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Helen Sawyer Hogg fonds
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Helen Sawyer Hogg fonds

  • UTA 1383
  • Fonds
  • [ca. 1890]-2004, predominant 1926-1993

This fonds contains the personal and professional papers of Dr. Helen Sawyer Hogg documenting her contribution to professional astronomy, her high regard as a popular educator as well as her responsibilities as a parent, daughter, wife and friend. The records have been arranged into series either by type of record or to reflect a certain type of activity. Records documenting various aspects of her career are filed first, followed by papers reflecting her personal life.

Included is both professional and personal correspondence; records relating to her activities on associations, boards and organizations; records such as draft manuscripts, correspondence and outlines and data relating to her publishing activities and research; papers relating to her education and her teaching responsibilities; as well as diaries and family papers series.

Because Dr. Hogg's career spanned nearly seven decades during a time astronomy as a discipline was still developing both nationally and internationally, these records are not only useful to those researching Dr. Hogg's achievements but will be insightful to those researchers studying the development of astronomy as a science and profession. Moreover, Dr. Hogg was a woman in a field of science, which is still dominated by men. Those studying women's history may find Dr. Hogg's personal records a useful case study in one woman's success in a largely male dominated profession.

Contained within the Helen S. Hogg personal records are three sous-fonds: Frank S. Hogg [1922-1952], her first husband and also an astronomer at the David Dunlap Observatory; Prof. Ruth Northcott [1932-1969], close personal friend and professional colleague of Helen Hogg, also on staff at the D.D.O.; Dr. C.A. Chant [193- - 194-], director emeritus of the D.D.O and head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Toronto from 1904-1935. These sous-fonds are individually described and have been filed after the Helen Hogg personal records.

Hogg, Helen Battles Sawyer

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.

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