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University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services Helen Sawyer Hogg fonds Series
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Professional Associations

Records in this series document Dr. Hogg's involvement in numerous associations relating to the study of astronomy. The series, comprised mainly of correspondence, memoranda, reports, membership lists, newsletters, agenda and committee minutes, documents the various positions of authority she held in the leading national and international astronomical and scientific organizations. They cover a twenty-five year span including:

Program Director for Astronomy, United States National Science Foundation (1955-1956); president of the International Astronomical Union Subcommission on Variable Stars in Star Clusters (1955-1961); president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (1957-1959); first woman president of the Physical Sciences section, Royal Society of Canada (1960-1961); president of the Royal Canadian Institute (1964); Councillor of the American Astronomical Society (1965-1968); first president of the Canadian Astronomical Society (1971-1972); honorary president of the Toronto Centre, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (1972-1977) and honorary president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (1977-1981).

The series also serves to document the wider activities of these organizations in addition to simply shedding light on the activities of Dr. Hogg alone. Notably, council and committee minutes strongly document the workings of the Toronto Centre of the R.A.S.C. between 1961-1986, the R.S.C. between 1955-1985 and the R.C.I. from 1954-1968. The activities of the IAU are also well represented. In particular, a series of reports and memoranda between 1952-1981 highlight the workings of Commission 27 on Variable Stars. Related records outlining the activities of these professional organizations can also be found in the General Professional Correspondence Series (Series I).

Arrangement is alphabetical by association, which include:

  • American Astronomical Society (AAS)
  • American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
  • Canadian Astronomical Society (CAS)
  • International Astronomical Union (IAU)
  • National Research Council (NRC)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC)
  • Royal Canadian Institute (RCI)
  • Royal Society of Canada (RSC)

University of Toronto. Department of Astronomy

This series documents Dr. Hogg's role as a member of the Department of Astronomy, especially her responsibilities as a teacher. Included are attendance lists and grades, laboratory exercises, term papers (1963-64), tests and examinations, and lecture notes. There is also reports and related correspondence showing Hogg's participation on Ph.D. Oral examining boards as well as a file of correspondence relating to the evaluation and recommendation of students and graduates of the Department.

Apart from records that relate directly to Dr. Hogg's teaching function there are also some records related to general administrative issues. Among these are files containing progress and work reports, requests for grants to the National Research Council, correspondence on Dr. Hoggs' salary and tenure status as well as general issues at the David Dunlap Observatory.

Arrangement is by type of record, following as described above.

Advisory Committee on Science and Medicine of the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exposition

Includes mainly copies of minutes, reports, agendas and correspondence of the Advisory Committee on Science and Medicine - EXPO, of which Dr. Hogg was an active member. There are also copies of speeches given by EXPO officials. Much of the papers relate to the development of "Themes" including storylines and exhibit designs.

Interfiled with copies of minutes and reports, is some original correspondence between Hogg and members of the committee which documents, to some degree, her particular role in the committee. The most extensive original material relates to her role as chairman of one of the lectures given as part of the Noranda Lecture Series. Included is correspondence, drafts for her introductory note, and progress reports of the series. The lecture series itself, sponsored by Noranda Mines, featured a host of international scientists, including Nobel Prize Laureates and was attended by specially invited audiences during EXPO '67.

Diaries and Appointment Books

This series consists of 27 diaries and 3 appointment/address books. The former is particularly valuable in chronicling, if only intermittently, the personal and professional life of Dr. Hogg over a 60-year span. Notable among these is her 1958 Russia diary that describes her attendance at the 10th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Moscow.

Sawyer-Douglass Family Papers

This series, made up from small items that were found while sorting through this accession, is evidence of Dr. Hogg's keen sense of family history. Most relate to Carrie Sawyer-Douglass and Walter Douglass, her mother and stepfather. There are also some notes on family history and a folder of 19th century documents. Perhaps the most interesting records are a series of daily diaries dated from 1901 to 1909 and 1924 to 1941, kept by Leonora Knapp Battles, a cousin and close friend of Carrie Sawyer.

