Research Facilities

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences has numerous resources available to complement and enhance our programs of study, including remarkable archives and research centres.

Research Institutes and Foundations


The Faculty of Humanities and Social Science's archival collections are world class – the Maritime History Archive (MHA) contains extensive records on commercial, ocean, and maritime history related to the history of maritime activities in Newfoundland and Labrador and throughout the North Atlantic world in the 19th through 20th centuries. Its vast collections, which are used by international as well as local and student researchers, include 4,762 linear metres of records pertaining to crew records from across the British Empire (obtained mid-20th century from the British Library); as well as 553 metres of business records; 32 meters of images; 180m of papers; and 1700 charts. They are used by researchers in many fields: medical history, legal history, maritime history, labour and family history, documentary films, and web-based projects.

The MUN Folklore Archives (MUNFLA) is recognized as one of Canada’s foremost repositories for recorded and collected items of folklore in all its various genres: custom, language, oral history, song, and popular culture. Its holdings include 160,000 folklore survey cards; nearly 50,000 audio and video recordings; 21,200 images; over 170 metres of manuscripts and questionnaires; as well as papers and folklore reference materials. MUNFLA comprises extensive collections of Newfoundland and Labrador folksongs and music (See MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada), folk narratives of many kinds, oral history, folk customs, beliefs and practices, childlore and descriptions of material culture, and Newfoundland popular culture. It is also now home to Memorial’s English Language Research Centre’s collection, (ELRC) has over 100,000 lexical files compiled for the Dictionary of Newfoundland English, as well as files and maps of local toponymy (place names), a collection of Newfoundland and Labrador proverbs and proverbial speech, a collection of family names (approximately a third of which appeared in Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, 1976; corr. edition 1998), and unique and extensive audio recordings, including Harold Paddock’s (Linguistics, retired) lexical Atlas interview recordings (representing some 130 traditional speakers from both the island and Labrador. 

The faculty’s archives work closely with Memorial’s University library and archives, which includes the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, and the Digital Archives Initiative which contains over 212,000 digitized records in a ContentDM collection management system. 

Laboratories, libraries, and reading rooms

Memorial University and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences hosts a diverse range of facilities to serve Humanities and Social Sciences researchers. We list research facilities by academic unit below.

Memorial University

  • Memorial University’s StatCan Research Data Centre (RDC) provides researchers with access to Statistics Canada population and household survey microdata in a secure university setting.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • The Digital research center for qualitative research (DRCQR) provides access to high quality audio and video equipment and software to gather, preserve, process and analyze field data. The DRCQR also makes it possible for researchers to disseminate the results of their research activities back to the communities in which they work.
  • The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Digital Learning Centre (DLC) provides study space and support to students from all academic departments in HSS. The DLC’s resources are particularly useful to learners of English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The facility is equally committed to assisting HSS instructors and researchers with the integration and application of computer-based technology for learning and research.
  • The Computing Centre is dedicated to helping faculty members and graduate students working in the Humanities and Social Sciences with their computing needs.
  • The Humanities and Social Sciences Writing Centre offers help to Memorial students, undergraduate or graduate, who want help with their writing (SN2053 and the Commons).


  • Collections Lab (Maria Lear, Curator; QC 1003), a material culture storage area where all collections currently being studied by faculty and graduate students are housed in an appropriate environment.
  • Conservation Lab (Donna Teasdale, Conservator; QC 1004); two lab spaces for both the chemical treatment and mechanical stabilization of excavated materials, houses large capacity freeze drier, pneumatic cleaning equipment, microscopes, Accumet ion/pH/ conductivity meter, portable dust collectors, holding tanks, walk-in cold storage, and bench space.
  • Labrador Archaeology Lab (Rankin/Whitridge; QC1005), wet/dry lab with bench space for the cataloguing and analysis of archaeological collections, faunal collection, photographic facilities and high-powered microscope.
  • Labrador Digital Lab (Rankin/Whitridge; QC1007); equipped with 3D scanner, drones (with lidar capabilities) computer stations for the processing and analysis of GIS, and other digital imagery.
  • Palaeoecology, Environmental Archaeology and Timescales (PEAT)Laboratory (Forbes/Ledger; QC-1000), offers bench space, a large sink equipped with a sediment trap, and low and high-powered microscopes for the extraction and analysis of pollen, insect and plant macrofossils from peatbogs and archaeological sites.
  • Historical Archaeology: Technology, Community, and Heritage (Hatch) Lab (Gaulton/Losier; QC 1014 and QC1015), provides space for the temporary storage, cataloguing and analysis of archaeological collections. The lab also contains the Peter Pope Library, GIS workstations and photographic facilities.
  • Memorial Applied Archaeological Sciences (MAAS)-micro Lab (Burchell; QC 1008) provides facilities for high-resolution micro-analytical materials analysis. Instrumentation includes a Bruker ALPHA II FITR, fully-automated Zeiss V.2 Axiozoom telecentric microscope with fluorescence, a hand-operated micromill and pXRF
  • Memorial Applied Archaeological Sciences (MAAS) Lab (Burchell/Grimes; QC 1019) is designed for biological (archaeological and modern) sample preparation for analytical methods in archaeology and sclerochronology, including stable (bulk and compound specific - amino acids) and radiogenic isotope analysis (C/N/O/Pb/Sr/S) in association with the CREAIT network, as well as thin-section preparation, and high-resolution digital light microscopy.
  • North Atlantic Archaeology at Risk (NAAR) Lab (QC-1003A) houses remote sensing equipment including Ground Penetrating Radar, and gradiometers as well as RTK for use by faculty and students, and computer stations


  • English Language Research Centre’s mandate is to “encourage and facilitate the investigation of the English language in Newfoundland and Labrador, and to continue research in languages, place-names, and family names.”
  • The Seary Room, a library and reading room (A3014)



  • Canada Research Chair in Natural Resource Sustainability and Community Development (Ratana Chuenpagdee; Bruneau, IIC3063)
  • Environmental Lead Project (Trevor Bell; Computer Science or CS 1015)
  • Laboratory for Mining, e-waste, resources (Josh Lepawsky, Arn Keeling; CS 1016)
  • Soil and Core Sampling (Trevor Bell, Evan Edinger; SN 1016)
  • Tree Ring Sampling (Trevor Bell; SN 1024)
  • GISscience Laboratory (Rodolphe Devillers, SN 1026)
  • Marine Geomatics (Rodolphe Devillers; SN 1027)
  • Climate Analysis Lab (Joel Finnis; SN 2010)



  • The Kiefte room and library (A-3069)

Religious Studies

  • Grad/Student Library (AA5033)
  • Religion and Newfoundland and Labrador archives (AA5028)