A graduate of McGill, Arthur Erickson has divided the archives of his work among several Canadian repositories, The Canadian Architecture Collection of McGill University, the Canadian Architectural Archives of the University of Calgary and the Canadian Centre for Architecture among them. The archival material documenting the Middle East projects of Arthur Erickson was first deposited in the Canadian Architecture Collection (CAC) of McGill University in 1988, in keeping with the CAC's mission of collecting the work of prominent figures associated with the McGill School of Architecture. The presence, at McGill, of the Institute of Islamic Studies and the project involvement in the region by the School of Architecture provided a strong context for this particular donation.
Since 1975, Erickson undertook some forty projects in the Middle East, most of them large-scale public projects. He created masterplans and designed universities, museums, office buildings, residential complexes and diplomatic compounds in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria, among others. Some were built, others remained at a competition and project stage. Most provide an important insight into the challenges of designing buildings and cities in an environment and culture radically different from our own. Although the Middle-East Projects form the bulk and the raison d’etre of the Erickson Archive at McGill, a couple of projects from his students years have been deposited with the CAC and are included herewith for information.