliary enterprises of the University. These auxiliary enterprises, which were secondary to Victoria's main educational function, became a useful source of income for the University as well as providing accommodation for staff and students. The Bursar's active management and involvement in these areas consequently increased.

The Bursar's responsibilities with regard to property were initially the insurance of buildings and their contents. However, as the need for regular income became more urgent and evident, and as the University expanded and required more buildings, the Bursar's work likewise increased. The Bursar became responsible for the legal negotiations and accounting over purchases, sales and leases; and the supervision and funding of alterations and renovations and the construction of new buildings. Along with this the Bursar dealt with property tax as the University was only exempt from this in respect to its property used for academic purposes.

As business manager of Burwash Hall and the Men's Residences, the Bursar was responsible for residence accounts and budgets throughout the year. The senior residence staff reported to the Bursar, and all major items and expenditures or policy decisions had to be passed by him. In addition during the summer vacation he was responsible for the general management and administration, as the dietitian was on a ten month renewable contract. The summer vacation management included the allocation of rooms to conference groups and individuals who used the residences. The Bursar also had a supervisory role in regard to the management of the Women's Residences and Wymilwood Students' Union.

Staffing structures with Residences and Food Services were ill-defined. Food Services staff were directly responsible to the Bursar. The appointment of a Director of Residences and Food Services, which caused some friction, did not create a proper departmental structure: both the dietitian of Burwash Hall and the Director reported to the Bursar. Commercial food management was introduced in 1982-83, with the retention of Victoria staff: the resolution of staff problems following this remained the responsibility of the Bursar.

Student discipline and government were the responsibility of the Senior Tutor/Dean of Men in the Men's Residences and of the Dean of Women in the Women's Residences. However, any discipline which resulted in fines or any damages to property were reported to the Bursar. Also, residence fees and applications for student loans or loan extensions, as well as summer residence applications, were handled by the Bursar. There was also some overlap in responsibilities, particularly as W.J. Little (Bursar, 1932-51) was Senior Tutor from 1924 to 1935 and Acting Senior Tutor from 1942 to 1946.

In the mid-1940s three extra areas of responsibility were added to the Bursar's work. In 1944, the Bursar became the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. W.J. Little comments in his 1945 annual report that he was convinced: that the most efficient and economical plan of operation is a centralised control with definite departmental organisation for the carrying out of the work [3].

The addition of Buildings and Grounds gave the Bursar control over all the non-academic departments of Victoria University. As Superintendent, the Bursar was responsible for the maintenance and repair of university buildings and had charge of the janitorial staff.

Also in the mid-1940s the Bursar became Secretary to the Board of Regents. It is not clear at what point this occurred. It was in 1935 that W.J. Little was first listed as present at a regular meeting of the Board of Regents [4]: previously he had attended only to answer questions in the financial report. In March 1936 Little was again listed, and described as Assessor [5]. Then in September 1936 Little was "re-appointed" as Minute Secretary to the Board [6]: there is no record of his original appointment as Minute Secretary. The Chancellor, E.W. Wallace, was Secretary to the Board, a position of some importance, whereas Little, as Minute Secretary, performed only minor administrative tasks. However, Little's appointment was significant, as before this the Minute Secretary had been appointed at each meeting of the Board from amongst their number. The transition from Minute Secretary to Secretary appears to have taken place around 1944-45, with the passing of the 1944 Victoria University Act. In practical terms, it may have occurred earlier, most likely after Principal Brown of Victoria College was appointed Acting Chancellor during Wallace's leave of absence, at which time there was a need to reduce Principal Brown's administrative workload [7].

The third additional responsibility in this period was the result of World War II and the Canadian Government's attempts to rehabilitate war veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs instituted a scheme to provide money for the tuition fees of veterans who chose to take up university or other training courses. The net result was an influx of students and complicated reports and claims to the Department of Veterans Affairs on behalf of students at Victoria. This was the precursor of the general schemes of Government grants to assist students in the payment of fees and living expenses.

The next series of changes in the Bursar's work occurred in the period 1950-52. W.J. Little mentioned in his annual report for 1950 that there were plans for a major re-organisation of the business department. He stated that:

This will involve the termination of the arrangement by which the bookkeeping of Victoria University was done by the National Trust Company; the organisation of a complete accounting division; and the segregation of the work relating to buildings and grounds [8].

The restructuring did indeed take place, but Little died before he was able to report on its workings. In the ensuing disruption, W.C. James, the Chairman of the Board of Regents, was persuaded to give up his public relations career and assume the post of Bursar. In doing so, W.C. James had written into his job description an extra responsibility for the publicity and public relations of Victoria University.

The immediate result of the public relations role was the production of a published booklet, Victoria Reports on a biannual basis, edited by the Bursar. It was included primarily for the members of the Board of Regents as a means of keeping them informed on current affairs in Victoria. However, it became widely read, particularly by the alumni who began to treat it as though produced for their benefit. The Bursar remained editor for some twenty years, but eventually, in 1972, the Bursar relinquished the publication to the alumni, and it was renamed Vic Reports.

