Title and statement of responsibility area
Al Sens collection
General material designation
- Textual record
- Graphic material
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on name of collector.
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Vanderhill, Jason
1955 - 2011 (Creation)
- Sens, Al
Physical description area
16 cm textual records
9 cm graphic materials (ca. 200 drawings, ca. 20 filmstrips, ca.15 animation celluloids, ca. 10 prints)
1 audio disk
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
Al Sens was born Albert Sens on December 27, 1933 in Vancouver, British Columbia where he remained for the majority of his life. He had his first professional illustration experience while he was in high school, drawing cartoons for local newspapers under a pseudonym. In the early 1950s he went on to attend the Vancouver School of Art, now known as the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. After his studies, Sens illustrated cartoons for a variety of Canadian and American magazines including the Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, Liberty and Macleans.
Concurrently Sens started to make animated films. He produced his first film, "The Puppet's Dream," in 1958. In the same year Sens opened his own animation studio, Al Sens Animation Limited, in Vancouver. He would go on to produce several notable animated films including “Hard Day at the Office,” “Problems on an Imaginary Farm,” and “Political Animals.” Each of these featured political themes, for which Sens became well known. He also produced animations for the National Film Board of Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and BC Hydro. Through his experiences Sens developed the “spit technique,” which consists of drawing and erasing directly under the camera.
After working at Parry Films in North Vancouver for five years, Sens accepted a position at Simon Fraser University to produce informational short videos in 1967. He continued working in academic settings through the 1970s and 1980s when he taught animation at the University of British Columbia in the Film and Television Department.
Al Sens continued to produce animated films through to the early 2000s, with one of his most famous works being “Dreamtime,” which he produced in 1999. In 2014 Al Sens received the Vancouver Film Critics Circle Ian Caddell Award for making a significant contribution to British Columbia’s film industry.
Collection was given to Jason Vanderhill by Al Sens. Vanderhill donated the material to Rare Books and Special Collections in 2015.
Scope and content
Collection consists of Al Sens’ professional records, produced and received in the process of his career in cartoon and animation illustration. Material spans his career from the 1950s to the 2010s. The collection is arranged into two series according to record type: publications series and original illustration series.
Immediate source of acquisition
The collection was donated to Rare Books and Special Collections by Jason Vanderhill on April 17, 2015. Jason Vanderhill received the collection from Al Sens.
Collection is not in original order. Records were arranged by archivist according to record type and specific project and/or publication.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
No further accruals expected.
Standard number area
Name access points
- Sens, Al (Subject)
Genre access points
Description record identifier
Rules or conventions
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
RAD compliant finding aid prepared by M. Hunter, May 2015.
Language of description