Cowan Collection is officially presented to UVic

June 22, 2015

The archives of Ian McTaggart Cowan, often referred to as the "father of Canadian ecology" were officially presented to UVic Special Collections and Archives by McTaggart Cowan's family. The collection will be available for public access and will be a boon to research. The collection consists of Ian McTaggart Cowan's field journals, photographs, lecture notes, articles, books, correspondence and CBC footage from a 75-year multi-faceted career. McTaggart Cowan's daughter, Ann, said this donation is in keeping with the value her father placed on his role as an educator. He kept these records, accumulated during a life time of discovery, meticulously, aware of their importance for the future. 

McTaggart-Cowan's contributions to science and conservation continue to inflence the research community in BC and beyond. Researchers and scholars, including Dr. Brian Starzomski, the Ian McTaggart Cowan Professor of Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecological Restoration, use the archives regularly in their research. The digitization of the archives will open them to scientists, naturalists and other community members all over the world. 

Official biographer Briony Penn said "Ian felt that as long as people had knowledge they could make informed decisions, and as long as people were enthused about nature, they would seek to protect it." Read the Ring article.