The restructuring of the business administration saw the promotion of F.C. Stokes from Assistant Superintendent to Superintendent, and the separation of the posts of Bursar and Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. The Superintendent continued to use the Bursar's Office for secretarial and administrative support, but his files were held separately from the Bursar's. These files were accessioned in the Archives as 1987.173V. Concurrent with these changes, was the appointment of an Accountant, K.M. Dinsmore in 1950, and the establishment of an Accounting Department; the first since Little became Bursar in 1932 and gave up his post as Accountant. In 1951 the National Trust Company ceased to act as financial agent for Victoria University and the finance and accounting business was transferred to the new Accounting Department.

In 1961 the Management Consultants, Woods, Gordon & Co. were commissioned to draw up a detailed study of Victoria University's organisation and administration. They drew up a position description of the Bursar's post, and amongst the major responsibilities they listed were included the supervision of the Accounting Department, Buildings and Grounds and the "auxiliary enterprises" which referred principally to Residences and Food Services. The Bursar also made all banking arrangements for the University, edited Victoria Reports and dealt with loans to students and to academic staff. The position description identified new supervisory and personnel responsibilities. The Bursar directly supervised five members of staff whose work was only loosely connected with finance: the Living Endowment Clerk, the Graduate Records Clerk, the Book Bureau Manager, the Switchboard Operator and the Clerk Typist to the academic staff. The Bursar was also responsible for staff appointments and dismissals.

The last major development in the period covered by these records which affected the work and responsibilities of the Bursar occurred in 1974 with the Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Toronto and the federated institutions. This provided for new financial arrangements whereby the University of Toronto received the annual government grant which it then distributed among the federated institutions instead of their receiving the grant direct. At the same time the basis for grants to Victoria University was altered. Previously, as a church-related university, Victoria had received only a half-grant per student, but from 1974, under new Provincial rules, Victoria received a full grant for students in Victoria College while continuing to receive a half-grant for students in Emmanuel College. These two changes in funding structure made the fees work of the Bursar more complex. In particular the Bursar became heavily involved in negotiations with the other federated institutions and with the administration of the University of Toronto. As a result, more of the financial and accounting work was delegated to the Accountant, leaving the Bursar free to concentrate on policy issues and negotiations. A further consequence of the Memorandum of Agreement was the closer integration of the staff of Victoria with the staff of the University of Toronto, and this led to greater involvement in unions which in turn involved the Bursar more in personnel matters and labour relations.

Currently the Bursar is responsible for the management and overseeing of properties and buildings, maintenance and repair as well as auxiliary services such as food and catering, conference services and housekeeping.


1. Board of Regents Minutes, Sept. 30, 1920.

2. Ibid., Nov. 25, 1932.

3. Report of the Bursar and Superintendent, year ended June 30, 1945.

4. Board of Regents Minutes, June 13, 1935.

5. Ibid., March 12, 1936.

6. Ibid., Sept. 18, 1936.

7. Ibid., Nov. 2, 1939.

8. Report of the Bursar to the Board of Regents, year ended June 30, 1950.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the records from the Upper Canada Academy and the period when Victoria University (formerly College) was situated in Cobourg – it includes records of the Academy Treasurer, John Beatty and of the Bursars/Treasurers, John Potts and George Cox. Subsequent records are from the Bursars of Victoria University: W.J. Little (1932–1951), W.C. James (1951–1963), F.C. Stokes (1963–1985), Larry Kurtz, (1985–2003), and David Keeling (2004–2009).

Scope and content note for records in Accession 1987.180V

The material described in this inventory consists of 4 metres of records of the Bursar, 1932-1985, along with a few records of the Accountant, 1921-32. The main bulk of the material is business correspondence with other administrative officers and senior academic staff of Victoria University; with lawyers, financial agents and insurance agents; and with government agencies and other external organisations. The material also includes annual reports and some financial reports and financial records. The original office filing system was based on subject classification, with files arranged alphabetically within broad subject headings: these were "Finance", "Property", "Burwash Hall & Men's Residences", and "General". The filing system did not distinguish between those files generated by the Bursar in his various official roles and those generated as a result of private interests or other appointments.

For archival purposes the files have been grouped together under the main responsibilities of the Bursar and arranged alphabetically. The more significant groupings tend to contain a larger number of files, indicating the extent of the Bursar's work in these areas. Other groupings contain only a few files, or occasionally only one file. The file titles of individual files have been retained and included in the inventory.

Once the file series were identified the records were appraised on the basis of their historical value. Material relevant to the history of Victoria University and to the Bursar's Office in particular was retained. Material relevant to broad areas of historical interest, such as labour history or social history, was also retained. Files which had some value in revealing the functions and activities of the Bursar's Office but had little intrinsic historical value were sampled, generally on a five or ten year basis. These files consisted in the main of standardised forms or routine correspondence. A large number of files were weeded of duplicates and of routine material. Details of weeding and sampling are given in each file series description.

