Department of History
History: The study of history often becomes entangled with ancient and classical studies since, after all, there is a certain degree of 'history' involved in the scholarship of these subjects. The study of more generalized history may have begun at the University of New Brunswick in 1861 with a mandatory class studying Tytler's Universal History in each year of an arts degree. However this was an immense body of work that covered subjects ranging from Ancients times up until the 17th Century; the name of the class was simply 'Chronology and History', and it would be difficult to suppose what parts of Tytler were being studied. By the year 1886, general history became a stream of study available to honours students for the first time, but still fell under the heading of 'Classical Literature and History'. Although the study of history has existed at the university since its inception, the subject never grew beyond two or three vague general courses, depending on the year, the poorly attended honours program, and courses that were specifically of a classical nature. Furthermore, this discipline always fell into an amalgamated department shared with the likes of 'Classical Literature' and 'English'. This entanglement persisted until the creation of a separate chair in 1938, and with the evolution of an autonomous Department of History, changes were made offering non-honours students three modern and focused history courses in three separate years for the first time. The chair of the department, Dr. Alfred G. Bailey, expanded the history courses offered at the university and the following year, the curriculum was amended to allow students to take a history course in any of the four years in an arts degree and the number of courses offered was expanded to eleven subjects.
As the Department of History developed, Dr. Bailey created an introductory course in anthropology within the History Department in 1940 that was the first of its kind in the Atlantic Provinces. The focus on the field of anthropology grew over the subsequent fifteen years with more classes being added, and in the release of the academic calendar of 1954-55, although Dr. Bailey's chair was still titled 'History', the department in the calendar was named 'History and Anthropology'. In the years following, the department took on the name of 'History and Anthropology' and it remained this way until the academic year of 1968-69 when the History department chair was once again established as a singular entity. The course offerings grew to forty history classes in the 1970-71 year, and over the course of the decade that number would double with there being over eighty classes offered in 1978-79. In the 1970s came the creation of sub-headings within the Department of History that included European, Canadian, American, British, and Art Histories. By 2010 there were over one-hundred and fifty history courses offered at the university. The History Department was also responsible for the creation of a journal on the history of the Atlantic region entitled [Acadiensis] which was first published in 1971.
Physical location: Tilley Hall
Notes: Dr. Bailey introduced the study of Anthropology at U.N.B. because he believed that history students who did not have an opportunity to study in that field were at a disadvantage.
The year that a certain department was established can be a subjective figure. For the purpose of this wiki, the year that a department is considered first established is the first year it was listed in the academic calendar as an independent chair with no other affiliation, unless there is documentation to demonstrate otherwise.
- UNB Calendars (UA RG 86), 1862, 1886-1890, 1939, 1970-1980, 2010.
- UA Case 106; Section 4; Alfred G. Bailey, Origins of the Study of History in the University of New Brunswick.
- Frank, David. "((@http://www.lib.unb.ca/Texts/Acadiensis/bin/get.cgi?/&filename=Article1.htm%7CAcadiensis: 1901-1999))" (paper presented to the Organization of American Historians, Toronto, 1999).
© UNB Archives & Special Collections, 2012