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Archival description
Concordia University Library, Special Collections Series
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Instructional records

Series contains prescriptions for ailments, notes regarding waterproofing of various garments, research notes, sheets of poetry, religious documents including hymns and a book of saints, and a handwritten math textbook from Scotland, which covers addition, notations, subtraction, multiplication, division, reduction, the rule of three, the rule of five, and a practice section.


Series contains one leather wallet and a tin box, which held the wallet. The wallet previously held correspondence.

Research material on Sir William Hale Hingston

The material was collected by Alan Hustak for the writing of Sir William Hingston 1829-1907 : Montreal mayor, surgeon and banker, published in Montreal by Price-Patterson in 2004.
The series gives information about Sir William Hingston and his family. Besides, it illustrates the author’s research as part of the writing process.

The series includes without limitations reference documentation, newspaper clippings, images, manuscripts, booklets and correspondence. Most of the material are reproductions.

Attestations, wills, and certificates

Material consists of family members and friends’ last wills and testaments, appointment of tutorship of children, the transfer of funds, contracts regarding payment dates, a diploma of Teacher of a Model School, grades, insurance policies, fire policies, and the sale of property.

Financial records

Series consists of records relating to payment and receipt of various taxes and bills. The material includes receipts from the City of Montreal’s Treasurer Office for City Dues, municipal receipts for Côte St- Louis, (now Mile End in Montreal), insurance payment receipts, payment for household furnishings, and heating bills.

Victoria Toll Bar

Series contains records relating to the Victoria Toll Bar on Victoria Road probably located in Montreal. Material consists of a deed of lease, toll payment grid from the Turnpike Trust, receipts of payment, instructions regarding how the toll bar functions, and a list of tolls to be paid.

Research on Montreal Music Activity

Mr. Robertson had many research subjects. Among them was one regarding musical activities in Montreal. He worked extensively on a list of all the performers, Canadian or not, who appeared in Montreal between 1913 and 1970. To achieve this task, he went through newspapers covering that period, including: La Presse, The Montreal Gazette, The Montreal Star, The Montreal Herald, The Montreal Standard, and La Patrie, The Montreal Daily. He compiled two lists, one alphabetical and the other chronological, both of which include the dates and places of performance. A database has been established to enter this data in the computer. It is accessible by: Entertainer's Name, Date of Performance, and Venue.

In addition to Montreal music activity, Mr. Robertson investigated other show business areas, such as: American vaudeville artists, Vaudeville artists, Rock n'roll bands, Montreal's musicians and bands, American comedy, Country music, Dance music, Dixieland jazz band, Quebec's burlesque theater, and Who's who in jazz.

This series also includes Mr. Robertson's research notes on all those subjects and the lists that he established.


The series includes objects collected by or donated to the St. Patrick’s Society.

The series contains 5 St. Patrick’s Society badges, 2 ribbons, 2 spikes taken from the old floor of St. Patrick’s Church in Montreal, and 3 pieces of stone taken from headstones and the Kilmainham Goal Wall to commemorate the Irish uprising in 1916. Also included is a stained-glass window from the Father Dowd Memorial Home, completed in 1869 as a home for the aged, infirm, and the homeless.

Research on Labels and Series

Mr. Robertson did extensive research on record labels pressed in Lachine by the Compo Company Limited. His objectives were to correct the inaccuracies often found in the record catalogues and to find out which musicians recorded under more than one name, either in Canada or another country. He achieved three lists of numericals: (1) The Apex 8000 Numerical, (2) Canadian Compo Numericals, and (3) Canadian Gennett and Starr-Gennett 9000 Numerical. Some of this work was done with the help of George Humble and many of his other correspondents. Mr. Robertson's work on numericals was partly published in The Record Research, a periodical, in 1983 and 1986. This series includes Mr. Robertson's documentation, research notes and lists.

Mr. Robertson used various materials to complete his research; record catalogues and pamphlets, periodicals and books. These have been filed in alphabetical order and are described in the following categories: (1) Record Catalogs and Brochures, (2) Periodicals, and (3) Annotated Books.

Mr. Robertson collected many record catalogs and brochures to work on his lists of numericals. In them he found a lot of inaccuracies and tried to correct them in his final lists. This category includes all the catalogues and brochures collected by Mr. Robertson. They have been organized into 7 sections: (1) Record Companies, (2) Independent Companies, (3) Independent Dealers, (4) Public Bodies, (5) Radio Stations, (6) Record Clubs, and (7) Sheetmusic Catalogues. Within each of these sections, the material is organized alphabetically by company and then, chronologically.

Mr. Robertson collected many music periodicals. Some of them are specifically about jazz. This category includes all the periodicals kept in the Archives. They are classified chronologically. A list of the discarded periodicals is also available.

