Fonds F 4640 - Harry K. Fisher fonds

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Harry K. Fisher fonds

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    CA ON00009 F 4640

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    • 1947-2000, 2003-2009 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    1.3 metres of textual records
    3 volumes of textual records
    116 photographs : black and white prints, colour prints
    1 DVD (42 min.)

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Harry King Fisher (1930- ) was a career educator, beginning as a teacher in a one-room rural school in Perth County and rising to become the Deputy Minister of Education and the Deputy Minister of Colleges and Universities for Ontario.

    Born on September 23, 1930 in Stratford, Ontario, Fisher obtained a Teaching Certificate at the Stratford Normal School (renamed Stratford Teacher's College in 1953) in 1949. His first teaching assignment was at SS#3 Logan Township in Perth County (1949-1951). He then taught at Danesbury Public School (1951-1954) and Dublin Public School (1954-1956) before serving as Vice-Principal of Maple Leaf Public School (1956-1957) and Principal of Highview Public School (1958), all with the North York Board of Education.

    In 1958, Fisher became Inspector of Public Schools for Muskoka No. 1, Parry Sound No. 2 and Nipissing No. 3 (1958-1961) and filled the same position as well as that of Superintendent of Public Schools with the Welland Board of Education (1961-1966). In 1966, he returned to Toronto and began working for the Ontario Ministry of Education as Assistant Superintendent, Supervisory Services Branch. In 1969, Fisher became Superintendent of the Special Education Branch and between 1972 and 1973 served as Director of the Supervisory Services Branch.

    In 1974, Fisher was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education, a post he would occupy until 1979, when he was appointed Deputy Minister of Education and Deputy Minister of Colleges and Universities for Ontario. It was during this time that Fisher chaired the Committee on the Future Role of Universities in Ontario (often referred to as the 'Fisher Committee') and addressed such issues as curriculum development, declining school enrolment, special education, computer use in Ontario schools, Canada's first credit course in Native Studies and language rights for francophone students.

    After leaving public service, Fisher was appointed Director General of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada in 1984 and served as Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario between 1989 and 1991. Additionally, he was Canada's representative on the Governing Council of the International Bureau of Education at the United Nations (1986-1989). Fisher completed his career as an independent education consultant, retiring in 1997.

    During his career Fisher was the recipient of the following awards: the Centennial Medal (1967); the Queen's 25th Anniversary Medal (1977); an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from Lakehead University (1983); the Annual Award for Leadership in Education (1985); and Honourary Life Membership in the Canadian Education Association (1989).

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    Fonds consists of the professional records of Harry K. Fisher, spanning his career as an educator in Ontario. All eras of his career are represented including: teacher; Vice-Principal; Principal; Inspector of Schools; Superintendent of Public Schools; Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent in the Ministry of Education; Assistant Deputy Minister and Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education; Director General, Council of Ministers of Education, Canada; Dean of Education at the University of Western Ontario; and education consultant.

    Specific types of records include: correspondence, minutes, meeting agendas, reports, programs, published articles, clippings, contracts, certificates, conference materials, briefing notes, orders-in-council, newsletters, speeches, formal invitations, thank-you cards and memoranda. Fonds also includes photographs depicting Fisher's early classes, meetings and international events he attended. Additionally, there is one DVD of Fisher being interviewed as part of an Education Leadership Series produced by the Ontario Association of Education Administration Officials.

    For a more detailed description, use this link to the Archives of Ontario's descriptive database:

    Notes area

    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    The Harry K. Fisher fonds was donated to the Archives of Ontario by Harry King Fisher in 2011.


    Fonds is arranged into ten series chronologically by career position. The original order of Fisher's filing system has been maintained where possible. It is important to note that prior to donation, Fisher's records were organized chronologically and he had a tendency to paste records together despite a lack of thematic cohesion. Therefore, some file entries may exhibit signs of thematic bleeding between two or more folders.

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        For a more detailed description, use this link to the Archives of Ontario's descriptive database:

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        No accruals are expected.

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        Added Apr/12.

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