Articles, Manuscripts, Addresses

This is an extensive series, which documents Dr. Hogg's publishing activities. Since many of her published articles were addresses delivered at symposiums or reports made to professional committees, addresses and talks have also been included in this series. The files, usually titled by the name of the article, book or publisher contain not only manuscripts and drafts but related correspondence, notes, memos and outlines.

The arrangement of this series is as follows, starting from general articles to the specific endeavour

  • Bibliographies and lists of publications
  • General articles, addresses, contributions to encyclopedias
  • Obituaries
  • Academic Papers on Star Clusters
  • Bibliography and Catalogue of Star Clusters
  • Contributions to "Out of Old Books"
  • "The Stars Belong to Everyone"
  • Toronto Star Column
  • Miscellaneous Writings
  • Reprints

Records in this series document both Dr. Hogg's stature as an authority on variable stars and star clusters as well as her role as a teacher of popular astronomy. Draft articles and related notes and correspondence on numerous scientific papers as well as files documenting her contribution to encyclopedias and handbooks reflect both of these roles.

Notably, her work on various editions of "A Catalogue of Variable Stars in Globular Clusters" (1st ed. 1939, 2nd ed. 1955, 3rd. ed. 1973 and 4th incomplete), as well as her time spent on "A Bibliography of Individual Globular Clusters" (1947, 1st supplement 1963) is extensively documented through drafts, research data, original manuscripts. These records relate specifically to the card index found in Series IV, Star Cluster Files and Index Cards.

Mount Holyoke Papers

In 1930-31, while working on her doctorate degree, Dr. Hogg taught astronomy at her alma mater, Mount Holyoke College. A decade later after following her husband to Canada, she returned to Mount Holyoke for a one-year appointment as Acting Chairman of the Astronomy Department. Records in this series which include lecture and lab notes, course outlines, tests and grades document her teaching activities in these early years of her career and supplement records found in Series 6.

Bell Canada Directorship

This series concerns Dr. Hogg's tenure as a member of the Board of Directors of Bell Canada (1968-1978) and her participation in, and chairmanship of its Social and Environmental Affairs Committee (1973-1978).

It consists primarily of general company related correspondence and memoranda which outline aspects of the workings of this major corporation over a ten year span, and the minutes and correspondence of the Social and Environmental Affairs Committee which she chaired from 1974-1978. The files also include several company-sponsored reports on various topics.

Estates and Finances

This series documents Prof. Hoggs' role as executors of several estates including those of her mother, Carrie Douglass, her housekeeper, Louis Patton, her cousin, Beatrice Whiteside Howell and her friend, Dorothy Flint. There are also account books and dividend books showing her astute financial management.

Includes mainly correspondence re. estates, some papers of the deceased, wills, notices, account books.

Graphic Records

Includes slides and photoprints documenting both Dr. Hogg's personal and professional life including family gatherings and events, trips, astronomical conferences, ceremonies, visits to various observatories. Also included are images she collected regarding the history of Astronomy as well as publicity shots of her taken for various publications.

Photoprints from B1996-0020 document the meeting of the International Astronomical Union Held in the Soviet Union [Russia], 1958. Helen Hogg, as well as other Canadian astronomers including A. Batten and S. van de Bergh, were present and can be seen in these shots.

Star Cluster Files and Index Cards

The Star Cluster files, assembled over her 40 years as an astronomer, represent the core of Dr. Hogg's research in a field for which she is an authority and from which many of her published articles were derived. The files are variously comprised of raw data, calculations, correspondence, draft and published articles relating to specific globular clusters. Prints from photographic plates also accompany some files . Most files are titled according to the New General Catalogue number, e.g. NGC 6626, of the star cluster and are arranged numerically following Dr. Hogg's own filing system.

A set of ten boxes of bibliographic index cards accompanies the Star Cluster Files. Cards in boxes seem to relate to specific subjects ie. external galaxies, variables in clusters, interstellar absorption. Boxes /044 - /048 are arranged more or less chronologically by the date of the bibliographic references. All were used for various editions of "A Catalogue of Variable Stars in Globular Clusters". Box B1994-0002/048 appears to relate specifically to references used in "A of Bibliography of Individual Globular Clusters" and its supplement. Index cards in box B1994-0002/049 do not appear to be bibliographic references but rather relate information on specific star clusters and are arranged by NGC number.

