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Archival description
University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services Dale, Frederika Frances (Frances)
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Dale (William) Family fonds

  • UTA 1193
  • Fonds
  • 1850-1986

Fonds consists of 2 accessions:

B1975-0013 (2 boxes, 1850-1921): Journal and notes by William Dale relating to his stay in Quebec and science subjects, such as, biology, geology, and math. Included are Dale's correspondence protesting against university hiring and pay. Also, contains press clippings and incoming correspondence to William Dale's daughter, Frances Dale, who researched on her father's past as a student and his role in the student protest of 1895.

B2002-0017 (12 boxes, 1868-1986) : This accession documents the life and times of William Dale, professor of classics and Roman history, his wife and his children, primarily Margaret and Frances Dale. This family’s papers consist of three sous-fonds: the papers of Prof. William Dale, the papers of his wife, Frederika (Frieda) Ryckman Dale, and the papers of their daughter, Fredericka Frances Dale. The records in this accession provide an important historical resource on academic life at the University of Toronto as seen through the eyes of a controversial faculty member in the 19th century, and by two students in the early 20th century.

The William Dale sous-fonds documents through diaries, essays, speeches, teaching and lecture notes the academic achievements and contributions of this 19th century former professor of classics and Roman history at the University of Toronto and two other universities. William Dale’s contribution to the development of the curriculum of study in Classics has been described by Robert Wilhelm: “Together, Maurice Hutton and William Dale were responsible for transforming the miscellaneous Classical Curriculum of University College into a course of study that exhibited greater rigor and careful selection of the readings. Dale appeared to have been the guiding force and influence behind the changes in the classics curriculum; his journals showed him working out the details of the courses and the readings and making comparisons between the curriculum at Toronto and the course of study at Oxford.”

His diaries record not only his daily academic and personal activities, but also his impressions, observations and opinions on local and national events, religion, politics, books, and education. They are fairly complete from his student days prior to entering the University of Toronto, through his undergraduate and graduate years (1873), his first teaching experiences, particular at the English High School in Quebec City to 8 of his 11 years as Lecturer and Associate Professor in the Department of Classics (1884-1892). They are especially rich in documenting the operation of the University in general and the Dept. of Classics in particular. Dale wrote essays, lectures and speeches that went largely unpublished. Many of these manuscripts are contained in this sous-fonds, often heavily annotated by his daughter Frances as she organized his papers.

Complementing the William Dale sous-fonds are the papers of his wife, the former Frederika (Frieda) Ryckman whom he met while teaching at Queen’s University following his dismissal from the University of Toronto in 1895. This sous-fonds consists almost entirely of correspondence from William both before and after their marriage in 1901, and from her children and other family members following his death in 1921. The courtship letters from William Dale document not only his love and their relationship, but also his academic and farming activities. Following their marriage, the correspondence describes his activities while on trips to Toronto to teach at McMaster, the local activities in St. Marys and the surrounding farming community when he attended to their farm. The letters are also filled with his discussions of their relationship, family members and the birth of their children. Following Dale’s death in 1921, the correspondence is almost entirely from her two eldest daughters, Margaret and Frances. Records relating to the other children, William Douglas and Emmaline, are sparse, consisting mainly of a few letters from Margaret and Frances and press clippings on birth and marriage. The letters from Margaret and Frances are a rich resource of information on the day to day activities of two female university students living in Toronto in the 1920s. The daughters kept their mother regularly informed on social activities, the weather, lectures and impressions of professors, and their friends. Following this series of correspondence are files of personal documents relating more generally to the Dale and Ryckman families. Included are Mrs. Dale’s diary of her trip with her daughter Frances to Europe in 1934, her marriage certificate, educational diplomas and a file of correspondence between the Dale children during the 1920’s.

The final sous-fonds consists of the papers of Frances Dale. The first three series of diaries, correspondence and University of Toronto materials complement the sous-fonds of her parents. The diaries especially complement the correspondence in sous-fonds 2 since they provide the day to day record of her experience at the University of Toronto, her early career as a high school teacher and her enduring interest in physical education for women. The trip diaries of 1934 and 1936 are filled with her impressions of shipboard travel, the places and people she saw and met and provide a glimpse of life in pre war Europe. Unfortunately there is no diary of her trip of 1939 to Europe immediate prior to World War II. The bulk of the correspondence concerns her research on her father William Dale begun in the 1950’s and which continued into the late 1980’s. This research prompted her to undertake the typing of transcripts of her father’s unpublished essays and these will be found in Series 4. During the 1970’s several academics contacted her regarding her father’s life, especially the event of his dismissal in 1895. Series 5 contains the draft manuscript of the play by James Reaney entitled “The Dismissal” which was undertaken during the University of Toronto’s sesquicentennial celebrations. Robert Wilhelm, a former student of Frances Dale, used the Dale papers to write a number of papers on Prof. Dale, one of which was published?… Manuscripts of these works are also found in this sous-fond.

Frances Dale was also an avid amateur photographer documenting her European trips, family and friends. Individual prints and negatives, as well as a scrapbook provide a unique insight into travelling during the 1930’s. She also collected pictures of her university days, and members of her family as she conducted her research.

Dale, William