Fonds F0255 - Harry W. Arthurs fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Harry W. Arthurs fonds

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  • Textual record

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Dates of creation area


  • 1957-2016 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

33.9 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Harry William Arthurs was born in Toronto in 1935 and educated at the University of Toronto, receiving his BA degree in 1955 and his LLB in 1958. He obtained his LLM at Harvard Law School in 1959 and was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1961. He began teaching at Osgoode Hall Law School in 1961, where he has taught courses on labour relations law, administrative law, legal education, the legal profession, civil liberties, globalization, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other subjects. Arthurs has acted as an arbitrator and conciliator in labour disputes since 1962. He has been the Canadian member of the United Auto Workers Public Review Board (1967-1977), Chief Adjudicator for the Public Service of Canada (1967-1968), and Impartial Chairman of both the Men's Garment Industry, Toronto (1967-1983) and the Ladies Garment Industry (1967-1981). His scholarly research reflects his lengthy involvement in the area of labour law; he has also written and spoken extensively on administrative law and public administration, legal pluralism and the sociology of law, and the legal profession, legal history and legal education. He is the author of numerous articles and monographs in these fields. In addition, Arthurs has been widely involved in university government and higher education policy, serving as Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School from 1972 to 1977 and President of York University from 1985 to 1992. He was named University Professor of Law and Political Science and President Emeritus of York University in 1995, and he served as Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities from 1987 to 1989. He was chair and principal author of the reports of committees investigating Legal Research and Education in Canada (1980-1983) and Integrity in Research at Concordia University (1993-1994), and he co-authored the external review of administration at Trent University (1997). Arthurs has been chair or member of many other public, academic, and professional bodies, including President of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (1976-1977), Bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada (1979-1983), member of the Economic Council of Canada (1978-1981), and Associate of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (1995- ). He was appointed Commissioner of the Federal Labour Standards Review to examine Part III of the Canada Labour Code in 2004, and headed the Government of Ontario's Expert Commission on Pensions (2007-2008). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1982) and the British Academy (2003), an Officer of the Order of Canada (1989), and a Member of the Order of Ontario (1995). He has been awarded nine honorary degrees by Canadian universities.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of Arthurs' records pertaining to his activities including: administrative files for York University and Osgoode Hall Law School, 1961-2006; teaching files, ca. 1961-2009; speeches, 1985-2007; research and writing files, 1957-2008; community service files, 1962-1997; UAW Public Review Board case files, 1967-1977; arbitration case files, 1966-1984; and correspondence, 1958-2007 (predominant 1971-2007). Accession 2007-014 consists of documents for the Federal Labour Standards Review, including correspondence, annotated published and typescript reference material, briefs and notes from the hearings, research projects on labour standards, and drafts of the final report and recommendations. Accession 2009-010 contains records created while with Ontario's Expert Commission on Pensions, including research papers, agendas and submissions for public hearings, briefing notes, and working files.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Professor Arthurs between 1992 and 2016.


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Restrictions on access

Selected files are closed for a period of ten years after the date of the most recent document in the files.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Written permission to view closed files must be obtained from Harry W. Arthurs or his estate through a request submitted to the University Archivist that indicates the purpose of research and the intended use of data compiled from these files.

Finding aids

File list available for 1997-006.

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The fonds comprises the following accessions: 1992-016, 1997-006, 1998-003, 2000-067, 2005-029, 2007-014, 2009-010, 2011-040, 2015-032, and 2016-058. Further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2002/04/04 Jizi Chen:. (Creation)
2002/04/04 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist
2003/04/15 Shannon MacDonald. Added URL to online finding aid.
2007/09/28 Moir. Revised dates of creation to reflect 2007-014. Revised extent. Revisted scope & content note. Added link to 2007-014.
2012/02/27 Michael Moir. Revised record to include 2009-010 and 2011-040
2013/03/27 Dubeau. Updated description to include 2005-029, and corrected typos.
2013/03/27 Dubeau. Correction of transforming errors for special characters.
2020/03/26 KCP. Added access point(s).

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Accession area