The fonds consists of material created throughout the course of Major Charles’ career as a surveyor and engineer for the Canadian National Railway. Included are several maps, reports and articles, both published and unpublished, on surveys conducted regarding the feasibility of constructing railways in the Canadian North. The fonds were created from 1908 to 1989, with the prominent dates of creation being 1959 to 1983.
Fonds consists of four main series. The first series, Personal, consists of various biographical sketches and newspaper clippings of Major Charles, itineraries of railway inspection tours, two compilations of retirement messages from Charles’ co-workers as well as his diploma from Cambridge. A copy of the memoirs of Mr. William Chandler, a friend of Charles’ is also included.
The second series consists of correspondence. It spans the years 1941-1987. It is a mix of both personal and work-related correspondence. The majority of the correspondence is to Major Charles, but here are some copies of letters from him as well.
The third series consists of articles, both published and unpublished, written by Major Charles. Most of the articles were written in the 1960s and were published in journals such as the Canadian Geographical Journal and The Engineering Journal.
The fourth series consists of railway reports. The majority of the reports deal with the feasibility of constructing railways in the Canadian North. Three of them deal with the railway in Zambia that Major Charles surveyed. There is also a photographic collection (PC 208) which consists of 30 photographs. A map collection (MC 8) is also part of the fonds. It consists of several maps that were not attached to any of the railway reports.
Charles, John L.