The collection contains materials related to Ian McDonald's Master's thesis research on the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 213 “Class conflict and political factionalism: a history of Local 213 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 1901-1961," and related to the activities of his father, Les McDonald, a trade union activist who belonged to Local 213 but was eventually suspended for leading the Lenkurt strike of 1966. Les McDonald was also a multi-sport athlete, and is credited with introducing the triathlon into the Olympics; some materials in the collection relate to Les McDonald's involvement in various sport and environmental organizations, as well as some of his personal papers. In addition to what he received from his father, Ian McDonald was also given papers by former IBEW Local 213 business manager Art O’Keeffe and Barry Sharbo, a board member of the Canadian Union of Electrical Workers (UE), which are included within the collection.
The collection is largely comprised of newspaper and photocopied journal articles, correspondence between members of IBEW Local 213, legal documentation, newsletters and other printed ephemera related to IBEW Local 213.
The collection also contains sound recordings of interviews with numerous figures in IBEW Local 213 created by Ian McDonald during his thesis research. McDonald's thesis, submitted for the completion of a Master of Arts in History at Simon Fraser University, can be found in the Summit database: http://summit.sfu.ca/item/6361.