Fonds P0244 - Joseph Roizen fonds

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Joseph Roizen fonds

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  • Graphic material

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1938-1945 (Creation)
    Roizen, Joseph

Physical description area

Physical description

290 photographic negatives : black and white (5 x 5 cm and 35 mm)

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Joseph (Joe) Roizen, television and video engineer, author, and consultant, was born from Russian emigrants on September 9th, 1923 in Kishinev, Romania. His father Berl (Boris) and his mother Brana (Betty) had previously escaped from Russia. The Roizen family emigrated to North America a few months later. They ended up at the end of the 1920s in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, in the Laurentians area (Québec) where Boris was treated for tuberculosis and where their second child Molly was born in 1930. Sometime after the father’s death in 1935, the family moved to Montreal.

Joe attended the Ste. Agathe Protestant Elementary School and then, in Montreal, the Baron Byng High School at the end of the 1930s. His main interests were in the sciences and electronics. He attended also evening courses in electricity at the Montreal Technical Institute. He then attended Sir George Williams College in 1941 and 1942 where he was the photographer of various student activities. Some of his photographs appeared in the 1942 SGW College yearbook. It seems it was during this period that he developed a lifelong love of photography. With the war’s out break he became the rear-seater radioman in testing Helldiver carrier fighterbombers at Fairchild. After the war he started companies that he was forced to abandon. He ended up working at Trans-Canada Airlines, in radio.

Joe married Gisela Holl in 1943. They had three children: Ron (b. 1943), Peter (b. 1946), Heidi (b. 1958). The family moved to California in 1948, where Joe worked first for Pacific Mercury and later on for Ampex. For this company he participated in the videotaping of the 1959 exchanges between Nixon and Krushchev in Moscow, known as the Kitchen Debate. Joe and Gisela divorced in the 1960s. In 1971, Joe founded his own company, Telegen. The same year, he married Donna Foster. Joe and Donna leaved in Portola Valley, California.

Joseph Roizen was a prolific author whose articles have been published in many trade publications (e.g. Electronics World and Radio-Electronics). He also contributed chapters to technical books (e.g. Videotext: the coming revolution in home/office information retrieval / edited by Efrem Sigel, 1980).

Joe Roizen died on March 1, 1989, while attending a meeting of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in Paris.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds mainly provides visual information on some Sir George Williams College social and cultural activities at the beginning of the 1940s. For instance, there are images of the preview performance of the March 1942 Giorgantics (the SGW Annual musical review), held in Brownsburg (now Brownsburg-Chatham) in the Laurentians area. There are also photos of friends, a few in Ste. Agathe, and photos in Saint-Hubert and Dorval airports. The photos subjects include SGW Georgiantics, SGW Winter carnival, SGW sports; SGW students and Staff, as well as aircrafts and radio equipment.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The fonds was donated to the Records Management and Archives Department by Ron Roizen in 2012.


Language of material

  • English

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    The negatives are in the public domain.

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    Box listings available

    Associated materials

    Some films and video clips compiled and edited by Joe Roizen can be found at Stanford University Libraries, California.
    Some photographic prints of the 1942 Georgiantics, probably made by Joe Roizen himself, can be found in Fred Kerner fonds (P0069).

    Related materials


    No further accruals expected.

    Accompanying material

    The negatives have been kept in 117 paper envelopes with short typed or handwritten descriptions. Most of these envelopes bear the Sir George Williams College official identification.

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