Fonds 1424 - Donald Glen Ivey fonds

Identity area

Reference code

UTA 1424


Donald Glen Ivey fonds


  • 1938-1994 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

2.66 m of textual and graphic records and publications (19 boxes, 7 photographs)

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Donald Glen Ivey was born in Clanwilliam, Manitoba on February 6, 1922. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree (1944) and Master of Arts degree (1946) in physics from the University of British Columbia. From 1946 to 1949 he was a research associate at the University of Notre Dame while he studied for his Ph. D which he received in 1949. That same year he joined the University of Toronto’s Department of Physics as Assistant Professor of Physics.

Prof. Ivey spent his entire professional academic career at the University of Toronto moving through the ranks from Assistant Professor to full Professor in 1963. He retired in 1987 and was appointed Professor emeritus in 1987. During his early years with the University, Dr.Ivey supervised graduate students and served as a member of the Associate Committee on High Polymer Research of the National Research Council and on the Executive (including Chairman) of the Canadian High Polymer Forum. In addition to his teaching and research activities, Prof. Ivey held a number of academic and administrative appointments including Principal of New College from 1963-1974, Associate Chairman (Undergraduate Studies) in the Department of Physics (1978-1980) and Vice-president Institutional Relations (1980-1984).

Prof. Ivey is best known for his contributions to the teaching of physics to high school students and their teachers. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Prof. Ivey and his colleague, Prof. J. N. P. Hume (Computer Science, University of Toronto) prepared and presented over one hundred television programmes for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on various physics topics. Between 1960 and 1965 Prof. Ivey hosted a regular series of programs for the CBC series “The Nature of Things”. Also during this period, he acted as Examiner and later Examiner-in-chief for the Ontario Grade 13 Physics examination.

Throughout his career Prof. Ivey spoke frequently on the study and teaching of physics at conferences, convocations, and campus events both at the University of Toronto and at other venues across the country and around the world. He published numerous articles and two textbooks on Physics. He has received numerous honours such as the Edison Award for the film “Frames of Reference”(1962), the Award of Honour from University of Notre Dame (1965), and the Robert A. Millikan Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers for “notable and creative contributions to the teaching of physics” in 1987.

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Scope and content

This accession documents Prof. Ivey’s career as professor of physics and university administrator from the time of his appointment in 1950 to his post retirement activities up to 1994. Prof. Ivey’s career centred around the promotion and teaching of the science of physics both at the university level and the secondary school level. His personal and professional correspondence concerns these two activities. Other records document his work with high schools and the provincial Department of Education in developing curriculum for high school physics courses, as well as his administrative and academic responsibilities at the University of Toronto. An extensive collection of his lecture notes, problems and examinations for undergraduate courses in physics at the University of Toronto will also be found in this accession.

His activities outside the University are documented in the records relating to his television programmes prepared for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and other public television companies. This accession contains many complete scripts of these programs including “The Nature of Things” series in the 1960’s. In addition this accession holds a very complete series of addresses including manuscripts, notes and correspondence.

While Prof. Ivey did publish articles and two textbooks on physics during his academic career, little original documentation in the form of manuscripts has survived. Correspondence on publishing may be found within his professional correspondence.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

-Original finding aid by Garron Wells, February 2002
-Added to AtoM by Karen Suurtamm, October 2015




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