Certain file series were deemed to be irrelevant to the collection. Those which had no historical merit were destroyed. Those which had some relevance to other collections were transferred. The transferred file series are listed in Appendix I. They consist primarily of material generated by the private interests of individual Bursars, who used the secretarial services of the Bursar's Office for these matters and whose papers were therefore filed along with the records of the Bursar. Thus, the minutes and annual reports of the St. Christopher House were filed in the Bursar's Office, as F.L. Stokes was a director. Similarly, as W.C. James was business manager of the Canadian Journal of Theology, his records of that organization were filed with the Bursar's records. F.C. Stokes was the Session Clerk of Bloor Street United Church for some years, and used the secretarial services of the Bursar's Office to circulate notices and memos to members of the Session. All these papers along with the personal papers have been transferred elsewhere. Three other file series are separately accessioned and include material transferred from this collection. This is because the storage period in Emmanuel College basement permitted an accumulation of files on a haphazard basis. In the initial sorting of material, some obvious file series were accessioned separately and so material which belonged to these file series but had remained with the Bursar's general files were added to the other accessions. The file series are Victoria Reports, the Commission on University Government and the Bursar's Financial Statements.

The files appear to be reasonably complete for the period 1932-1985. The one major omission is the file series on Scholarships, Bursaries and Prizes, which has been retained by the Bursar's Office. The files contain the correspondence with the founders of Scholarship, Bursary and Prize funds and with donors to the funds, and also include correspondence with lawyers when the terms of bequests or funds were altered or re-interpreted.

Annual Reports, 1934-1984

Annual reports of the Bursar to the Board of Regents amplify and explain the financial statements and summarise the business administration of Victoria University. They are usually presented at the October meeting of the Board. They were produced after the financial year end, which was 31st July until 1934; then 30th June from 1935 to 1962; and thereafter 31st May. The files contain typed copies, some of which are annotated, and some draft versions.

Advertising, 1949-1979

Routine function of the Bursar's Office. Advertisements for lectures, convocations and special events were placed in the general and church press. Advertising of scholarships and of Victoria University was placed with the church press, and from 1956 to 1962 with high school year books.

Sample files have been retained for every tenth year. They contain letters, copies of adverts, proofs and accounts.

Alumni Associations,1921-1983

Until the amalgamation of the Alumni and Alumnae Associations of Victoria College and the creation of an Alumni Office, the Alumni Association of Victoria College was administered from the Bursar's Office. The Alumnae Association of Victoria and the Alumni-Alumnae Association of Emmanuel College were administered separately. W.J. Little was actively involved in the establishment of the Alumni Association of Victoria College in 1921 and remained Secretary-Treasurer until 1947 when he was elected President. He was succeeded as Secretary-Treasurer by F.C. Stokes, who held the post until 1962. Some Alumni files were held separately in the Bursar's Office and are accessioned as 87.298V. The files listed here were integrated with the Bursar's general files and were mainly generated by the activities of the Bursar as chief financial officer and business administrator of the University rather than the office that successive Bursars held in the Alumni Association. However, the files on the Alumni Association of Victoria College contain considerably more papers than the other files, and the distinction between the two offices is often blurred.

The files contain letters, minutes, lists of officials and papers relating to events and meetings. They have been weeded of duplicates and of circulars and newsletters. Routine material relating to Family Night and to class reunions has not been retained.

Archives, 1953-1984

Until 1984 the Archives of the United Church of Canada was a separate institution from Victoria University. The United Church paid rent to Victoria for the use of various premises on Victoria's campus, including from 1972 a part of the Birge-Carnegie Library building. The Archives of Victoria University were administered by the Librarian until 1984, at which point the holdings of both institutions were placed together and new arrangements were made for the joint financing and administration of the Archives by Victoria University and the United Church of Canada.

The Bursar dealt with routine rental payments and the receipt of grants for the United Church Archives. The Bursar was also involved with the negotiations over the removal of the United Church Archives from the Pratt Library to the Birge-Carnegie building in 1972-73 and the necessary renovations and conversion work; and was heavily involved in negotiations leading up to the 1984 arrangement on financing the Archives.

Files have been weeded of all routine material such as rental payments, and contain letters, reports, draft agreements and discussion papers relating to the location of the Archives, budget proposals staffing proposals and construction, maintenance and renovations.

Art Holdings, 1937-1982 See Also Picture Loan Society

Victoria University owns a collection of works of art, which include gifts donated by alumni, staff and friends; portraits of members of staff and others connected with Victoria, generally commissioned by Victoria or the alumni; and photographs. Files contain lists of works of art owned by Victoria, with valuations; letters relating to insurance coverage and claims, arrangements for the loan of paintings for exhibition; and correspondence with artists concerning exhibitions or commissions. Photographs in files 4/1 and 4/2 have been transferred to the Photo Archives.

Artifacts, 1949-1968

Victoria University owns a collection of artifacts and natural objects, many of which are housed by various museums. These files contain letters and lists relating to the donation of artifacts to Victoria and the loan of items for exhibition. (See also Art Holdings; Meteorite - Iron Creek).

