Fonds SZE - Z. L. Szeliski Fonds

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Z. L. Szeliski Fonds

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Reference code

CA ON00419 SZE

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Dates of creation area


  • 1961-1994 (Creation)
    Zseliski, Zdzislaw

Physical description area

Physical description

5 cm of textual records and ca. 90 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1924 - 2018-01-23)

Biographical history

Zdzislaw Ludwig Zseliski, known as Dick Szeliski, was born in Poland in 1924. He was a member of the Polish Underground Army and took part in the 1944 Warsaw uprising. After liberation from a prisoner of war camp, he joined the Polish Second Corps in Italy. He moved to London after the war and obtained a Civil Engineering degree before beginning his professional career in 1950 at the Bridge Design Office of British Railways. He moved to Canada in 1951 and joined the Engineering Department of Canadian National Railways (CNR). He was Senior Structural Engineer at CNR in the 1950s when the Victoria Bridge Diversion was under construction. He was promoted to Assistant Chief Engineer – Structures and became responsible for Design, Construction and Maintenance of bridges and buildings across the CN systems. At the time of his retirement in 1986, he held the post of Chief Engineer, Bridges and Structures. After his retirement from CNR, he worked as a consultant for CANAC International on several international projects. Szeliski was an active member of the Canadian Standards Association, chairing its Committee on Concrete Railway Bridges, among other roles. He gave a number of lectures of the Victoria Bridge. He married Jadwiga Mieszkowska in 1954 and they had two children. Szeliski died 23 January 2018.

Custodial history

The fonds was donated to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in 1999.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of papers, copied diagrams and articles, clippings, correspondence and photographs about rail bridges. Most of the material is about Montreal’s Victoria Bridge. For example, there is a copy of internal CN report on the design and construction of the Victoria Bridge Diversion project, 1957-1960.

Notes area

Physical condition

Newspaper clippings have yellowed and become brittle with age.

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General note

Related material: Szeliski also donated artifact no. 1997.0306, a CNR nameplate originally posted on the Victoria Bridge.

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Created by A. Torrance, 2019-08. French editing by Céline Mongeau, Larocque Linguistic Services, 2021-02.

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