Fonds UBCA-ARC-1342 - Samuel Rothstein fonds

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Samuel Rothstein fonds

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  • Multiple media

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Physical description

9.85 m of textual records and other material.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

On 12 January 1921, Samuel Rothstein was born in Shenyahova, a village near Bobrysk, Belarus. He emigrated to Canada in 1922. He earned a BA in French and English from UBC in 1939, an MA in French and English from UBC in 1940, a BLS in 1947 from the University of California and a Ph.D. in Librarianship from the University of Illinois in 1954, becoming the first Canadian to hold a Ph.D. in Librarianship. He started as a reference librarian at the UBC Library in 1947. He was subsequently promoted to Head of Acquisitions (1948); Assistant and Associate University Librarian (1954); Acting University Librarian and Founding Director of the School of Librarianship (1961); Director and Professor of Librarianship (1970-1986) and Professor Emeritus in 1986. Rothstein served in many professional associations and learned societies: as President of the American Association of Library Schools (AALS), the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA), the Pacific Northwest Library Association (PNLA), and the Canadian Association of Library Schools (CALS); as an officer of the American Library Association (ALA), the Canadian Library Association (CLA), the Bibliographical Society of Canada and the Canadian Council of Library Schools (CCLS). He also was a consultant for the Science Secretariat of Canada (1969); a Visiting Scholar at the University of Hawaii (1969); a Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto (1970) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1973); a consultant for various libraries (1970- 1977); the Librarian-in-Residence at the University of Toronto (1979); and a Research Fellow at the University of Toronto Centre for Research in Librarianship (1981-1982). He is also listed in biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias such as the Canadian Who's Who, Who's Who in America, the ALA Yearbook of Library and Information Services, and Who's Who in the World. His monographic publications include The Development of Reference Services (1955); Training Professional Librarians for Western Canada (1957); co-author of As We Remember It (1970); The University – The Library (1972) and Rothstein on Reference (1989). He wrote for several encyclopedias, contributed many articles and reviews to professional journals, gave lectures and talks and served on editorial boards of several encyclopedias and journals. His awards include the ALA's Beta Phi Mu Award for distinguished service to education for librarianship (1988), the Carnegie Corporation Fellowship (1951-1954); the BCLA's Helen Gordon Stewart Award (1970); and honorary D. Litt. Degree from York University of Toronto (1971); the CLA's Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award (1986); and the ALISE Award for Outstanding Professional Contributions to Library and Information Science Education (1988). Outside of the academe, Rothstein's record of public service includes his involvement as Councilor of the BC Medical Library Service, President of the Vancouver Public Library Trust (1987-1988), Board member and President of the Vancouver Jewish Community Centre (1962-1972); Board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver (1993- 1999) and Divisional Chairman of the Vancouver Combined Jewish Appeal (1992-1995). Sam Rothstein retired from UBC at the end of 1986 after a 50-year association with the UBC as a student, teacher, librarian, researcher and administrator. He died on 8 July 2014 at the age of 93.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records that Rothstein created and received as student, teacher, librarian, researcher and administrator. It includes correspondence, reports, handwritten notes and drafts, talks and articles, both published and unpublished ones, minutes of various meetings, photographs, research projects, talks and articles and biographical information. The fonds is arranged into 12 series: UBC School of Librarianship, Accreditation, Course Materials, UBC Library, UBC Committees, External Committees, Correspondence, Personal, Talks and Articles, Publications, and Photographs.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated to the University Archives in March 2003 by Sam Rothstein. An additional file (12-9a) was donated by Rothstein in October 2003. Records in boxes 28-31 were originally included with UBC Library records and transferred in January 2014.


Original file titles were retained, as has most of the physical arrangement of the files within the series.

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Availability of other formats

Selected photographs have been digitized and added to UBC Library Open Collections series UBC 70.1.

Restrictions on access

Some restrictions apply to the Correspondence and UBC School of Librarianship series.

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Finding aids

Online Finding Aid
Please see the finding aid for an inventory of files.

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Associated materials


Physical description

Includes: 168 photographs, 1 album, 7 audio tapes, 1 videocassette, 2 tape reels.

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