Book Bureau, 1963-1977

The Bursar was responsible for the financial oversight of the Book Bureau, and the Manager of the Book Bureau reported to the Bursar. This file contains notes, reports and letters.

Buildings and Grounds, 1922-1982

The Bursar was concerned with the financial administration of the maintenance, repair and construction work on buildings and grounds. As Secretary to the Finance Committee and to the special building committees, the Bursar was also involved with the implementation of committee decisions. The Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, who dealt with the practical administration of personnel and plant, reported to the Bursar. From 1944 to 1951 the Bursar, W.J. Little, also held the position of Superintendent. In 1949 F.C. Stokes was appointed Assistant Superintendent and on W.J. Little's death became Superintendent, which post he held until appointed Bursar in 1963.

The files generated by these activities and by the overlap of responsibilities are extensive and diverse. All files containing plans or information on structural alterations have been retained. Routine material, relating to the replacement of furnishings and equipment or the regular maintenance of grounds has been destroyed. Samples of files containing the Superintendent's correspondence with the Bursar have been retained for every fifth year, but it should be noted that the Superintendent used the Bursar's Office for secretarial support. Records of the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds have been accessioned separately under 87.173V.

Committees, 1967-1984

As Secretary to the Board of Regents the Bursar was also Secretary to all special and standing committees of the Board, and these files are accessioned separately. The Bursar was also a member of various university and college committees. The files generated by his membership of these committees or by their consultation of him as chief financial advisor, contain letters, minutes, memos and agendas.

Corner Stone, Cobourg, 1953-1955

Attempt to identify the original corner stone of Victoria University (Upper Canada Academy) at Cobourg, which has a scroll and some artifacts embedded in it. File contains letters.

Events, 1931-1981

The Bursar's Office dealt with many of the arrangements for convocations, installations, special dinners, lectures and other special events. Catering, seating arrangements, deployment of personnel, publicity and finance were all part of the routine work of the Bursar's Office. Only papers relating to the installations of Chancellors, Presidents and Principals have been retained, along with papers relating to the official openings of new buildings. The files contain programmes, tickets, lists of guests and letters relating to organisational arrangements. Photographs in File 7/9 have been transferred to the Photo Archives.

Films, 1972-1985

Victoria University buildings were frequently used for commercial films and occasionally for feature films. Files contain correspondence and contracts regarding the use of buildings and compensation for additional work by Victoria staff resulting from filming. (See also Archives, File 3/10).

Fund Raising - General, 1936-1983

Victoria University received some funding from the United Church of Canada and after 1945 from government grants, but much of its income was derived from property, endowments, investments, and from fund-raising campaigns. Major campaigns were initiated by the Board of Regents, most often to finance capital outlay in the way of the construction of new buildings or residences, and also to endow scholarship funds. Frequent appeals were made to the alumni for contributions to funds, and other methods of raising money through church and other groups or organisations were explored. In addition, fund-raising was encouraged as an appropriate means of honouring someone connected with Victoria, either at retirement or upon death as a memorial. As a result, a large number of scholarship funds were set up on the initiative of relatives or friends.

The Bursar administered all these types of funds. Control of capital fund-raising remained with the Board of Regents through a sub-committee of which the Bursar invariably was Secretary. Capital campaigns initiated by the University of Toronto and in which Victoria participated were also the responsibility of the Bursar, who acted as a liaison between Victoria and the University of Toronto and dealt with the routine accounting and administrative business. The Bursar was also involved in appeals publicity and public relations, particularly with fund-raising appeals to the alumni such as the Living Endowment. And the Bursar also administered all the individual funds set up for short-term projects or for small memorials.

The files included in the Fund Raising - General series range from long-term publicity campaigns to short-term projects. The Bequest Booklet files contain correspondence with lawyers, members of the Board of Regents and ministers, and drafts and copies of the booklet. This was a campaign to encourage lawyers to put forward Victoria University to clients as an appropriate place to designate a bequest. The Church Budgets Campaign similarly was a long-term publicity project to encourage congregations to include Victoria in their regular donations budget. The Associates of the University of Toronto was an organisation set up in the United States to channel income for deductible donations from United States' residents to the University of Toronto and this file contains correspondence with Victoria University concerning the ability of individual donors to specify the college to which they wished to give the money. The Akhenaten Temple Film Project file deals with a fund established to finance a film by an archaeological dig. The Lang and Holling Trust Fund files contain letters and information on the establishment of these funds. The Policy Reports file contains material relating to the proposal to support a development officer.

Fund-Raising - Building & Capital Funds, 1922-1985

Victoria University launched campaigns to fund most capital projects and to pay off accumulated debts. In particular, between 1918 and 1945 Victoria faced a serious problem of debt. The Endowment Fund of 1918 and the Deficit Appeal of 1923-26 were intended to stabilise the financial position, but the need for a new college following the 1925 union led to a new appeal for the Emmanuel Building Fund. As this appeal was based on subscriptions promised over a period of years, and Victoria borrowed heavily on these promises, the 1929 stock market crash and subsequent depression put Victoria back into debt. The Centenary Fund was an appeal to pay off this debt on unpaid subscriptions and to establish additional annual income. There were still unpaid subscriptions after 1945, and so both the 1918 Endowment Fund and the Victoria-Emmanuel Building Fund were closed and payments transferred to other funds. The files contain letters, appeal publicity, financial statements, reports, lists of subscribers and notes.

