McMaster to establish Bertrand Russell Research Centre


Senate has approved a proposal by the Faculty of Humanities to establish a Bertrand Russell Research Centre at McMaster. The centre will bring a variety of activities relating to the famous philosopher together for administrative purposes.

Daniel Woolf, dean of humanities, notes that the Faculty has identified Russell studies as an academic priority. “This is a way of harmonizing a number of activities which currently operate under various umbrellas, and bring them together under one roof.” The actual Russell Archives, located in Mills Library, would remain there, he adds.

“It is remarkable that (McMaster) has the papers of Bertrand Russell. It has great significance for the Faculty and the University,” Woolf says.

The centre will be housed within the Faculty and be administered by a director. It is expected that the centre be operational by July 2000.

The activities that will come under the auspices of the centre include the Collected Papers project, publication of the Russell journal and presentation of the annual Russell lecture series, sponsored by the Centre for Peace Studies.

“This is an imaginative initiative by Dean Woolf,” comments Richard Rempel, who is retiring as director of the Russell Editorial Project. “It will extend and deepen the boundaries of research on Russell by bringing scholars and post-docs to McMaster.”

Both Woolf and Rempel say that the most important advantage of such a centre will be the opportunities it offers for promoting McMaster as the international home of Russell studies.

“It will be a major intellectual stimulus for McMaster,” says Rempel, “and will place the University in the forefront of research related to liberal ideas and thought in the 20th century.”