Guy Henson fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Guy Henson fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

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


Physical description area

Physical description

1.49 m of textual records . -- 13 photographs.

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

Guy Henson (1910-1978) was a prominent figure in education in Nova Scotia for nearly 40 years. He served as a school principal (1933); Secretary (1935-1940) and Director of Visual Education (1938-1940), Nova Scotia Department of Education; Director, Atlantic Region (1941-1943) and Assistant Director Overseas (1943-1945), Canadian Legion Educational Services; Director of Adult Education, Nova Scotia Department of Education (1945-1956); and Director of the Institute of Public Affairs, Dalhousie University (1957-1976).

Born in Paris, France on July 21, 1910, Guy Henson was the son of Herbert A. and Elizabeth B. (née Campbell) Henson of Great Britain. The family moved to Annapolis County, Nova Scotia when Henson was a year old, and he graduated from Bridgetown High School in 1926. He spent the next three years at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude). Henson married Elizabeth J. Groom of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia on October 17, 1934. Following his university studies, Henson worked as a newspaper proofreader, reporter and junior news editor (1929-1930); an assistant commissioner for the Maritime Provinces Trade Commission to Ontario (1930-1932); and Secretary to Nova Scotia Premier Angus L. MacDonald (1933-1935) before embarking on his distinguished career in education.

Guy Henson was a very active member of his community. He was the first President of the Province House Credit Union Limited; Chairman of the Halifax Cooperative Council; President of the Halifax Cooperative Society Limited; first President of the Halifax Opera Association; President of the Halifax Branch, United Nations Association as well as a National Vice-President of that association; first President of the Halifax Music Festival Association; Chairman of the Nova Scotia Committee for UNICEF; and President of the Nova Scotia Festival of the Arts. Henson received honours and distinctions from the Royal Canadian Legion, the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People; the Nova Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations; the Halifax and District Federal Local 273; Canadian Labour Congress; and the Nova Scotia chapter, Canadian Institute of Assessors.

In recognition of his widespread contribution to his society, Henson received a Doctor of Civil Laws ( honoris causa) from Acadia University on May 6, 1974. Henson was nominated for a Vanier Award in 1976, and on April 19, 1978 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. Guy Henson died on May 23, 1978.

Name of creator

Administrative history

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) was founded in 1936 by Dr. Lothar Richter and Dalhousie University through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in recognition of the need for more economic and social support during the Depression. Initially, it was considered an experimental organization, intended to unify Dalhousie University with the community in respect to public policy and social science and to achieve greater regional economic and social development. The four main activity areas of the IPA were government, business, labour, and community, with a special focus on public administration.

Dr. Guy Henson became the director in 1957 and was given a mandate to reorganize the IPA. Under his guidance, the Institute broadened its research programs concerned with socio-economic programs. The IPA became deeply involved with the Africville Relocation Project and began to do significant work in the field of labour-management relations.

Kell Antoft succeeded Henson as director in 1977, a position he held for five years. In 1980, the Institute moved into its own building, the Henson Centre, named in honour of the efforts of the former director. In 1984, the Henson Centre, the IPA, and the Office of Part Time Studies of Extension were amalgamated to create Henson College of Public Affairs and Continuing Education. Funding for Henson College was discontinued in 1993 by Dalhousie University, which led to a decrease in the College's activities. As a result of this loss of funding, Henson College was amalgamated in 2003 into the College of Continuing Education (CCE). The CCE does not necessarily carry on the work and missions of the IPA or Henson College, and therefore should not be considered a newly named version of either organization. However, it is the sole remaining institution that arose from the work performed by its predecessors.

The Institute of Public Affairs maintained its own library, which supported the needs of its staff in addition to the public. The holdings totalled more than 18,000 items, which covered topics such as economic development, local government, industrial relations, management development, and labour organization. Beginning in 1984, the Institute's library was gradually integrated into Dalhousie University Libraries.

Custodial history

Following Guy Henson's death the fonds were in the custody of Don F. MacLean of the Institute of Public Affairs, Dalhousie University during the summer of 1978. The fonds was then transferred to the custody of Jane Henson, Henson's daughter, before the summer of 1979. The Henson family donated the fonds to the Dalhousie University Archives on August 31, 1979.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence (1943-1975), publications (1946-1970), addresses and forewords (1944-1977), unpublished documents (1952-1978), material collected for reference and other purposes, newspaper cuttings, memorabilia (1934-1977), and black and white photographs (1946-1975), written or collected by Guy Henson. Reference and other materials pertain to a wide variety of topics, including golf, education in Nova Scotia, political movements and current affairs, social causes, labour, management, and the activities of many local, provincial and national societies.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Order may have been imposed by one of the custodians or the receiving archivist.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script note


Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Henson's immediate family, Don Maclean, and Paul Brown have unrestricted access to all material in the Guy Henson fonds.

Copyright of the unpublished book article and address manuscripts has been retained by the Henson family.

For permission to use the Howe and Coady material, the Alberta Letts Memorial Lecture material, and the prospectus for "Compulsory Reader for the New Managerial Elite," researchers are to contact Jane Henson.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Labour material is available in the many Labour Unions collections.

See also Dalhousie University Institute of Public Affairs/Henson College fonds (UA-26).

The Nova Scotia Opera Association collection (MS-5-4) is available in the Music section.

The Kell Antoft collection (MS-2-743) is available in the Private Manuscripts section.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Guy Henson fonds, MS-2-373, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area


This fonds description comes from the Dalhousie University Archives Catalog. The complete, original description is available there.

Accession area