Fund-Raising - University of Toronto Capital Campaigns, 1958-1979

Victoria University participated in the University of Toronto Capital Fund-Raising campaigns. Each of the federated institutions allowed the University of Toronto to co-ordinate the appeals, publicity and administration contributed towards the work involved, and allowed its alumni to be contacted under the umbrella of the University of Toronto. The federated institutions received a pro-rated share of funds raised, disbursed to them at regular intervals.

Files in this series contain correspondence, minutes and notes relating to the establishment of the funds and the extent of Victoria's participation, along with samples of routine disbursement letters and acknowledgements.

Fund-Raising - Scholarships, 1926-1983

The Bursar administrated funds set up for scholarships, bursaries and prizes. He collected and acknowledged donations of some funds, but principally he managed the investment of the funds and disbursed the income as directed. He was also involved in the administration and promotion of the major alumni fundraising campaigns for the endowment and support of scholarships.

Files relating to individual scholarships, bursaries and prizes remain with the Bursar's Office for current administrative purposes. Files deposited here are of the major alumni fund-raising activities.

Victoria College Alumni Fund and its successors, the Living Endowment and the Varsity Fund were annual campaigns. Representatives from each graduating class were responsible for encouraging members of that class to donate. These representatives were invited to a dinner at Victoria University to launch the Living Endowment campaign. For a period the Living Endowment and the Varsity Fund, which was a University of Toronto campaign, were promoted together but eventually the Varsity Fund took over full administration of fund-raising and only the name the Living Endowment was retained. The files generated by these funds contain lists of graduates, publicity material, subscription lists, donations and acknowledgements. They have been sampled on an approximate five year basis, along with files relating to the establishment of each fund. Victoria Women's Association provided funding on an annual basis for scholarships, and these files contain financial statements and letters from the Bursar for use in the annual appeal, describing the circumstances of students who had been assisted by this fund in the previous years. These files have also been retained on a five year sampling basis.

Gifts to Victoria University, 1979-1985

From 1979 it was possible to issue receipts for income tax purposes to persons who donated gifts to institutions holding charitable status. The majority of the gifts made to Victoria University were books and manuscripts given to the library, but they also included a pulpit gown, bedspreads and paintings. The files contain letters acknowledging the gifts and valuations and some details of the gifts.

Government Grants, 1952-1978

As a church-related institution which was federated with the University of Toronto, participated in the Toronto School of Theology, and awarded graduate degrees, Victoria University's position with regard to government grants was complex. The first award of government grants to universities was under the Department of Veterans Affairs following World War II, when universities were given grants to assist with the extra burden of additional students entitled to university education by virtue of their participation in the war effort. These grants were issued to the University of Toronto and the federated institutions on a 40% - 60% basis. Government grants were instituted on a regular basis by the federal government in 1951 - 1952 and taken over by the provincial governments in 1966. Initially no awards were made to church-related institutions, and so Victoria University received grants only for Victoria College. Later church-related institutions were partially funded.

These files contain material relating to grant applications, negotiations on the status of the federated institutions in the University of Toronto, graduate and theological studies, provincial and federal government information, and statistics and financial information compiled for grant applications. Many of the files contain photocopied material related to negotiations involving the Presidents and Principals of the University of Toronto and the federated institutions. The Bursar was involved as chief financial advisor to the President of Victoria. Routine letters, mainly relating to the receipt of cheques, have been weeded. A Commission on the Financing of Higher Education was set up by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and the files on this body contain submissions and comment from Victoria University.

This series also contains files on grant applications to the Canada Council. Material on capital projects has been retained, while grant applications for faculty members have been disposed of.

Investment Policy, 1976-1979

Correspondence, articles and minutes relating to social responsibility in investments for the United Church of Canada and affiliated or related institutions, including Victoria University.

Labour Relations, 1967-1981

Victoria University teaching staff were members of the University of Toronto Association of Teaching Staff and the Canadian Association of University Teachers. The Bursar's Office routinely handled payroll deductions for membership fees and these files have been destroyed.

Victoria University maintenance and clerical staff were approached by several trade unions with a view to establishing a branch and gaining confirmation as a recognised trade union at Victoria. During this period, the staff and business administration of Victoria University chose not to certify. The files generated by these processes contain letters, circulars; evidence and judgements of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, correspondence with lawyers and questionnaires.

The Office Association of Victoria University was an association of clerical staff set up as a formal means of communication between staff and the senior administration officers and to provide a social focus for office staff. It dealt with office procedures and working practices and staff benefits. The files contain minutes, letters, circulars and notes relating to the establishment of the Association and ongoing business.

