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The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. More

Archives of the Agricultural Experience: Sol Sinclair


Sol Sinclair

Biographical Sketch

Solomon Sinclair was born in Rocanville, Saskatchewan on January 14, 1905.  He grew up on a farm at Lipton, Saskatchewan.  He received his primary and secondary education at the Herzl School and he obtained a teaching certificate at Regina Normal School in 1922.  He taught in a rural school for two years before returning to his home farm and running the operation until 1930.  He registered in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba in 1924 and then transferred to the University of Saskatchewan in 1926 after a lapse of one year on the farm.  The Great Depression and poor crop conditions prevented Sol Sinclair from attending classes from 1928 to 1930.  He returned to the University of Saskatchewan in 1930 and graduated with a B.S.A. in 1932.  The following year he married his wife, Ellie Osten.

Sol Sinclair's career at the University of Manitoba began in 1945 as an Assistant Professor of Economics.  He taught courses in agricultural economics, developed a research program, and established a major undergraduate and M.Sc. program in Agricultural Economics.

Sol Sinclair obtained a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at the University of Minnesota in 1953.  In the same year, he was appointed Professor and Head of the one-man Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba.  Under Dr. Sinclair's headship, the Department increased to ten full-time academics with supporting staff and, by 1960, it was the first Department in Canada to offer a Ph.D. program in Agricultural Economics.  Dr. Sinclair developed the premier department of agricultural economics in Canada.

Dr. Sinclair took a two-year leave to serve as economic advisor to the Minister of Agriculture in Kenya from 1966 to 1968.  In 1968, he returned to the University to establish the Natural Resources Institute's (N.R.I.) two year graduate program in resource management.  Dr. Sinclair developed the course program, designed the criteria for student admission and evaluation, defined the form and content of the practicum, and created the committee formats for the academic, research ,and evaluation tasks.  He retired from Agricultural Economics in 1973.

In addition to his stellar academic career, he has also served on numerous private and government committees and commissions, and he has received many honours and awards.  Dr. Sinclair was awarded fellowships from the Canada Council in 1951 and 1961, made Professor Emeritus in 1974, and an honourary Doctor of Law in 1976 at the University of Manitoba.  He was also granted the Order of Arctic Adventurers by the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories in 1976.  In 1986, the Solomon Sinclair Farm Management Institute was established.

His professional assignments include the following: Chairman of the Board of Review for the Prairie Farm Assistance Act from 1955 to 1961, member of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada from 1962 to 1966 and 1972 to 1977, Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation from 1969 to 1977, and consultant on the UNESCO Panel of Experts on the establishment of the United Nations University from 1972 to 1976.  Dr. Sinclair was involved with professional and public service groups too numerous to list here.  He also wrote and researched about 140 papers between 1945 and 1975, many of which are included in this collection.

Dr. Sinclair was responsible for the establishment of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Manitoba and its reputation as the best agricultural economics program in Canada.  His involvement on several governmental advisory and research boards continued his support of desirable research and economic management programs.  Dr. Sinclair made numerous contributions to his Faculty, to his students, to the University, to the community, and to his own profession both nationally and internationally.  Sinclair passed away on October 2, 1988.

Scope and Content

This collection contains most of Sol Sinclair's papers, which were written for public use between 1945 and 1975.  Many of his handwritten drafts, notes, research materials, and statistical data are also included.  The collection's main emphasis is on the papers, essays, and articles researched and written by Dr. Sinclair.

Correspondence relating to Dr. Sinclair's professional activities is also included.  The majority of the correspondence relates to his duties with the University of Manitoba, other institutions, and government committees.

Dr. Sinclair's role in the development of Agricultural Economics at the University of Manitoba and his contribution to Canadian agriculture and fisheries is well documented in this collection.


Collection Reference: MSS 86
Inclusive Dates: 1932-1986
Collection Contents: 4.0 m. of textual records
Access Conditions: None


Sol Sinclair fonds

Finding aid available