Fonds RBSC-ARC-1271 - Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Vancouver Section fonds

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Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Vancouver Section fonds

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80 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Vancouver Section, was established in 1963 by the merging of the Vancouver sections of two previous institutes. Its predecessors, that constitute its sub-fonds, were the AIEE (American Institute of Electrical Engineers) and the IRE (Institute of Radio Engineers). Many of the original members of the IRE were members of the AIEE and both organizations had members in common until they decided to merge. The structural development and general activities of the IRE were similar to those of the AIEE. The technical boundaries differentiating the two institutes became difficult to distinguish as well as problems of overlap and duplication of efforts arose, only partially resolved by joint committees and meetings. In 1961, the leadership of both the IRE and the AIEE resolved to seek an end to these difficulties through consolidation. The next year a merger plan was formulated and approved: it became effective on 1 January 1963.

The IEEE so formed melded the technical activities of the two societies and established a unified publications program. The Vancouver section was one of many sections of this Institute, which had its center in the United States, but many branches abroad. The IEEE is still in existence.

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Biographical history

The American Institute of Electrical Engineers - Vancouver Section, was established in 1911. The Institute, however, was founded in New York City on 13 May 1884 and was incorporated in the State of New York in 1896. The object of the Institute, as stated in the Institute Constitution, Article I, was "the advancement of the theory and practice of Electrical Engineering and of the allied Arts and Sciences and the maintenance of a high professional standing among its members." In the '80s, an international Electrical Exhibition held by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia at the presence of twenty-five of America's most prominent electrical engineers, including Thomas Edison, Elihu Thomson, and Edwin Houston had raised a call for the formation of a society to promote engineering.

For the purpose of the administration, the membership in the United States and Canada was divided into ten districts. In order to make the members meet and discuss technical matters and to advance the engineering profession through closer cooperation with other engineering societies, a number of local Sections were organized in the leading industrial cities of the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Vancouver section is one of these. In particular, the Vancouver Section aims to provide for electrical engineers in British Columbia and all others interested, a meeting place and forum for the exchange of views. At the beginning the Vancouver Section was part of District 10 (Canada); then, in 1948 the Section decided to be part of the District 9, which embraced sections in the Northwest States. The transfer was opposed by District 10 executives on various counts and caused a second vote on the question that finally was resolved for the transfer from District 10 to District 9. The Sections reported to the Board of Directors, through the Secretary of the Institute. All matters pertaining to membership, appropriations, prizes, etc. were handled between the Section and the Institute Headquarters. Section activities were headed by a chairman and a secretary treasurer and were governed by an executive committee elected by the local membership. These officers were assisted in their administrative duties by Standing Committees. The Executive Meeting was the governing body of the Section and directed the management of its affairs. The Committee consisted of the effective officers including the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and any other officers of the Section. Sometimes it included one or more recent Past Chairmen. The Chairman of the Section is the Chairman of the Executive Committee, as well as the Secretary of the Section is the Secretary of the Executive Committee. This committee was responsible for the operations ad progress of the Section and for the expenditure and accounting of all funds. The Chairman was elected for a term of one year as well as the Secretary. It was the Secretary's responsibility to attend all Section meetings and to record the minutes of each meeting. He had then to forward the report of each Section Meeting to the Secretary of the Institute. He was also responsible for securing a copy of the minutes of other meetings from the Secretary of Subsections, Technical Groups, etc. and for forwarding a report of such meetings to the Secretary of the Institute. These reports of meetings were made on special form No. 41, furnished by the Institute. All meetings had to be reported promptly since the money rebated from Headquarters to the Section depended partly on the number of meetings. The Secretary, amongst many other duties, was also responsible for the maintenance of the Section mailing lists and was the custodian of all records of the Section including copies of reports to Headquarters, annual reports of Secretary, Treasurer, etc. The Treasurer was responsible for the payments of all bills and had to prepare an annual report on the finances of the Section. This role was often combined with that of Secretary into Secretary-Treasurer. The Section was responsible for conducting monthly meetings devoted to the presentation and discussion of technical papers, as well as demonstration, inspections or social activities. The Section had also to organise inspection trips occasionally, as well as general social events; basically it coordinated the local activities with the national and international administration. Sections could establish Subsections and Student Branches.

The society merged with the IRE officially in 1 January 1963, to constitute the IEEE.

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The Institute of Radio Engineers, Vancouver Section, was established in 1950. It was a branch of a larger society extending in the United States and in Canada. This society originated in 1912 from the merging of two other organizations (the Society of Wireless and Telegraph Engineers and the Wireless Institute) and became an international society for scientists and engineers involved in the development of wireless communications, the IRE. The objects of the Institute were scientific, literary and educational. Its aims included the advancement of the theory and practice of radio, and allied branches of engineering and of the related arts and sciences, their application to human needs, and the maintenance of a high professional standing among its members. The nature of radio technology meant that the interests of the IRE went beyond national boundaries. Therefore the new organization established units in several areas throughout the world. The structure of this society was extremely centralised as testified by the fact that every minutes had to be produced in double copy so that one could be sent to the central New York. The Institute of Radio Engineers was structured into professional groups under a centralised body and geographical as well as students branches and units were formed. Meeting for the reading and discussion of professional papers and the publication of papers, discussion and communications were regularly held. The society merged with the AIEE officially in 1 January 1963, to constitute the IEEE.

Custodial history

Fonds was acquired from Mr. J.J. English in June 1968.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records generated in the course of the merger and in the first months of life of the IEEE (1962-1963), as well as of the documentation of the two previous societies which constitute two sub-fonds: IRE (1950-1963) and AIEE (1911-1963). The fonds consists of minutes of meetings, as well as of annual report and publications and is arranged in three series: series one dealing with minutes of meetings (1963), series two consisting of annual report (1062-1963) and series three being a miscellanea of publications and leaflets (1960-1963). The sub-fonds IRE and AIEE are subdivided in numerous series.

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Inventory available. PDF document attached.

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Finding aid created by Prisca Giordini in March 2000 and converted from PDF to AtoM by Ashlynn Prasad in April 2020.

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