The Graduate Assistants' Association also sought formal certification as a trade union at Victoria. These files contain bargaining proposals, letters and circulars relating to negotiations on salaries and benefits.

Legal Correspondence, 1941-1986

The Bursar was responsible for liaison with Victoria University's lawyers on matters relating to property and finance. This included bequests to Victoria, taxation and assessments on property, occupation of property by tenants, trust deeds, alterations to the Victoria University Act and the estates of former members of staff. Files have been weeded and representative material retained.

Meteorite - Iron Creek, 1972

A meteorite, discovered in Iron Creek, Alberta, in the possession of Mohawks was given to Victoria University in 1869 by the Rev. George McDougall. This file documents the request by the Government of Alberta to have the meteorite returned, and its removal from the Royal Ontario Museum to Alberta Provincial Museum and Archives on permanent loan.

Officers of Victoria University, 1939-1963

These files contain letters and memos sent between the Bursar and the senior administrative and academic staff. The Bursar was in contact with these offices and others on a daily basis and most of the communications between them would be verbal. When an officer was absent from the university, particularly during vacations or sabbatical leave, communication was written, and this provides indications of the range of activities undertaken by the Bursar for senior staff. The most extensive files are those on the President, as the Bursar reported to the President and undertook various duties in the administration of the university when the President was absent. The files have been weeded of ephemeral material, but some representative samples have been retained.

Picture Loan Society, 1969 (Art Holdings)

Correspondence and lists relating to the estate of Douglas M. Duncan, whose Picture Loan Society lent pictures to the Men's Residences during 1960-65. Attempt by Canada Permanent Trust Co. to retrieve pictures, and claim by Victoria that pictures were previously returned.

Prince Philip Medal, 1963-1964

Correspondence and invoices relating to the commissioning of the design for the Prince Philip Medal (General Science Award at Victoria University), orders placed for copies and the sale of the original casting and one medal for exhibition purposes.

Professional Associations, 1941-1984

The Bursars of Victoria University were actively involved in the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers and in the Canadian Association of University Business Officers. Membership of both these associations was dependent on the institution represented: members were admitted on the basis of the position they held within a recognised university or college.

The Eastern Association of College and University Business Offices (EACUBO) was founded in 1920 and covered the eastern seaboard of the United States and Eastern Canada. W.J. Little was one of the Canadian members, and Victoria in conjunction with the University of Toronto, hosted one of the annual conferences in 1950. Active participation declined as the Bursars became more involved with the Canadian Association.

The Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) began with two one-day conferences, hosted by Victoria and the University of Toronto in 1937 and 1942, on the initiative of W.J. Little, Bursar of Victoria. The third conference at Montreal in 1944 saw the formation of the CAUBO. The minutes of the first six conferences are accessioned as 87.177V. W.J. Little and W.C. James both held positions in the executive committee of the CAUBO, as did Victoria's Controller (formerly Accountant) Keith Dinsmore; while the Chief Accountant, W. Teal was also a member.

The files generated by these memberships contained letters, questionnaires, statistics, conference minutes and paper, newsletters and bulletins, minutes of executive meetings and memos and accounts. These have been weeded, and only material relating specifically to Victoria or to conferences held at Victoria or to the activities of Victoria staff within the EACUBO or CAUBO have been retained.

Property, 1932-1985

Victoria University owns lands and property both for the purposes of housing its academic and related activities, and as a means of producing additional income for the University. In addition to the University buildings, this property includes land and buildings on Charles St. West, Bloor Street, and the vicinity, which are used to house University staff or are leased for commercial development. The University also owns property and land scattered throughout Toronto and in other parts of Canada. Over the years, Victoria developed a policy of acquiring land and property in the vicinity of the University buildings in order to maintain some control over development in the area. The University also takes a serious interest in alterations to neighbouring property and any zoning or planning schemes prepared by the municipal government.

The Bursar was responsible for administering properties owned by Victoria and for maintaining Victoria's interest in property developments which affected the University. Policy decisions were the responsibility of the Property and Finance Committees of the Board of Regents, ratified by the Board, and the Bursar as Secretary to the committees, was responsible for implementing their decisions and for advising the committees. The files relating to the Property and Finance Committees are separately accessioned as 87.103V.

The files generated by the Bursar's activities in property and land administration are very extensive and form a major part of the Bursar's records. There are a number of unrelated files which deal with individual property questions, but the majority fall into three main categories: planning and development; management and rentals; and acquisitions and sales. The individual files include correspondence files with the provincial and municipal authorities over the University's exemption from property taxation on buildings used for academic purposes. A large number of files which held property assessment forms have not been retained. Also in the individual files are correspondence files relating to the President's official residence, 51 Binscarth Road. The planning and development file series contains mainly correspondence with the municipal authorities and the University's lawyers, and deal both with the University's alterations to its land and property and with alterations which affected the University. The management and rentals file series concerns the management of income-producing property mainly in the vicinity of the University buildings. Generally, this property was rented to individuals, or leased to property developers who built apartment blocks and shopping malls. The Bursar's Office was responsible for the management of these properties and its receipt of rentals. This was done both by the direct supervision of the Bursar's Office and through management companies. W.H. Bosley & Sons managed most of this property until 1955. In October 1956 the Chartered Trust Company was appointed to manage property and receive rents. From 1963 until 1974 the Bursar's Office managed the properties directly and then in 1974 W.H. Bosley & Sons were re-appointed to manage most of the properties but the Bursar's Office retained responsibility for certain properties. The files contained mainly rental receipts and so only samples have been retained in a five year basis along with those files pertaining to the periods when management changed hands. In addition, any file containing leases or copy leases has also been retained. The file series on acquisitions and sales contain correspondence with lawyers and with former owners or prospective buyers and their lawyers. This series includes the complicated negotiations on behalf of the United Church Training School (Covenant College) to buy property owned by the Toronto Ladies Club. Photographs in File 16/8 have been transferred to the Photo Archives.

