Fonds MG1026 - Maxwell Cohen Fonds

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Maxwell Cohen Fonds

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

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  • 1923-1976 (Creation)
    Cohen, Maxwell, 1910-

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Physical description

6 m of textual records.

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Biographical history

Maxwell Cohen was born in Winnipeg and educated at the University of Manitoba (B.A. 1930; L.B. 1934) and at Northwestern University (LL.M. 1936). From 1937 to 1938, he was a research fellow at Harvard Law School. After joining the Bar of Manitoba, he served as junior counsel on the Combines Investigation Committee (1938-1940). From 1940 to 1941, he worked for the Economics Branch of the Department of Munitions and Supply, and after the war he joined the Faculty of Law at McGill, where he served as Dean from 1964 to 1969. He retired as Emeritus Professor in 1978.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists primarily of Cohen’s records of his professional and administrative work at McGill, with some materials on his own research and publishing interests. His university administrative files (1948-1975), while concerned largely with the business of Senate and its committees, also contains a full record of Cohen's work on the McGill brief to the Royal Commission on Bi-culturalism and Bilingualism (1963-1967). Also noteworthy are extensive files on the organization of the McGill conferences on world affairs, industry and government, and the future of competition in Canada (1958-1972), and on student unrest (1960-1970).

Faculty of Law administrative and teaching files (1953-1957) contain notes, memoranda, reports and correspondence concerning admissions, staff relations, curriculum, and study materials. Special emphasis is given to the files on the Institutes of Comparative and International Law, and Air and Space Law, and to Cohen's teaching records for his seminars on international law and government control of business (1966-1973).

Files of correspondence and reports document Cohen's involvement in various professional organizations, legal (e.g. bar associations, Canadian Association for Comparative Law, Canadian Foundation for Education in World Law), educational (e.g. associations of law teachers and law schools, CAUT, MAUT), and international (e.g. ILO). There are also files on conferences concerning legal teaching, international law and business law. The period covered is 1952-1975.

Subject files of notes, correspondence, and Cohen's essays and addresses illustrate his interest in diplomacy, international relations, trade unions and industrial arbitration, family law, and civil liberties. Also included are some of his earlier writings (1923-1945) on Canadian business in the pre-war and World War II era, on international relations during the War, as well as on famous criminal cases in Western Canada. Most of the papers documenting Maxwell Cohen's national and international career are held by the Public Archives of Canada.

In addition, there are approximately 25 books, journals and published articles related to Law and which belonged to, or were written by, Maxwell Cohen. The items contain dedications and/or have been annotated.

The three series of files are as follows:
I. Papers primarily relating to the administrative and governing bodies of McGill University, particularly the Senate.
II. Papers arising out of administrative and teaching duties in the Law Faculty, and
Ill. Papers documenting professional activities and interests, including associations and conferences. Included are files raised in connection with various writings (originally received with Accession 162).

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The original file headings are usually retained and some have been standardized for clarity and consistency. The original division of the bulk of the files into 3 groups, variously labeled 'McGill University', 'Law Faculty' and 'M.C.' has been for the most part maintained, reflecting as it does, the originator's roles in the university at large, in the Law Faculty, and as a lawyer and educator. The sections have been described here as series.

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  • English

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Material in English.

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Accession nos.

0000-2248; 2010-0032

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