Fonds UBCA-ARC-1521 - Richard Mattessich fonds

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Richard Mattessich fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Photographic material
  • Moving images

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2.66 m of textual records.
13 photographs.
1 DVD recording.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Richard Mattessich was born in 1922 in Trieste, Italy, and grew up and went to school in Vienna, Austria. He obtained his degree in mechanical engineering in 1940, his MBA in 1944 and a doctorate in economics in 1945 from the Vienna School of Economics and Business Administration. He was a research fellow of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research and an instructor at the Rosenberg Institute of St. Gallen, Switzerland. In 1952 he moved to Canada and was appointed Head of the Department of Commerce at Mount Allison University (1953-59). From 1959 to 1967, he was an Associate Professor of Accounting at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1967, he was Professor of Accounting at the University of British Columbia, holding the distinguished Arthur Andersen & Co. Chair. He retired in 1987 and the following year was named emeritus professor. He has also held visiting professorships in Berlin, Christchurch (New Zealand), Graz (Austria), Hong Kong, Parma (Italy), St. Gallen, and Tokyo.
Perhaps best known for introducing the concept of electronic spreadsheets into the field of business accounting, Mattessich has also pioneered the use of analytical and philosophical methods in accounting research. He has numerous books and articles to his credit, some translated into French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. His best-known books are Accounting and Analytical Methods (1964); Simulation of the Firm Through a Budget Computer Program (1964), which introduced the concept of computerized spreadsheets; Instrumental Reasoning and Systems Methodology – An epistemology of the applied and social sciences (1978); Two Hundred Years of Accounting Research (2009); and Reality and Accounting – Ontological explorations in the economic and social sciences (2013). He also edited two anthologies: Modern Accounting Research: History, Survey, and Guide (1984) and Accounting Research in the 1980s and its Future Relevance (1991).
Mattessich has been awarded honorary degrees from Complutense University of Madrid (1998), the University of Malaga, Spain (2006), Montesquieu University in Bordeaux, France (2006), and the University of Graz, Austria (2007). He is also an honorary life member of the Academy of Accounting Historians. In addition, he has received several other honorary appointments and honours. For example, he has served on the governing boards of the School of Chartered Accountancy of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia and the CGA-Canada Research Foundation. In addition, he has been on the editorial boards of several professional journals.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of records documenting Richard Mattessich’s professional career, including his writing, research, and teaching activities, as well as his personal life. The records include correspondence, reports, notes, manuscript copies of his works, copies of his publications, annotated copies of publications by others, class and teaching materials, honorary degrees and other recognition certificates, a DVD recording, and photographs. It is organized in the following series: Alphabetical Subject Files, Correspondence, Personal and Biographical, Publications, Teaching, Research Materials, and Photographs.

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Donated to the University Archives by Dr. Richard Mattessich in September 2018.


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Items in the Research Materials series constitute a sample from all such materials originally acquired as part of the fonds. Materials that remained after appraisal and processing were returned to the donor.

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