Mr. Robertson collected many books to help him in his research. Those which he annotated have been kept in the Archives. This category includes a listing of these books.

The collection contains about 1000 78 rpm records, most of which were pressed in Montreal by Berliner and Compo. Berliner was the first canadian record production company and Compo was the first one to produce black musician's records. A database was established to list and provide access to the records. The data can be accessed by: Item number, Company, Label, Catalog number, Title, Type of music, Recording artist, and Composer.

The Alex Robertson collection contains about 3000 pieces of sheet music, which include various kinds of music, such as jazz, popular, country, contemporary and classical. About 1000 of them have a canadian content; i.e. the music was written by a canadian author, published in Canada, or the sheet music was sold by a canadian store or had an insert that would confirm it was originally performed by a canadian artist. The computer program was established to list and provide access to the sheet music. The data can be accessed by: Item number, Title, Composer, Lyricist, Names in comments, Publisher, Place of publication, Type of music, Copyright date, and Photo on cover.

Administrative records

The series provides information on the evolution, general organization and history of the St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal, mainly through official documents, minutes of meetings, and general correspondence.

The series contains constitutions and by-laws, minutes of meetings, committee files, annual reports, and general correspondence. Minutes of meetings include president’s reports from annual meetings, special meeting minutes such as from the grants committee or cultural committee, and some copies of financial reports. Some copies of annual financial records are also within the meeting files. The correspondence files document the activities and administration of the Society and its relations with individuals and organizations, such as the United Irish Societies of Montreal.


The series documents the Society’s membership and its membership processes. Over time the Society changed the requirements of membership in its constitution to allow more new members to join.

The series contains printed directories of members, membership lists, applications for membership, voting lists, and correspondence regarding membership to the society.


The series documents the events held or sponsored by the St. Patrick’s Society, including the annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon, the annual ball, testimonial dinners, Christmas parties, and its participation in some special projects, including the renovation of the Thomas D’Arcy McGee monument in the Côtedes-Neiges cemetery in 1949. The first annual luncheon was given on March 17th, 1834. The annual ball is given on the nearest Friday to March 17. The Society also sponsored the St. Patrick Development Foundation, a non-profit housing project for seniors that is now St. Patrick Square.

The series includes correspondence, invitations, programs, menus, press clippings, and photographs.

Business records

Series consists of materials concerning the town of Saint-Malachie and the O'Farrell Family's general store. Documents include a tax roll, 2 ledgers, correspondence, and notes. The tax roll for the town of Saint-Malachie, likely saved by James O'Farrell who served as the Secretary Treasurer for the town, documents the taxes paid on different parcels of land (information is organized by land parcel, or "rang"). 2 ledgers, notes, and correspondence document transactions at the O'Farrell Family's general store in Saint-Malachie. The ledgers, organized according to the name of individuals or families list purchases made, balances due, and how debts were paid. Correspondence, notes, and loose ledger pages also document the activities of the general store.

Technique books, manuals, tutors, methods

In this series are music technique books, tutors, methods, and manuals. Topics covered include saxophone and clarinet performance, as well as arranging, harmony, chords, scoring, ad-libbing and improvising, sight-reading, ear training, conducting, recording and mixing, and performance of various genres such as blues and rock and roll, and others.

Personal records

Series consists of 4 diaries written by Mary Bridget O'Farrell. The diaries document the life of Mary Bridget O'Farrell, as well as that of the O'Farrell family.


Series contains 364 photographs, many of which serve to document life in Montreal during the 1930s through to the 1970s.

The Adams family and Sur Rodney (Sur)’s personal life

The series documents Sur Rodney (Sur)’s childhood in Montreal and his family background, illustrating the life of a black family in Montreal in the second half of the 20th century. Most of the documents have been collected by Jean [Gertrude Peters] Gordon.
The series contains correspondence between Sur Rodney (Sur) and his parents, Desmond Adams and Jean Adams, and documents related to family members, namely Desmond Rupert Adams, Sur Rodney (Sur)’s grandmother Hazel Irene Pierce, and Rodney’s brother David Adams. Several photo albums illustrate Sur Rodney’s childhood and his larger family. This series also contains documents related to the Negro Community Centre (NCC) and Union United Church, which both were frequented by family members, as well as Expo 67 and the Watchtower Society. Furthermore, the series informs about Sur Rodney (Sur)’s name change and his marriage to Geoffrey Hendricks.

The series includes, but is not limited to, correspondence, photographs, leaflets, programs, flyers, forms, diploma, passports and other pieces of identification, artwork, postcards, brochures, newspaper clippings, a scrapbook and an autograph book.

