Fonds UBCA-ARC-1547 - W. Peter Ward fonds

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W. Peter Ward fonds

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6.3 m of textual records and other materials.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

W. Peter Ward was born in Edmonton in 1943. He obtained a BA in English Literature from the University of Alberta in 1964 and an MA in History from the same university in 1966. He was awarded a PhD in History from Queen’s University in Kingston in 1973. He taught high school for the Edmonton Public School Board in 1968-69 and held part time or sessional teaching appointments at the University of Alberta, the University of Saskatchewan, and Queen’s University between 1967 and 1973.

Ward’s research interests include: the history of the family in Canada, the history of immigration in Canada, the history of population health and the history of human physical growth. His major books are: White Canada Forever: Popular Attitudes and Public Policy Toward Orientals in British Columbia (1978, 1990, 2002), Courtship, Love and Marriage in 19th Century English Canada (1990), Birth Weight and Economic Growth: Women’s Living Standards in the Industrializing West (1993), A History of Domestic Space: Privacy and the Canadian Home (1999) and The Clean Body: A Modern History (2019). He has published articles in leading national and international journals, including the Canadian Historical Review, the American Historical Review, the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, and Economics and Human Biology.

Peter Ward joined the UBC Department of History in 1973 as an Assistant Professor. He was granted tenure in 1978, promoted to Associate Professor in 1979, and was granted full professorial status in 1990. He went on to serve as Head of the UBC History Department (1991-1996) and later as Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives in the Faculty of Arts (2002-2005). In addition he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Augsburg in 1995, as well as at the University of Bologna in 2009-10 and 2011-12.

In 2005 Ward joined the UBC Library as Deputy University Librarian. He served as University Librarian pro tem from 2007-2009. During this period he helped oversee the completion of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and, additionally, he launched a planning process that led to the establishment of UBC’s institutional repository, cIRcle.

Ward has been the recipient of numerous research grants from the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada and the Hannah Institute for the History of Medicine as well as from UBC. He has also received a number of distinctions for scholarship in his career, including leave fellowships from the Canada Council and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. In 1990 the Social Science Federation of Canada cited his book White Canada Forever as one of the 20 most important books in English supported by the Council over the previous 50 years. He also received a UBC Killam Fellowship in 1990-91 and a UBC Killam Research Prize in 1998. In 2012 he was ranked 2nd among Canada’s historians in the first HiBAR survey (Hirsch-Index Benchmarking of Academic Research) that identified the most influential scholarly researchers in their respective fields.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of personal and professional materials of Ward’s related to his career. The fonds is divided into four series: Project series (1980-2020); Publications and Conferences (1966-2009); Teaching and Research Materials (1992-2003), and Correspondence series (1978-2001).

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Immediate source of acquisition

Materials were acquired in several accruals since 2011, donated by W. Peter Ward. Copies of published book reviews were added by Dr. Ward in April 2013. Chinese head tax project and additional birth weight project materials, including the code book for the Utrecht birth weight database, were added in 2014 and 2015. Materials from his personal hygiene book project were added in 2022.


Some reproductions of Ward’s original research material are contained in the fonds. When this occurs at the sub-series level, the date of creation will be listed both for the copied research and his records resulting from that research.
The principle of provenance was adhered to in the creation of this finding aid. Peter Ward donated the records with an established intellectual order, and that order, where possible, was preserved.

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RESTRICTIONS: Box 17 in the Teaching Materials and Lecture Notes series contains materials labelled as confidential and are restricted.

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

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Further accruals are expected.

Physical description

Includes 9 DVDs (digital records), 12 CDs (digital records), 1 floppy disk (3½"), 162 photographs – prints and slides, 9 reels of microfilm and 1 USB drive.

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