Fonds UBCA-ARC-1023 - Coolie Verner fonds

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Coolie Verner fonds

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  • Multiple media

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  • 1550-1979, predominant 1700-1899, 1920-1979 (Creation)
    Verner, Coolie

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Physical description

18.21 m of textual records and other materials.

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Biographical history

Coolie Verner was born on April 25, 1917, in Portsmouth, Ohio, the son of an American military officer. His family were old-established tobacco farmers in Virginia. Verner attended the College of William and Mary in Virginia, receiving an A.B. in 1937 and an A.M. in 1950. He received his M.A. and Ed.D. from Columbia University, New York, in 1951 and 1952, respectively. Verner spent two years studying art in Paris and one year at the University of London on a Fulbright Fellowship, 1952-1953. Between 1942 and 1947, Verner served in the U.S. Army, advancing from private to captain. During his service in the Army, he became an expert in bomb disposal and has been personally thanked by Queen Elizabeth for defusing a bomb in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Verner taught adult education at the University of Virginia from 1947-1950. From 1953-1961 he was Professor of Adult Education at Florida State University. He joined the Faculty of Education, UBC, in 1961, where he taught adult education until his retirement in 1977. On October 12, 1979, Professor Verner died at his home on Mayne Island, B.C.
Verner's contributions to scholarship lay in three fields of endeavour: adult education, rural sociology, and the history of cartography and carto-bibliography. As an adult education professor, Verner helped create and develop the field as an academic discipline. He wrote over 170 works and lectured on the subject in Canada, the U.S., and countries as far away as Australia and New Zealand. Under his guidance, UBC became recognized as one of the world's foremost centres for adult education. As a rural sociologist, Verner directed studies for the Canadian government on the Okanagan and declining rural life in Canada. He also acted as a consultant to countries overseas, and he was a Canada Council Fellow 1968-1969. Equal if not greater than his interest in these two areas was Verner's passion for the history of cartography and carto-bibliography. His first publications in the field were studies in the 1950s on the early maps of Virginia. His last book was a historical cartographic work, The Northpart of America. Verner collected maps and kept detailed carto-bibliographic descriptions of them. In addition, many of the thousands of other maps he examined in his research. He was particularly interested in developing a research methodology for the study and description of early printed maps.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, manuscripts for publications, articles, speeches and reports by Verner, minutes of meetings of UBC and government committees on which Verner sat, and map research materials, 1941-1979. The papers also include almost 200 photographs, mostly snapshots, of Verner, friends and colleagues dating from the 1920s to 1979 and over 400 historical maps of North America, the Arctic and Asia, 1550-19__. Professor Verner organized his files into three subject areas relating to his work and interests: Personal, ca. 1921-1979, Adult Education, 1940s-1978, and Cartography, 1949- 1979. This arrangement has been maintained. Files within the three series are organized into sub-series, the order reflecting as closely as could be ascertained the original order of the papers as set up by Verner. In some cases this was difficult to determine as the materials were received as separate accessions over a number of years. In most cases the files are identified as Verner labeled them.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The papers were donated to the University Archives over a period of fifteen years from 1971-1986 by Verner, his estate, and the Department of Adult Education. Book dealer Roy Boswell of Fullerton, California made the last donation of Verner materials in 1986.


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Selected images are included in UBC Open Collections UBC 98.1.

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General note

For a listing of his over 270 publications on adult education, rural sociology and the history of cartography as well as more detailed biographical information on Verner consult Box 1 File 1 and Box 5 Files 2 and 3 in this fonds.

Physical description

Includes: ca. 190 photographs: b&w and col.; 21x26 cm or smaller; ca. 400 maps; 17 microfilm; 16 slides; 5 audio recordings; 1 commemorative plate.

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