Photographs have been left in their original files because of their immediate association with the research materials. It was feared that removal of these photos from individual files would obscure the meaning of both the research in the file and the photographs themselves.

Research Notes

This is a series comprised of research notes and data relating to specific projects or articles as well as notes taken by Prof. Hogg at various lectures and seminars. Filed at the end are some miscellaneous files containing notes with little or no identification. Arrangement is chronological, with the research notes superseding the seminar notes.

File B1994-0002/050(02) contains notes on a symposium by G. de B. Robinson, Institute of Technology, on the responsibilities of the Canadian University. Also contains notes on a seminar by J.T. Wilson on “Recent Physical and Geological Evidence Leading to a New Theory of Continental Drift” 1963

Personal Correspondence

This series contains extensive correspondence from family and friends documenting Dr. Hogg's personal relationships throughout her lifetime. The bulk of it is incoming correspondence, which has been filed by year to impose some order. Filed at the beginning are some files created by Dr. Hogg which also include outgoing correspondence. This is usually filed by correspondent chronologically.

Of significance are the courtship letters between Helen and Frank in the late 1920s, as well as her letters home to her family in Dunstable from the Dominion Observatory in Victoria B.C. and later from the David Dunlap Observatory in Toronto. These letters not only lend insight into their personal lives during these early years but detail, as well the progress of their astronomical work and the general activities at each observatory. They would be useful to anyone researching early astronomy in Canada.

Researchers should note that most of this correspondence was found loose and that attempts to sort it and identify it as personal have been made. However, some of the correspondence may relate directly to professional activities and will inevitably discuss professional as well as personal matters.

Education

This series encompasses Dr. Hogg's postsecondary education including her undergraduate schooling at Mount Holyoke College culminating in her earning an A.B. (Magna Cum Laude) in 1926, her graduation from Radcliffe College with an A.M. in 1928 and a Ph.D. in 1931. The series is comprised mainly of course outlines, course and laboratory notes, term papers, examinations, miscellaneous school-related assignments as well as Mount Holyoke and Radcliffe memorabilia. It includes a copy of Dr. Hogg's Ph.D. thesis as well as a critique of it by Harlow Shapley. Some examples of elementary and secondary school notebooks and exercises are also present.

Files B2015-0007/004 (11) & (12) consists of honorary degrees from the University of Toronto (1977), Mount Holyoke College, University of Waterloo, McMaster University, and Saint Mary’s University.

Biographical

Series includes autobiographical writings, short biographies and transcripts to several interviews.

Creative Writings

Series includes short stories and poetry written by Dr. Hogg. Also included are some collected poems and a quotations book.

Memorabilia

Includes invitations, certificates, guest books, Helen Hogg's Baby Book, and scrapbooks. Also includes diplomas, awards and honorary degrees.

Professional Correspondence

This series contains records from three accessions: B1994-0002, B2009-0021, and B2015-0007. The bulk of the files are from accession B1994-0002, and consists of general incoming and out-going correspondence mainly of a professional nature. It is arranged in two parts. The first part consists of files created by Helen Hogg containing correspondence and other accompanying material with individuals, institutions, clubs and associations regarding research, special projects, events, visits, excursions, travel, donations, lectures, awards and publications. For access, these have been arranged alphabetically by file title. Some of the more notable correspondence are with colleagues such as Amelia Whelau (University of Western Ontario), Steven Van Agt (Germany), Martha Liller (Harvard Observatory), Bart J. Bok (Harvard and Australia), Chu Yu-Hua (China), and there is also extensive correspondence with Harlow Shapley, director of the Harvard College Observatory and mentor to Prof. Hogg.

The second part of this series consists of miscellaneous correspondence arranged by decade. Far from being extraneous pieces, this correspondence is quite extensive and reveals much about her professional activities and on-going research. These files contain the largest volume of correspondence documenting both her and Frank Hogg's early career in the 1930s and 1940s. These files were created from loose correspondence within the records or from files, which were clearly miscellaneous.

Researchers should note that while this series does not represent the whole of the Hogg correspondence (much of which is specific to each series), it is a good representation of the scope of her interests and activities. Some of the correspondence relates directly to records in other series and researchers should bear this in mind when investigating a particular topic.