Fonds MG 1017 - Frank Cyril James Fonds

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Frank Cyril James Fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds.

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Reference code

CA MUA MG 1017

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  • [1870]-1971; predominantly 1905-1972 (Creation)
    James, F. Cyril (Frank Cyril), 1903-1973

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Physical description

30 m of textual records.
268 photographs.

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

F. Cyril James, Principal of McGill from 1939 to 1962, was a man of many facets: an economist, professor, writer and speaker, an educator of international reputation and a prominent public figure. James was born in London, England. Before receiving his B.Com. from the London School of Economics (1924), he went to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, earning his M.A. in 1924 and his Ph.D. in 1926 with theses on the shipbuilding industry. From 1924 to 1939 he taught finance, transportation, and economic history at the Wharton School and published the following studies: The Economics of Money, Banking and Credit (1930), England Today (1931), The Road to Revival (1932), The Economic Doctrines of John Maynard Keynes (1936) and The Growth of Chicago Banks (1938). In 1939 he came to McGill as director of the School of Commerce, and was appointed Principal in the same year. Until his retirement in 1962, James also taught courses in economics and held many important posts outside the university in the fields of government, education, and economics. He served as financial advisor for a number of banks, as well as on the National Bureau of Economic Research in New York, acted as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Reconstruction and held executive positions in the Commission d'Orientation Economique du Québec, the American Academy of Political and Social Science and various national and international inter-university organizations, culminating in his presidency of the International Association of Universities from 1960 to 1965. After his retirement, James continued his involvement with international education, as well as working for OXFAM in a number of executive posts. When he died at his home in England in 1973, he was working on his memoirs.

Custodial history

James donated most of his records to the McGill Archives on September 28th, 1970. Starting from 1971, he also sent, one by one, the chapters of his autobiography.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of originals, copies, printed materials and photographs pertaining to every aspect of James’ education, private life, and career.

Series consists of 1) Private and Autobiographical Records; 2) General; 3) Research; 4) Teaching; 5)
Addresses; 6) Pictorial Materials; and 7) Miscellaneous Materials.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


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Script of material

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Material in English.

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Finding aids

A photograph inventory is available.
File list also available.

Associated materials

Administrative records of F. James’s principalship can be found in the Records Management section of McGill University Archives (see Record Group 2). Also, the Rare Book Department has his original manuscript of The Growth of Chicago Banks (H99.Bd259, 1938), and two drafts of an account of his visit to the U.S.S.R. (H98.Bd257, 1959).

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Alternative identifier(s)

Accession nos.

16, 28, 29, 38, 50, 54, 59, 69, 84, 93, 103, 121, 129, 177, 188, 226, 230, 241, 320, 322, 324, 326, 457, 552, 578, 625, 641, 1055, 1092, 1104, 1120, 1232, 1564, 1640, 1788, 1853, 2638, 81-051, 85-084, 88-103, 98-051, 2000-0167

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