The Sarjeant Collection is made up of several collections, the most significant of which is the Sarjeant History of Science Collection. The other collections are the Sarjeant Literature Collection, the Sarjeant Humour Collection, the Sarjeant Travel Collection and the Sarjeant Children's Literature Collection. The various collections can be accessed via the online catalogue by entering the name of the collection in the "any field" search box.
William Antony Swithin (Bill) Sarjeant (1935-2002), geologist, paleontologist, bibliophile and bibliographer, novelist, folklorist, Sherlockian scholar and heritage advocate, was born and educated in Sheffield, England. Following a career as an academic geologist at the University of Nottingham, he immigrated with his family to Saskatoon, Canada in 1972, where he served as Professor of Geology at the University of Saskatchewan from 1972 until his death. His research work focused primarily on the study of marine microfossils and the history of the earth sciences, later to be expanded to include the study of fossil footprints.
A bibliophile and collector by nature, Bill amassed a collection estimated at more than 70,000 books on subjects ranging from the history of science to children's literature, popular fiction - primarily speculative fiction, detective fiction and humour - transportation, and travel literature.
The largest of these collections was devoted to the history of the earth sciences and provided the initial core material for Bill's major 10-volume bibliography, which has become a standard reference work for anyone interested in the field.
Bill's donation of these collections, valued at more than one-million dollars, to the University of Alberta Library commenced in 1996 and concluded with the bequest of the remainder upon his death.