Bader Family

Fonds number:
Title: Bader Family
Dates of Material:
1949-1951, 1975, 2000
12 cm of textual records
1 audio cassette
Biographical sketch

Alfred Bader was born in Vienna, Austria in 1924. After Kristallnacht he was included in the first Kindertransport from Vienna to Britain in December 1938. In 1940 he was interned in a British detention centre until being transferred to another centre on Quebec’s Ile aux Noix later that year; while there he studied for McGill University’s matriculation exams, passing them in 1941. After World War II he studied chemistry and engineering at Queen’s University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in 1945. Emigrating to the United States, he pursued graduate studies at Harvard, earning an M.Sc. in organic chemistry in 1948 and then a Ph.D. in 1949. During a sea voyage to Liverpool that year he met Isabel Overton.

After his studies, Bader began work as a research chemist with PPG Co. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 1950–1954, and then became chief chemist for Aldrich Chemicals Company (1954–55), and subsequently its president (1955–81) and chairman (1981–91). He served as president of Sigma-Aldritch Corporation (1975–80) and its chairman (1980–91), then as chairman emeritus (1991–92). Alfred Bader became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1964. He has received honourary degrees from several universities in the United States, Canada and England. He passed away in 2018.

Isabel Louise Overton was born in northern Ontario in 1926 and graduated from Victoria University in 1949 (DLittS Vic ’95). After touring England in the summer of 1949 she accepted a teaching post at St. Francis School, Bexhill-on-Sea in Sussex, where she taught drama, French and Spanish and established a costume museum. She remained there until her marriage to Alfred Bader in 1982. In 2000, the Isabel Bader Theatre was completed at Victoria University. She passed away in 2022.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence from Isabel (Overton) Bader to Alfred Bader; correspondence from Alfred to Isabel; correspondence from Mrs. Overton to Alfred; and records regarding A Canadian In Love, the published collection of letters with an introduction by Roseann Runte.

Source of supplied title

Title based on contents of the fonds.

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from Alfred and Isabel Bader in 2000

Access restrictions

Restrictions on access: Typescripts or photocopies of correspondence should be consulted instead of originals

Finding aids

Box/file list available.


No further accruals are expected

General notes

Letters from Isabel to Alfred are contained in envelopes that have been numbered by Alfred according to date received

A Canadian in Love by Isabel Overton Bader (F1034.3 .B32 A4 2000) is available in the Victoria University Library

Adventures of a Chemist Collector by Alfred Bader (QD22 .B15 A3 1995) is also available in the Library’s Laure Rièse Collection

Access points

Provenance access points
Bader (family)
Bader, Alfred, 1924–2018
Bader, Isabel (Overton), 1926–2022
Runte, Roseann


Love stories
England—Social life and customs—1945–