Title: Natural History Society of New Brunswick fonds. -- 1941-1969; predominant 1941-1949. -- 21 cm of textual material
Administrative History: The Natural History Society of New Brunswick was formed January 29, 1882 on the advice of one of Canada's leading geologists, Dr. William Dawson, to "serve as a stimulus to scientific investigation." The society was formed with Dr. LeBaron Botsford as President and forty charter members. Immediately after its formation, the Society began holding monthly meetings during the winter months at which educational lectures were given and original research problems discussed. The members also began the formation of a museum by subscribing to purchase a geological collection prepared by Fredericton geologist, Charles Frederick Hartt. In 1883 the Society was incorporated and became an affiliate of the Royal Society of Canada. The Natural History Society of New Brunswick was affiliated with the parent organization by supplying synoptic reports of its several activities for publication in the annual report of the Royal Society. All the branches carried on activities along similar lines, stressing original research and the presentation of educational information to teachers and students at public meetings.
The objectives of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick were research and making known the results of this research so that it could be put to practical use. After incorporation in 1883, the Society began the annual publication of a scientific journal called the Bulletin of the Natural Society of New Brunswick. The rapid development of the educational features of the Natural History Society soon made larger quarters necessary. As a result, the Provincial Museum was formed which was incorporated as a provincial body in 1929. The Natural History Society merged with it in 1932 to the extent of depositing in the larger building the extensive collections and library formed through the years of collecting.
In November 1942, in the process of re-organization and with expanded membership, the headquarters was transferred to the University of New Brunswick and the publication of the bulletin resumed through financial aid from University funds. A change in the name of the bulletin was made in order for published papers originating outside of the province, but within the general Acadian region, to be included. The first copy of the renamed bulletin, the Acadian Naturalist, was issued in May 1943.
Membership in the Natural History Society of New Brunswick entitled the members to copies of the Acadian Naturalist; privileges of free entry to the New Brunswick Museum; and library privileges at the University of New Brunswick; as well as the opportunity to submit papers for publication. Membership was open to anyone interested in natural history subjects on the recommendation of a regular or honorary member and election to membership at a regular meeting. The Natural History Society of New Brunswick continued to function until at least 1969.
Source: "The Natural History Society of New Brunswick: A Brief Sketch of its Past History," written by R.P. Gorham, [Dec. 1944].
Scope and Content: This fonds documents the history and activities of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick from 1941 to 1949. Contents include a brief history of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick, correspondence, minutes and notices of meetings, membership cards, financial records, and the official seal. There are also banking records for 1962-1969.
Title: Title based on name of creator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition: Records received from Norah Toole, May 29, 1978, and HIL Order Department, September 6, 1983.
Associated Material: The Archives Department of the New Brunswick Museum holds earlier records of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick.
File 1: Natural History Society of New Brunswick
-A memo of the steps taken in the re-organization of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick, [Nov 1943];
-"The Natural History Society of New Brunswick: A Brief Sketch of its Past History," written by R.P. Gorham, [Dec. 1944].
File 2: Correspondence, October 19, 1943 - October 12, 1944.
File 3: Minutes and notices of meetings, November 9, 1942 - January 28, 1946.
File 4: Savings account with the Bank of Nova Scotia, 1962-1969. Includes two bank books.
File 5: Accounts for Acadian Naturalist, 1945-1947. Includes receipt books, cheque book, and correspondence, January 6, 1946 - March 31, 1947.
File 6: Samples of membership cards, envelopes, billhead, and letterhead.
File 7: Official Seal.
File 8: Correspondence, January 2, 1941 - July 12, 1949, regarding exchange of publications with other institutions.