Fonds UBCA-ARC-1132 - Cyril Belshaw fonds

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Cyril Belshaw fonds

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Physical description

24.63 m of textual records and other material.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Cyril Shirley Belshaw was born on 3 December 1921 in Waddington, New Zealand. He received an M.A. from Victoria College, New Zealand and a Ph.D. in 1949 from the London School of Economics. Before coming to the University of British Columbia in 1953, he was a research fellow at the Australian National University. Belshaw arrived at UBC in 1953 and joined the Department of Anthropology, Criminology and Sociology. In 1959 Belshaw was appointed as acting head of that department, serving as official head from 1968 to 1974. He remained on staff as a professor until his retirement in 1987. The suspicious death of his wife Betty Joy Belshaw in Switzerland in 1979 saw Belshaw go on trial for her murder, but he was acquitted. Professor Betty Joy Belshaw taught at the Department of English. Belshaw also served as president of the Faculty Association in 1960, and in 1961 he was appointed director of the UN Regional Training Centre at UBC. He was also involved with the Senate Committee on Long-Range Objectives. In addition, he served as a consultant to the UN Bureau of Social Affairs and as editor of Current Anthropology. Outside the University, Belshaw actively participated in numerous national and international academic initiatives such as the Social Science Research Council, UNESCO, and the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association (among others). Following his time at UBC, Belshaw continued to write and maintained publishing through Webzines of Vancouver.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of Cyril Belshaw's personal and professional papers. The professional records chronicle both his involvement in numerous local, national, and international organizations (including the Academic Board for Higher Education in British Columbia, the Regional Training Centre for United Nations Fellows, the Social Science Research Council of Canada, the Pacific Sciences Association, UNESCO, and the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association), and his teaching and administrative activities at UBC. The records also include his original research material and data into various groups in the South Pacific, and other topics in anthropology. More personal records related to his education and family. Also included are materials about the disappearance and subsequent inquiry into the death of Betty Joy Belshaw. The materials include meeting minutes, course materials, publications, manuscripts, research journals, personal diaries and agendas, financial statements, press clippings, photographs, maps and audio-visual materials.

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Some files in University Affairs series, particularly those in box 81 relating to the Tenure and Ethics Committee, are subject to access restrictions. Check with University Archives.

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Accruals to the fonds were made in several stages beginning in 1982. Significant additions were acquired between 1985-1987 and 2014.

Physical description

Other material includes: ca. 839 photographs (including 6 albums), ca. 52 maps, 1 CD-R, 1 videocassette (Betamax), 1 audio cassette. The number of photographs includes those housed in albums.

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