Accession UAA-1981-067 - UAA-1981-067

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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper


General material designation

  • Sound recording

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Dates of creation area


  • 1981 (Creation)
    Parker, James McPherson

Physical description area

Physical description

3 audio cassettes

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1934 - 1990)

Biographical history

James M. Parker Historian, Teacher, Archivist -- James M. Parker was born in Rimbey, Alberta in 1934. He was raised in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta where he completed his high school studies. Mr. Parker graduated from the University of Alberta in 1961 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history; he earned a teaching certificate in 1964 and pursued a career in teaching. He worked as a high-school teacher and principal for three years in Fort Chipewyan, St. Albert, and Edmonton. During this time Parker pursued his interest in history. He completed a Masters of Arts at the University of Alberta in 1967 with a thesis concerning the fur trade in Fort Chipewyan, "The Fur Trade of Fort Chipewyan and Lake Athabasca, 1778-1835." It was later published in 1987 under the title Emporium of the North. In 1968 Parker completed a Diploma in archives administration at Carleton University, and that same year became the first University Archivist at the University of Alberta.

From 1977 to 1984 he acted as an adjunct associate professor in the Faculty of Library and Information Studies. While serving as the University Archivist Parker also taught in the Faculty of Extension form 1975 to 1980 teaching a Spring Session course titled "Writing Your Community History." He also held the position of Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Library Science where he taught Archives Administration and Records Management in 1973 and 1978. Parker's archival responsibilities also brought him into university administration; he was the Secretary of the University Archives Committee, Secretary for the sub-committee on Documents Retention and Disposal and was Chair of the first University Collections Committee from 1972-1976. In 1986 Parker was appointed Director of the newly amalgamated University Archives and Collections.

Parker retired from University of Alberta service in 1990. He took on a new career in the provincial government as Northern Area Manager, Alberta Historic Sites Service, based in Fort McMurray. During his professional career Parker maintained an interest in the history of oil sands development and the history of Alberta's North. He served as Chair of the Alberta Culture Regional History Award Committee, served as Historical Research Coordinator for the Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Programme, and acted as the Research Director, Oral History Project for the Boreal Institute For Northern Studies. He published nine essays or articles on Northern history and the development of the Tar Sands during his career. Parker actively promoted his view of archivists as chroniclers through his work in the historical societies of St. Albert, Edmonton, and Alberta. He served as President of the Historical Society of Alberta, 1972-74; President of the St. Albert Historical Society, 1974-76, and Treasurer of the Canadian Archivists' Association. Following his retirement from the University of Alberta Parker moved to Fort McMurray to work for Alberta Historic Sites Service. He was killed in a car accident in 1990 while driving a reporter to the Bitumount oil sands historic site north of Ft. McMurray. He was survived by his wife June, two sons and two daughters.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Accession consists of interviews of A. Cooke, recorded by J. M. Parker.

Notes area

Physical condition


Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

    Location of originals

    Special Collections: A/V Vault

    Availability of other formats

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    Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

    Finding aids

    accession register; index; donor list

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    Alpha-numeric designations

    Formerly M.G. 10.

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    Dates of creation, revision and deletion

    DBRACEWELL 7.24.2009; Updated by A.A. 22 Aug. 2023

    Language of description

      Script of description


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