Publications, 1927-1970

The Bursar dealt with the financing, accounting, distribution and sales of various publications of Victoria University, principally the booklets written in memorial of former faculty and staff members, and histories of Victoria. These files contain letters, accounts and lists relating to the publication and distribution of pamphlets and books. The files on C.B. Sisson's History of Victoria University also contain pre-publication typescripts and evaluations.

In addition, the Bursar dealt with two other periodicals: The Canadian Journal of Theology was an external publication, for which W.C. James acted as Treasurer from its inception in 1953 until 1960, and these files have been transferred to the United Church Archives. Victoria Reports was a publication founded by W.C. James in 1951 to provide a bi-annual report to the members of the Board of Regents. For the twenty years of its existence Victoria Reports was edited by the Bursar. The periodical was gradually taken over by the alumni, who also wanted news of Victoria, and so Victoria Reports was replaced in 1971 by Vic Reports which was set up as an alumni publication. (See Appendix I for location of records pertaining to Victoria Reports.)

Publicity, 1938-1952

This series contains files relating to separate attempts to publicise Victoria University or its colleges with no direct financial gain anticipated as a result.

Dr. Stapleford was appointed assistant to the Chancellor and President in 1938 and undertook speaking tours, preaching mainly in United Church congregations, to publicise Victoria.

The Victoria Movie, Victoria Leaflet and the Public Relations Programme were schemes initiated by W.C. James while Bursar. W.C. James had been a public relations consultant prior to his appointment as Bursar.

Residences and Food Services, 1924-1985

The Bursar was responsible for the financial administration of the residences and food services during term-time and for the administration and management of the residences during the vacations. Several reorganisations in staff structure took place over the period covered by these papers, but throughout, the senior residence staff reported to the Bursar. The Bursar was also responsible for liaison with the Senior Tutor/Dean of Men and with the Dean of Women for matters relating to the students in residences. W.J. Little (Bursar, 1932-51) was Senior Tutor from 1927 to 1935; and was again Acting Senior Tutor from 1942 to 1946, while the Senior Tutor, R.G. Riddell, was on leave of absence to the Dept. of External Affairs and the United Nations. The files generated by the Bursar's responsibilities for residences and food services are extensive and varied. Files on the Dietician and Food Services Management deal primarily with personnel matters, and contain reports, memos and correspondence. Until 1982, Victoria ran its own catering services, centred in Burwash Hall, but in 1982 the decision was made to use an external catering service, detailed in the Food Services Management files. The Bursar also looked after the financial affairs of the Senior Common Room, membership of which was open to academic staff. This file contains financial statements, lists of members and examples of routine circulars issued by the Bursar. The Bursar was involved in any proposals to change or upgrade residence accommodation for students and two files contain reports dealing with this. The three main series contain the routine administrative work concerning Stephenson House, the Women's Residence and Burwash Hall and Men's Residences. Files on Stephenson House have been retained intact (with duplicates weeded) as the co-operative house was an unusually early example of its kind: the files contain financial statements and correspondence. The Women's Residence files have been weeded of duplicates and routine circulars concerning regulations and meal times and contain lists of residents and correspondence between the Bursar and Dean of Women, and correspondence with senior residence staff. The Burwash Hall and Men's Residence files were more extensive as the Bursar took a more active post in the administration, and so these files have been retained for the early period, when W.J. Little was Bursar and had intermittent responsibilities as Senior Tutor, and have been sampled on a five year basis for the remaining period, with additional files retained where the material warrants. In addition, one file of W.J. Little as Senior Tutor has been retained.

Files relating to vacation use of the residences, which contained invoices, accounts and correspondence with conference groups, have not been retained.

Staff, 1934-1984

The Bursar's office dealt with salaries, insurance schemes and pensions of all the staff of Victoria University, including academic, administrative, clerical, maintenance and residence staff. The Bursar often went beyond the routine in taking responsibility for the financial affairs of individual staff members; for example of those on leave of absence in the armed forces during the 1940s. On the personnel side, the Bursar was ultimately responsible for the non-academic staff and the Accountant, who was the Personnel Officer, reported to the Bursar. The Bursar and Accountant were involved in encouraging the establishment of a staff social club and the Bursar's Office financed annual social events.

