Halpenny, Francess Georgina

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Halpenny, Francess Georgina

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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.


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For a full timeline of her career, see finding aid for B2000-0023.

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