- 1927-2000 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
15.75 m of textual and graphic records, moving images, and artifacts
Name of creator
Francess Georgina Halpenny. Professor and Editor. Born in Ottawa, Canada, in 1919. She received her high school education at Oakwood Collegiate Institute, 1932-1936. University of Toronto: B.A. English literature, 1940 ; M.A. English literature, 1941 ; completed requisite course work for Ph.D., 1948-1951. “During her college career she won several important scholarships including the Reuben Wells Leonard” (Department of Graduate Records, A1973-0026).
Professional Activities: University of Toronto Press: member of the Editorial Department, 1941-1957 (1942-1945 on leave); Editor, 1957-1965; Managing Editor, 1965-1969; member of the editorial advisory board for Scholarly Publishing, 1969-1987, and Associate Editor, 1985-1987; Associate Director (Academic), 1979-1984. Royal Canadian Air Force. Women’s Division (RCAF): meteorological observer in Torbay (Newfoundland) and Summerside (Prince Edward Island), 1942-1945. University of Toronto. Faculty of Library and Information Science: Associate Instructor, 1967-1972 ; Professor, 1972-1984 ; Dean, 1972-1978 ; Professor Emeritus, 1984-present ; member of the Doctoral Studies Committee, 1972-1984; chairman of the Appeals Committee, 1979-1984. Also member of several University of Toronto committees from 1972 to 1992 such as: Governing Council’s Academic Affairs sub-committee on the University Library, 1972-1973 ; Governing Council’s Advisory Committee of the Sesquicentennial History of the University of Toronto, 1972-1982 ; Governing Council’s Sub-committee on Planning and Priorities of the Planning and Resources Committee, 1976-1979 ; Personnel Policy Board, 1976-1979 ; member of the Office of Research Administration’s Research Board, 1977-1984 ; chairman of the Office of Research Administration’s Humanities and Social Sciences Committee, 1980-1984 ; member of the Special Salary Committee B, 1977-1978 ; member of the Society of Mesopotamian Studies’ Board of Directors, 1981-1984 ; co-ordinator of the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Fair, 1986-1989 ; member of the Department of Human Resources’ Pay equity job evaluation committee, 1989-1990 ; and member of the Humanities Media Board, 1990-1992. York University, Graduate Department of English, Special Lecturer, 1971-1972 ; course on Canadian Literature with Professor Clara Thomas, 1979-1980. Dictionary of Canadian Biography: General Editor (full time), 1969-1972 ; General Editor (part time), 1972-1988 ; General Editor Emeritus, 1988-present.
Honors and awards: LLD University of Guelph, 1968 ; University of Toronto Sesquicentennial Long-Service Award, 1977 ; Queen’s Jubilee Medal, 1977 ; elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 1977 ; LLD Dalhousie University, 1978; Officer of the Order of Canada, 1979 ; D.Litt. Memorial University, 1982 ; D.Litt. York University, 1982 ; Molson Prize, 1983 ; D.Litt. University of New Brunswick, 1983 ; Companion of the Order of Canada, 1984 ; D.Litt. Queen’s University, 1985 ; University of British Columbia Medal for Biography, 1986 ; D.ès l. Université Laval, 1986 ; D.Litt. McMaster University, 1987 ; Distinguished Visitor, University of Alberta, 1989 ; Awards for distinguished service from the Canadian Historical Association and the Association for Canadian Studies, 1989 ; D.Litt. Carleton University, 1991 ; D.Litt. University of Windsor, 1992 ; Commemorative Medal, 125th Anniversary of Canada (conferred by the Governor General of Canada), 1992 ; LL.D. University of Toronto, 1994.
Research Activities: History of the humanities in Canada since World War II ; techniques of biography ; handling of time in contemporary fiction ; Canada’s major editorial projects from 1960 to 1990s.
Other professional activities: Canadian Historical Association: member, 1968-present ; member of the Council, 1967-1970. Victorian Studies Association of Ontario: member, 1969-present. Association of Canadian University Teachers of English: member, 1971-present. Association of American Library Schools: member, 1972-1983. American Library Association: member, 1972-1983. Canadian Council of Library Schools: member, 1972-1978. Canadian Library Association: member, 1972-1990. Editorial and Publications Policy Task Force: member, 1972-1973; chairman, 1973-1975. Bibliographical Society of Canada: member, 1972-present. Sheridan College of Applied and Liberal Studies’ Library Techniques Advisory Committee: member, 1972-1977. Toronto Public Library, Friends of the Osborne and Lillian H. Smith Collections, Advisory Committee: member, 1972-1977. Canadian Book and Periodical Council’s Committee on Library Information: member, 1974-1991; chairman, 1979-1983, 1985-1986. Book and Periodical Development Council: chairman, 1984-1985; past chairman, 1985-1987. Canada Council’s Consultative Committee on Scholarly Publishing: member and co-editor of the report, 1976-1979. Modern Language Association: member, 1977-1982. Literary History of Canada’s editorial board: member, 1977-1990. Association for Canadian Studies: member, 1978-present ; Selection Committee for Biography Award, chairman, 1978-1980. Royal Society of Canada: fellow, 1978-present ; vice-president, 1984-1986 ; Committee on Scientific Research Journals, member, 1976-1979 ; Council of Academy II, member, 1982-1988, and president, 1984-1986 ; Awards Committee, chairman, 1980-1983 ; Symposium The Written Word, organizer, 1980 ; Symposium Figures in the Round: Major Editorial Projects in Canada, organizer and contributing the introductory statement, 1989 ; Committee for the Affirmative action committee, member, 1989-1991, and Special Consultant organizing lecture tours for Canadian woman scholars, 1991-1994. National Library of Canada: Advisory Board, member, 1977-1982 ; chairman, 1979-1982 ; Committee on Bibliographical Services for Canada, chairman, 1977-1979, and member, 1979-1985. National Research Council’s Advisory Board on Scientific Publications, member, 1979-1985. Management Board for Theatre History in Canada: chairman, 1979-1985. Winters College (York University): honorary fellow, 1982-1991. Journal of Canadian Studies’ editorial board: member, 1984-1996. Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions’ advisory board, member, 1985-1988. Simon Fraser University Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing’s advisory board, member, 1987-1992. Conferences: “Science, Technology and the Arts” (Queen’s University), chair, 1992; “Editing Exploration Texts” (University of Toronto), chair, 1992.
Civic and other activities: Village Player, later the New Play Society, member, 1939-1947; Aluminae Theatre, 1946-present; Art Gallery of Ontario; Canada Post Corporation Advisory Board; Heliconian Club; Northlea United Church; Royal Ontario Museum; University College Committee; University of Toronto Art Centre.
Francess died surrounded by family on Christmas Day (December 25) 2017 in Toronto.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Personal records of Francess Halpenny, documenting her activities as a student, with the RCAF during World War II, with amateur theatre groups, as a professor of library science, as an editor with the U of T Press and the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, and with numerous academic and professional groups, including the Royal Society of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the National Library. Included are some drafts of her books, articles, addresses, and reports; her honorary degrees and other awards (including photos and a video), other photos, and a (RSC) medal.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Student evaluations in boxes B1987-0051/003–/009 are restricted for 75 years until 2062.
All other records are open.