Routine salary payments, notices of deductions and pension arrangements have not been retained. Files contain correspondence with staff, personnel position descriptions, circulars, catering arrangements, and correspondence with government agencies.

Toronto School of Theology, 1969-1971

Emmanuel College is a member college of the Toronto School of Theology. The Bursar's office was involved in the financial discussions when T.S.T. was established and the funding contributions of each member college were agreed.

The file retained here contains correspondence relating to the initial funding of T.S.T. and Emmanuel College's involvement. The T.S.T. annual reports which were sent to the Bursar's office have not been retained.

United Church of Canada, 1925-1984

The Bursar's main concern with the United Church of Canada was the receipt of grants based on the number of students who were candidates for the ordained ministry of the United Church. These included students at Victoria College as well as at Emmanuel College. The United Church provided a major source of funds for Victoria University. The Bursar was required to send financial reports to the Board of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and its successor the Board of Christian Education. As a significant number of the academic staff were United Church ministers, the Bursar also dealt with the United Church in relation to their pension fund and other benefits.

Files contain correspondence with students and with the relevant Boards of the United Church, financial statements and supporting material.

Veterans, 1945-1950

The Canadian Government through the Department of Veterans Affairs issued grants to universities to pay for the tuition fees of veterans of the armed forces taking up degree courses following the end of the Second World War. The United States operated a similar scheme and reciprocal arrangements were made for Commonwealth students under schemes instituted by their governments. The lists of payments relating to individual students have been retained but the files have been weeded of the student forms which were completed for each student. Files on non-Canadian grants have been retained in their entirety. These files were formerly accessioned as 87.175V.

Vic Teach-In, 1981

In 1981 Victoria held a one-day open conference entitled "Give Us This Day" to acquaint members of the Victoria community with the problems facing Victoria and to solicit ideas and suggestions for future planning. The file contains the texts of addresses on real estate resources, and the financial position and prospects as well as statistics, agenda for the day and arrangements.

War-Time Administration, 1940-1946

The files collected together in this series relate to the additional burdens placed on Victoria University by the Second World War. The files contain mainly correspondence along with some circulars and notices.

General, 1928-1984

Each successive Bursar maintained several series of files in which general papers were placed. These were variously entitled Bursar, Bursar Personal, Miscellaneous, Victoria College, Victoria University and Emmanuel College. These files contain much ephemeral - replies to individual students or their parents concerning payment of fees, orders placed with magazines, vacation use of residences, responses to queries from businesses or other universities. The files have been extensively weeded, and only items of potential historical interest have been retained. These include references to communism and immigration, to the funding of the Canadian Association of Business Officers and to Victoria University policy on pensions, sabbatical leave and administration of the residences. As this is contained in correspondence, much of the material is more succinct and clear than information contained in minutes of the Board of Regents or in other files of this collection.

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Introduction to records in Accession 1987.180V:

The records consist of 4 metres of material from the Bursar's Office of Victoria University. It includes four accessions, numbered as 87.175V, 87.179V, 87.180V and 87.223V. The first three accessions were held in a storage area in the basement of Emmanuel College until transferred to the Archives in 1986. The fourth accession was transferred directly from the Bursar's Office to the Archives in 1987. All four accessions were originally part of the general filing system in the Bursar's Office, and were combined under the single number 87.180V during the arrangement and description process. Originally the records measured about 18 metres in linear extent, but were reduced by extensive weeding after appraisal, and by the transfer of certain files to other collections (see Appendix I).
The records include the files of three incumbents of the post of Bursar: W.J. Little (1932-1951), W.C. James (1951-1963) and F.C. Stokes (1963-1985). It also includes some files of W.J. Little dating from the period during which he was Accountant (1921-32), prior to his appointment as Bursar.

The records of all three Bursars which were generated by their activities as Secretary to the Board of Regents have been separately accessioned (See Appendix II). These records consist primarily of material relating to the various standing and special committees of the Board of Regents. These files were originally maintained in the same general filing system as the records listed in this inventory, and there is some overlap between the two groups of files.
The arrangement and description of the records in this inventory was made possible by a grant from the Canadian Council of Archives through its Arrangement and Description Backlog Reduction Programme. The work was carried out by Elspeth Reid under the supervision of Mark van Stempvoort in the autumn of 1987.

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Restrictions on access

There is a general restriction on access to all records of Victoria University for a period of thirty years from the date of their creation. Application for access to the Bursar's records within this period should be made to the Bursar's Office.
Records marked with RR are restricted

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Associated materials

Records transferred to other locations:

Bursar's Records Series New Location:
St. Christopher House St. Christopher House Archives

Bloor St. United Church United Church Archives (Accession 87.300L)
Canadian Journal of Theology United Church Archives


Further accruals are expected.

General note

1987.180V-23-6 has been culled
1987.180V-23-4 and 1987.180V-24-5 were re-located to the Registrar's Office and are available under accession 2018.02V

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Added by MO: May 31, 2016
Revised by ECN: April 27, 2017

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