Published and manuscript music

The series consists of the print and manuscript music library accumulated from various sources by Herb Johnson, as well as the hundreds of pieces of music he arranged and transcribed. The series documents Herb Johnson's professional activity as an instrumentalist; as a leader of quartets, nonettes, and other combos, as well as orchestras including the Herb Johnson Orchestra and the Senior Musicians' Orchestra; as an arranger and transcriber; and as a teacher.

The series includes lead sheets, chord charts, scores, sheet music, song books, song collections, and music folios, as well as play lists and notes. In addition to published music, the series includes manuscript music transcribed by Herb Johnson for the Louis Metcalfe International Band and other orchestras and combos, including his bebop arrangements. There are also signed manuscript arrangements by other arrangers.

Union United Church

Series contains photographs and textual records documenting the Union United Church and its members. Photographs show the interior and exterior of the church, as well as members of the choir, members of the Board of Stewarts and the Board of Sessions, Sunday school children, and Reverend Frank Gabourel. Textual records relate to the memorial service of Roy States, held on November 28, 1980.

Negro Community Centre

  • F027/A
  • Series
  • [19--] ; 1951-2014, predominantly [197-]-[198-]
  • Part of Graeme Clyke fonds

Series contains photographs and textual records documenting the Negro Community Centre (NCC). Photographs depict the interior and exterior of the NCC building at 2035 Coursol Street; programs and activities occurring at the NCC, including dance and music lessons, arts and crafts, wood working, sports, summer camps, and games; and NCC staff and members. Photographs also show the daycare and concern the Stanley Clyke Memorial Library. Textual records document the administration of the NCC and include information about activities, programs, and services. Documents pertaining to Annual General Meetings (1980; 1994; 1996; 1998) at the NCC include meeting minutes and agendas, financial statements (1997-1998), and annual reports (1995-1996). Other documents include a membership card (1974); correspondence (1982; 1987); an issue of Focus Umoja (1974); lists of Board members (1994) and nominations to the Board of Directors (1998-2000); proposed changes to NCC by-laws (1998); financial reports (1994-1995; 1995-1996); minutes from a meeting of the Little Burgundy Council (1973); a newsletter (1994); a list of acquisitions for the Stanley Clyke Memorial Library (1978); a report to the building committee (1988); an insurance claim regarding water damage (1994); biographical information related to Stanley Clyke and Emily Clyke; and newspaper clippings (1967; 1975; 2000; 2014). A newspaper concerning the boating tragedy also forms part of the series (1954).

Personal files

The series consists of materials related to Herb Johnson's ongoing professional development as a musician and his work in the music industry, as well as his other personal interests and his personal affairs.

The series includes articles on music and musicians and clippings of music scores and technical exercises clipped from Down Beat magazine and other sources, photographs, correspondence, price lists, concert and souvenir programs, notebooks, advertising sheets, contracts, lists of musicians, pamphlets, business and visiting cards, and publicity materials, as well as financial, tax, legal and other documents.

The series is arranged in the following sub-series:

P0088/2A Personal affairs and interests.
P0088/2B Music industry.
P0088/2C Music theory and technique.
P0088/2D Photographs.


The series provides information on Brian McKenna's journalistic career, from its beginning as reporter for the Loyola News and his regular writings in The Montreal Star. It contains many files of his assignments, especially as parliamentary correspondent in Ottawa and on the coverage of Expo '67 in Montreal. It also contains articles McKenna contributed to magazines and The Canadian Encyclopedia, and book reviews, as well as research material and the manuscript for his book on Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau. The series contains mainly newspaper clippings, newspapers, and notes. The series is organized into the following subseries:

P0112/B1 Loyola News
P0112/B2 The Montreal Star
P0112/B3 Magazine and encyclopedia articles
P0112/B4 Drapeau Book

Documents iconographiques

La série témoigne des différents documents que Lucien Desmarais a utilisé comme outils pédagogiques lors des conférences et cours qu’il a donnés. La série témoigne également de plusieurs de ses réalisations et de celles de certains artistes québécois et étrangers et de quelques-uns de ses étudiants. La série permet de connaître les différentes sources dont il s’est inspiré pour la réalisation de son oeuvre. Elle comprend des reproductions de ses réalisations et d’oeuvres de réputation internationale.

La série comprend des diapositives, des photographies, un fichier index, une liste de diapositives, des notes.


Series documents the early years of the communist movement and contains 90 pamphlets dated between 1912 and 1920 collected by S.A. Rochlin and published by or on behalf of various organizations, committees, and unions. Organizations, committees, and unions include: Communist Party of South Africa, African Workers' Club, Building Workers Industrial Union of South Africa, Workers' International League, African National Congress, National Union of South African Students, Industrial and Commercial Workers' Union, South African Native Congress, South African Native Delegation, International Socialist League, All African Convention, and United Party.

Personal papers

The series consists of bills, finances, invoices, personal papers including birth certificates and passports, certificates, awards, and travel itinerary.

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