Morris Zaslow, University of Western Ontario, was a pioneer in the study of the Canadian North’s history, and he had long known of and admired the work of Canadian explorers such as George Dawson, Albert Low, Robert Bell, Joseph Tyrrell, and Charles Camsell. All were employees of the Geological Survey of Canada, so it was little wonder that he willingly accepted a commission from the Survey to research and record its history.
To help him in his monumental task, the Survey set up a History Committee made up of key Survey staff and chaired by Art Lang, Chief, Mineral Deposits Division, then by Bob Blackadar, Chief Scientific Editor. The committee helped Zaslow connect with former and current staff for interviews, and come to grips with the scientific and technical information he had to cover.
Zaslow started work on the project in the mid-1960s, and Reading the Rocks: The Story of the Geological Survey of Canada 1842-1972 was published in 1975. It is essential reading for those interested in the contributions made by the Survey to the exploration and development of Canada, and in the stories of the many fascinating personalities who made it happen.
Zaslow, M., 1971. The Opening of the Canadian North 1870-1914; McClelland and Stewart, Toronto, 339 p.
Zaslow, M., 1975. Reading the Rocks – The Story of the Geological Survey of Canada 1842-1972; The MacMillan Company of Canada Ltd, Toronto, 599 p.