Théophile Eugène Poitevin fonds [multiple media]
Record Information – Brief1
Théophile Eugène Poitevin fonds [multiple media]Hierarchical level:FondsDate:1862-1970.Reference:R15519-0-0-EType of material:Photographs, Maps and cartographic material, Objects (including medals and pins), Textual material, Architectural and technical drawingsFound in:Archives / Collections and FondsItem ID number:4814113Context of this record:
Record Information – DetailsFonds includes:6 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)Date(s):1862-1970.Place of creation:OntarioAdded country of publication:France, Germany, Various places, United Kingdom, United States, CanadaExtent:1,03 m textual records.
134 photographs : b&w.
7 technical drawings.
1 medal : bronze
1 contact goniometer.
1 stereographic protractor.
1 compass box.
1 dictabelt cylinder.
6 glass plates.Language of material:EnglishAdded language of material:English, FrenchScope and content:The fonds contains unique information resources related mostly to Poitevin's career at the GSC. The bulk of the material is relevant to Poitevin's identification of minerals and mineral deposits and the analysis of their chemical and physical properties. It is also relevant to his activities as a research consultant to medical science in the area of silicosis, an incurable respiratory disease that largely effects miners and other industrial workers exposed to silica dust.The fonds also demonstrates Poitevin's consultation work done as an aid to the mining industry. Notable information resources include correspondence files on Asbestos Corp. Ltd. regarding the search for new asbestos mineral reserves in 1929-30; included are reports and maps of asbestos deposits at Thetford/Black Lake. Mineralogical studies files also include notes, correspondence, maps and data on comptonite dykes in Quebec, lithium-bearing minerals from Manitoba and a comparative study of some platiniferous rocks from Tulameen (B.C.) and the Ural Mountains in Russia.
Additionally, the fonds contains material related to other important projects Poitevin worked on as head of the GSC's mineralogy division: included is a copy of his WWII report for the Canadian Army on the origin of sands used as ballast in Japanese balloon bombs that landed on the U.S. and Canadian pacific coasts. There is also a file and correspondence on the Canadian mineralogical display for the 1937 Paris Exhibit.
Finally, there is a small amount of personal information related to Poitevin himself, including copies of his 1922 Phd thesis, his 1937 Paris Exhibition bronze medal, personal correspondence showing his connections to important and influential figures (including a 1930s letter from Nobel Laureate, Irene Joliot Curie), his École Polytechnique course work journals and biographical information including partial notes on his early days working in the field.Provenance:Additional name(s):Biography/Administrative history:Poitevin, Théophile Eugène, 1888-1978 : Born in Montréal in 1888, mineralogist Dr. Théophile Eugène Poitevin studied first at collège Mont-St-Louis and then at the Université de Laval's École Polytechnique, where he graduated in 1911. In 1913, he joined the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) as Assistant Mineralogist to R.A.A. Johnston. Under the federal Department of Mines, the primary function of the Survey's Mineralogy division was the identification of minerals and mineral deposits and the analysis of their chemical and physical properties for economic and scientific purposes. In his first years, the GSC sent Poitevin to the United States to do graduate work and into the field to conduct research that included mineralogical studies of chromite and asbestos deposits in Quebec's Eastern Townships and platinum placer deposits at Tulamen, B.C.. Poitevin's resulting 1918 publication, "Mineralogy of the Black Lake Area", was recognized by his peers as a significant contribution to Canadian mineralogical knowledge. At a time when mineralogy was in its infancy in Canada, Poitevin was quickly recognized as a leader in his field. In 1921, he succeeded Johnston as Chief of the mineralogy division at the GSC. Over the course of the next 35 years, he continued to make significant scientific contributions, authoring and co-authoring numerous papers on individual minerals found at established and new sites around the country. His expertise was also sought on issues involving the mining industry, medical science and national defense during the Second World War. Poitevin also collaborated in systematizing and expanding the GSC's mineral collection, creating a reference collection that laid the foundation for a National Mineral Collection. Today, that collection is housed at the Canadian Museum of Nature and is heavily used by Canadian and international researchers.He also broadened general knowledge of mineralogy among Canadians by introducing affordable rock and mineral reference sets, first made available to prospectors during the depression and soon afterward, to universities, schools and the general public.By the time of his retirement in 1956, an estimated 120,000 sets were being sold and distributed annually.Throughout, his experienced eye and cumulative knowledge was frequently called upon as a public service in the examination of thousands of specimens sent to the Ottawa headquarters of the GSC. During his lifetime, Dr. Poitevin received several honours for his contributions to the science of mineralogy and his work on behalf of the federal government : in 1927 he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada and was made a Honorary Life Member; in 1930 he became an elected member of the Societé Française de Minéralogie and was awarded the bronze medal at the 1937 Paris Exposition for his curation of the Canadian mineralogical exhibit . As a lasting tribute from his peers, the mineral Poitevinite was named in his honour in 1964. Poitevin died in 1978.Finding aid:Source:Private
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