Fonds RC0503 - William Charles Noble fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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William Charles Noble fonds

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1913-2007 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

2.5 m of textual records and other materials

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Name of creator


Biographical history

William Charles Noble was born on 1 May 1941 to William T. Noble(1913-1989) and Lucy R. Noble (1913-2005). A graduate of the University of Toronto, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Calgary in 1968 (thesis entitled “Iroquois archaeology and the development of Iroquois social organization, 1000-1650 A.D.: A study in culture change based on archaeology, ethnohistory and ethnology”). Noble was the first Canadian-born student to graduate with a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary, which was the first university in Canada to establish an archaeology program. He was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University on 1 July 1971. Nicknamed “Barren Lands Bill”, Noble excavated many sites, including Cleveland (AhHb-7), Hamilton (AiHa-5), Thorold (AgGt-1), and Walker (AgHa-9). He was the author of numerous studies on Iroquois (Six Nations / Haudenosaunee / Rotinonshionni) culture, the Neutral (Chonnonton / Onguiaahra) people who lived along the western shores of Lake Ontario, and early Ontario archaeology. In the early 1990s he was Professor Emeritus after taking early retirement. Married twice, first to Jean MacLeod Slater and later to Jacqueline E.M. Crerar (Noble), he had two children, Gordon William Noble (1969-1988) and Elizabeth M. Noble. He died on 26 April 2009.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The majority of the fonds relates to archaeological sites, as well as research notes, and other materials.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The fonds (2011-20) was acquired from the Noble estate on 16 May 2011.


The fonds consists of 11 series: archaeological sites; archeologists; artifact catalogues and collections; collectors; conference papers; correspondence; manuscripts; professional career; research notes; slides; and maps.

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Script of material

Location of originals

Many of the artifacts related to Noble's notes are held by McMaster's Department of Anthropology.

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Images depicting human remains may not be published or displayed without the written consent of the most closely culturally or geographically associated First Nations peoples.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Additional material is available at the NWT Archives.


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Finding aid compiled by Nicole Jones and Meghan Burchell; edited by McMaster University archivists.

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