University of Calgary

Showcasing the Doucette Historical Collection

UToday HomeFebruary 12, 2013

By Betty Rice

Andrew Doucette cuts the ribbon opening the Education Tower, 1968.  Courtesy of the Faculty of Education and Doucette Historical CollectionAndrew Doucette cuts the ribbon opening the Education Tower, 1968. Courtesy of the Faculty of Education and Doucette Historical CollectionMany people on campus recognize the name Doucette, most likely because the library in the Faculty of Education carries that family name.

But what some might not know is the importance of the man behind the name, especially as it pertains to the history of the University of Calgary. Now, the Faculty of Education has chosen to highlight the work of one of the university’s early leaders.

Andrew Doucette’s connection to the University of Calgary goes back to the year 1947, when he began serving as the director of the Calgary Branch of the University of Alberta, a post he held until 1960. Although he was never dean of the faculty or president of the university, Doucette is considered one of the founding fathers of today’s University of Calgary. He was on hand for the groundbreaking of the present campus in 1958; in fact, it was he who put the first shovel into the ground where the university stands today. A decade later, he came out of retirement to cut the ribbon opening the Education Tower.

So it’s no real surprise to find a library dedicated to Andrew Doucette.

What many don’t know is that within the basement of the Education Classroom Block lies the Doucette Historical Collection ― archival material containing textbooks and equipment used in teaching from the early 1900s until today, decades of dissertations, early yearbooks, documents, and official papers.

A small portion of the Doucette Historical Collection is now on display in the main floor breezeway between the Education Tower and the Classroom Block; additional pieces of the collection can be found in the library itself.

“Andrew Doucette was and is a compelling role model for past and future generations of teachers and academic leaders,” says Laura Koltutsky, interim director of the Doucette Library of Teaching Resources. “We are honoured to have a number of titles from his personal book collection in the Doucette Historical Collection.”

Linda Johnson, operations supervisor for the Doucette Library and the curator of the exhibit, says setting up the display was a lesson in itself.

“This project has allowed me to showcase some special features I gleaned while exploring information about the evolution of our education library, the contents of our Doucette Historical Collection, and Dr. Doucette himself, for whom we named our library,” says Johnson. “Doucette’s many achievements reflect an admirable, hard working individual dedicated to the development of education in Alberta, particularly in Calgary.”

Learn more about the Doucette Library.