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Kenneth G. McNeill fonds
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Kenneth G. McNeill fonds

  • UTA 1562
  • Fonds
  • 1944-2002

This fonds documents Professor Kenneth McNeill's research and publishing activities through professional correspondence (Series 1), drafts and typescript of articles, reviews, addresses, referee reports, research data and notes (Series 2 &3). Series 3, in particular, documents research undertaken in the Steel Room in the Department of Physics. Series 4, 5 and 6 document some of his administrative duties within the University and in particular Electron Linear Accelerator committee, and the Radiation Protection Authority. Lecture notes (Series 7) from courses taught both at the University of Glasgow (1952-1957) and at the University of Toronto (1958-1996) document his teaching responsibilities, while early course notes (Series 9) document his education at Oxford in the 1940s.

Prof. McNeill was also an active consultant outside the University, mainly for government but also for industry. Series 8 contains files relating to this consultancy work and in particular to his work on nuclear preparedness for Emergency Planning Ontario, a department within the Ontario Solicitor General’s office. Series 10 contains the collected material for a study on radon levels in Newfoundland mines that Prof. McNeill did for the Atomic Energy Board of Canada.

Accessions: B1994-0004, B2005-0004

McNeill, Kenneth G.

Archives of Newfoundland Mines Study

This series is a collection of documentation in form of reports, data, research materials and articles relating to the study of radon levels in Newfoundland Mines conducted by the Federal Government in the 1960s. Most of this material is copies given to Prof. McNeill to conduct his research on radon exposure for the Atomic Energy Board of Canada. There is however a scattering of his original notes and correspondence from the 1995 that he produced while writing his report entitled Measurements of Radon Progeny in Canadian Mines before 1968. The report itself can be found in Series 8 – Consultancy, Box B2005-0004/003 (13). The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has requested that these records remain with Kenneth G. McNeill Fonds since Prof McNeill was their last custodian.

Education records

Includes mainly lecture notes from courses taken while attending Oxford for his B.A. and M.A.. Also includes notes and a copy of his Ph.D. Thesis (1950) and a speech given to the Oxford University Physical Society in 1948.

Consultant files

This series documents consultancy work done outside the University community mainly dealing with research and Prof. McNeill’s expertise relating to radiation. He was consulted widely by government, private industry and law firms. There are extensive records that document his work for the Ontario government with respect to emergency planning in the event of nuclear disaster. An early file relates to his work in the as a member of the Technical Advisory Group for Nuclear Contingency at Pickering and Bruce Generating Stations in the late 1970s. From 1986 – 1995, correspondence, agenda, minutes notes and reports document Prof. McNeill’s role as Chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee of Emergency Planning Ontario. During the same period he was as member of various Working Groups that prepared reports on emergency preparedness in the event of a nuclear disaster.

Files arranged by consultant job, chronologically. Records relating to the Technical Advisory Committee of the EPO are found in accession B2005-0004.

Teaching files

This series consists of lecture notes for courses taught in nuclear physics at the University of Glasgow where he lectured from 1952-1957 and for courses taught at the University of Toronto including:

  • Application of Physics in Medicine
  • Physics Questions for Life Sciences
  • Physics 138 – Nuclear section
  • Physics 238 – Biological Effects of Nuclear Radiation, Heat Engines and Physical Optics

Some files also contain notes on class experiments and assignments as well as some examination questions.

Linear Accelerator Committee of the Department of Physics

Records in this series include both the records of this committee as well as the documentation leading up to the design, building and financing of the Electron Linear Accelerator (Linac) in the Department of Physics. The committee itself, of which Prof. McNeill was Chair from 1966-1971, was responsible for overseeing the use of this apparatus for research in nuclear physics, medical biophysics and chemical engineering. This sub-series gives insight into early nuclear research conducted on campus.

Included are general files containing correspondence, minutes, reports on research, project proposals; grant files; sub-committee files; internal reports; and yearly progress reports. Also included are records relating to its planning and design which took six years from the time it began to be seriously considered in 1960 to the time it opened in 1966.

Records are grouped by type of file and are arranged more or less chronologically. Yearly progress reports, covering the period from 1966 to 1975 are filed at the end.

University of Toronto Radiation Protection Authority

Prof. McNeill was chair of this body from 1977-1991. The UTRPA is responsible for developing and enforcing guidelines for all aspects of radioactive materials and experiments on campus to ensure that guidelines set by the Atomic Energy Board of Canada are being met. These records include correspondence, reports, memoranda, agenda, minutes, guidelines and manuals which document the activity of this body. Records are filed by year.

University of Toronto Administrative Committees

This series documents some of Prof. McNeill's administrative positions within the University including member of the Slowpoke Reactor Committee (1970-1991); the Council of the Faculty of Medicine (1962-1967); the Presidential Advisory Committee on Appointments and Terms of Office (Haist Committee) (1964-1968); as well as various administrative positions with Trinity College. The amount and type of records vary from one position to another but usually include copies of minutes, correspondence, reports and memoranda and some original correspondence between Prof. McNeill and other committee members.

Research projects

This series contains files relating to specific research projects in the Departments of Physics and Medicine in which Prof. McNeill was an active participant. Most of the files relate directly to the building and use of a "low background" room, called the Steel Room used to measure low level radiation in humans. He was instrumental in having it built at the university and for providing administrative support for its research use. Included is correspondence, memoranda, research data, grant files, measurements and progress reports. There are also minutes, correspondence and reports of the President's Committee on Background Radiation from which came the impetus for such a laboratory. Experiments and readings conducted in the Steel Room were some of the earliest examples of research in the field of nuclear medicine undertaken at the University of Toronto.

Later research files relate to his research on radon levels, his work developing and patenting a land mine detention device and his personal interest in Stonehenge.

Articles and addresses

This series includes correspondence, research data, draft manuscripts, figures, referees' comments and abstracts relating to published academic papers and addresses given at conferences or meetings. Files are titled either by the title of the article or by subject and are arranged more or less alphabetically.

General correspondence

This series is made up of general correspondence files, arranged alphabetically by the name of the correspondent or by the name of the person about whom Prof. McNeill is corresponding. Incoming and outgoing correspondence cover such areas as research, supervision of graduate students, editing of papers, trips, as well as numerous letters of reference for past students and colleagues seeking recommendations for appointments, tenure, awards and grants. Some correspondence relates to consultancy work such as files on the Ministry of the Solicitor General, Advanced Medical Systems, Inc., and Scintrex Ltd.. There is extensive correspondence with colleagues in Australia regarding his involvement in the development of a body compositional laboratory at Prince Henry Hospital in Melbourne.

The files often contain attached documentation to the correspondence. This is most often the case when corresponding with or about students under his supervision. Files may include drafts of thesis, research reports and Ph.D. oral assessments.