Dr. Alan Wilson

Born in Dartmouth, N.S. in 1927, Alan Wilson graduated from Dalhousie, B.A. (English), 1948, M.A. (Modern European Diplomatic History), 1950; and from Toronto, Ph.D. (Canadian History), 1959, under Donald Creighton, where he won the Harold Innis Scholarship. Married to writer, Budge (Archibald) Wilson, C.M., O.N.S., LL.D., D. Hum. L.; they have two daughters, Glynis (Trent ’79) and Andrea, R.N., and two grandsons.

  • Lecturer, Head of Department, Prince of Wales College, C’town, 1950-52;
  • Associate Professor, Acadia University, 1955-56, 1958-60;
  •  Associate Professor, Co-Head of History, University of Western Ontario, 1960-65, Chair of UWO’s Graduate History programme;
  • Professor & Founding Chair, History, Trent University, 1964-70, -89;
  • First Administrator, Classics, Trent University, 1965-7;
  • Professor, Founding Chair, Trent’s Canadian Studies Programme, ’72-89


  • Received Trent’s Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching.
  • Elected to Trent’s Senate and Board of Governors.
  • Charter member and first Secretary, Faculty Association executive. Senate-elected adviser to Trent’s Native Studies Honours Programme.
  • Taught summer school at UBC.
  • Member and Chair of Programme Committee, Board of Canadian Historical Association; chair and inaugural speaker at founding of CHA Business History Section.
  • Lectured across Canada and the United States; at Canada House, London, and at the Universities of Mexico City, London, Oxford, Edinburgh, Nantes, Rouen and Moscow.
  • Retired, 1989, to Halifax, briefly joined Saint Mary’s Gorsebrook Institute in Atlantic Studies.
  • Still lectures with Elderlearners and for SCANS on “The Development of the Atlantic Provinces” and “The Historical Context of Maritime Literature.”
  • Served ten years as Founding Chair of the Helen Creighton Folklore Foundation; now in 21st year on the South Shore Library Board, served two terms as Chair, and two as President of the Library Boards Association of Nova Scotia, which granted him its Award of Merit.
  • Has written biographical and literary documentaries for CBC and the History Channel;
  • Delivered Acadia University’s and Queen’s County’s valedictory address to Thomas Raddall;
  • Edited 10-volume ‘Canadian Biographical Series’ published by the DCB, UTP  and Laval.
  • Has published three books; fourth in press at UTP, a biography of the early Maritimes’ Presbyterian leader and Scottish Enlightenment icon, Rev. James MacGregor.
  • Published over sixty encylopaedia and academic articles, including the introduction to the Hudson’s Bay Record Society’s Letters of C.J. Brydges, Sir Sandford Fleming’s chief rival in the West.
  • Working with a publisher on a first novel, set on the South Shore.
  • Remains free-lance editor and reader for various presses, for the Bilson Award and for the Writers Federation of N.S.
  •  A long-simmering summation is in preparation: The Mind of the Maritimes.
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