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USask Library and Archival Resources: Sexual and Gender Diversity

A guide to the resources available in the University Archives and Special Collections on Gender and Sexual Diversity.


Finding Aid:   A document describing the history of an aggregation of materials, as well as containing detailed information about the records contained therein.

Provenance:    This is a fundamental principle of archives, referring to the individual, family, or organization that created or received the items in a collection. The principle of provenance or the respect des fonds dictates that records of different origins (provenance) be kept separate to preserve their context.

Original Order:    The order in which records were maintained by the creator. Archivists strive to keep records in their original order to preserve context.

Accession:   A discreet aggregation of materials donated by a single source at a specific time, and assigned with a specific identifier at that time.

     Eg. Bob Smith donates records in 2006, and again in 2018. These are two separate accessions, identified as 2006-014 and 2018-112.

Accrual:   A general term for material that is, or may be acquired by the archives. Once material has been acquired and a number assigned, it becomes an accession.

Fonds:    a group of records that share the same origin or provenance and that have occurred naturally as an outgrowth of the daily workings of an agency, individual, or organization.

Collection:   a group of records which does not share the same origin or provenance, but have been brought together artifically, generally based on a theme or subject.

Series:   Units of files or document kept together because they: Relate to a particular subject or function or result from the same activity. Often this series structure is applied by the archivist, however it may also reflect the original way the record creator had the files organized (See Arrangement note on first page of finding aid to determine the origin of the series being applied).

     Eg. Imagine that Bob was an avid bird watcher who also happens to write books about garden gnomes and was employed by the University as a grounds keeper in the 1930’s. His papers may be divided into three series: I. Bird watching ; II. Publications; III. University Work.

Subseries:   A set of similar things within a larger set of similar things.

     Eg. Bob’s series II. Publications may be divided into subseries by book II.a Gnomes of Rome; II.b Gnomes of North America

File:   An intellectual container for related materials that will show up under a single “file title”. An intellectual file may be so large that it takes up many physical folders.

Folder:   A physical container for related materials held under the same file title. Any number of folders may make up an intellectual file.


Sexual and Gender Diversity at the University Archives and Special Collections

The University Archives and Special Collections at the University of Saskatchewan has a large collection of materials relating to sexual and gender diversity. They are particularly useful for studying gender and sexuality from a local perspective. They are grouped here into subjects to make browsing easier, though many of the different collections, or "fonds" can be found under multiple subjects. You can also browse all of our collections by going to our database.

All the materials listed on this research guide can be viewed in the University Archives and Special Collections Reading Room – Murray Library (3rd Floor South Wing).  All materials in the collection are non-circulating and must be used in the reading room. We can provide physical and digital copying services subject to copyright, fair dealing, and privacy law.

Contact Us

The University Archives and Special Collections reading room is available for appointments Tuesday-Friday, 10am - 12pm and 1pm - 4pm. Please schedule an appointment or get research assistance by email us at  - we look forward to seeing you!

We provide physical and digital copying services subject to copyright, fair dealing, and privacy law.

Our website hosts a variety of digital content such as searchable databases, exhibits, and websites which means you can do a lot of preliminary research without leaving your chair.

Staff is monitoring emails Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4:30. Depending on whether the material has already been digitized or not, and the scope of the request, delivery time of scans may vary. Please plan accordingly.

Reading Room Rules

  • No food or drink in the reading room.
  • Borrowed materials must remain in the reading room at all times
  • Pencils are the only writing implement allowed (no pens) and are available upon request.
  • There are hangers provided for your jackets and back packs.