Collection - William A.S. Sarjeant History of Earth and Allied Natural Science Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

William A.S. Sarjeant History of Earth and Allied Natural Science Collection

General material designation

    Parallel title

    Other title information

    Title statements of responsibility

    Title notes

    Level of description



    Reference code

    Edition area

    Edition statement

    Edition statement of responsibility

    Statement of scale (cartographic)

    Statement of projection (cartographic)

    Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

    Statement of scale (architectural)

    Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

    Dates of creation area


    • 1823-2000 (bulk 1960s-1980s) (Creation)

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    313 spring-clip file boxes; approximately 18 metres textual material; approximately 200 square metres

    Publisher's series area

    Title proper of publisher's series

    Parallel titles of publisher's series

    Other title information of publisher's series

    Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

    Numbering within publisher's series

    Note on publisher's series

    Archival description area

    Name of creator

    Biographical history

    William Antony Swithin (Bill) Sarjeant (1935-2002), geologist, historian, novelist, folklorist, folksinger, bibliophile, bibliographer, and polymath, was born and educated in Sheffield, England, began his academic career as a geologist at the University of Nottingham, and served as Professor of Geology at the University of Saskatchewan from 1972 until his death. While establishing his reputation as a leading authority on marine micro-fossils through more than 300 publications, he also found time to write and publish a series of fantasy novels (The Perilous Quest for Lyonesse, under the pen name of Antony Swithin), two illustrated histories of Saskatoon, dozens of literary studies, (including Ms Holmes of Baker Street: The Truth about Sherlock, with Alan Bradley, 2nd edition, University of Alberta Press, 2004), a major study of dinosaur footprints (The Tracks of Triassic Vertebrates , with Geoffrey Tresise, 1997), a ten-volume bibliography of the earth sciences, and to make a series of records as a founding member of the folk music ensemble The Prairie Higglers. He also amassed a collection of more than 70,000 books on subjects ranging from the history of science and scientists to children’s, detective, fantasy, science-fiction, transportation, and travel literature. His donation of these collections (valued at more than one-million dollars) to the University of Alberta Library commenced in 1996 and concluded with the bequest of the remainder upon his death.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The collection consists predominately of journal offprints, but is not limited to newspaper clippings, maps, popular magazine clippings, maps, and a few slides. Material is in English, German, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech (and a host of other Slavic languages), Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Russian, Italian, French, and possibly others. The collection is particularly strong in the areas of the history of geology, plankton (and various types of), and palynology.

    Notes area

    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Donated by Sarjeant, 1996-2002


    The collection consists of 313 spring-clip file boxes. Items in each file box were alphabetically arranged by Sarjeant and this arrangement has been retained. Files are labeled by subject and have been placed into 21 series according to topic. File boxes are stored in trays; this finding aid refers to the file boxes as “files” and storage trays as “boxes”. Due to the extent of the collection, an accurate date range for each file could not be determined. However, the bulk of the collection contains materials published in the 20th century, with a minor (yet substantial) amount of material from the 19th and 21st centuries.

    The collection is arranged into 21 series:

    Partial item listing available for most files.

    Language of material

      Script of material

        Language and script note

        The records are in.

        Location of originals

        The William A.S. Sarjeant History of Earth and Allied Natural Science Collection is housed at the University of Alberta Library's Research and Collections Resource Facility (RCRF). It is available to students, staff, and the general public for use at a supervised reading room at RCRF or Bruce Peel Special Collections. To request items from this collection please use the links in the catalogue record.

        Availability of other formats

        Restrictions on access

        There are no access restrictions on this collection.

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Finding aids

        Associated materials

        Related materials


        Alternative identifier(s)

        Standard number

        Access points

        Subject access points

        Place access points

        Name access points

        Genre access points

        Control area

        Description record identifier

        Institution identifier

        Rules or conventions


        Level of detail

        Dates of creation, revision and deletion

        Written by Stacey Sokolan, August 1, 2006

        Language of description

          Script of description


            Accession area