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Archival description
University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services Betty I. Roots fonds Series
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Biographical and early education

The series consists of Dr. Roots’ biographical and personal records. The biographical record consists of the drafting of her CV, a biographical entry for a zoology graduate brochure, annual activity reports and employment and career-related correspondence. Her personal records are rather limited and solely consist of her educational records dating from high school. This material reflects Dr. Root’s personal background and a summary of her academic professional career.


Series contains letters written to and from Dr. Roots. The correspondence is professional in nature and pertains to her years at the University of Toronto. The letters primarily reflect on the subject of research, publications, addresses, and appraisal and references for students, colleagues, and journals.

Correspondence can also be found throughout the other series of this fonds, filed with the material about which the correspondence pertains.

Teaching material

The series of Dr. Roots’ teaching material consists of course material (handouts, exams, lecture notes, references, schedules, syllabi, micrograph prints, teaching evaluations, exercises, and lab material) and graduate student records (correspondence, notes, and grant and scholarship applications). The material reflects how Dr. Roots prepared, delivered, and modified her courses over the course of her academic career from her early teaching years in 1961 at University College, London to her present role as Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto.

Her work within academia (ex: committee work and departmental involvement) can be found in the administration series and her appraisals and references in the correspondence series. Material related to her research in addresses and publications is located in the address series and manuscripts and publication series. Material related to her involvement in professional associations can be found in the professional association series. Material related to peer-reviewing and editing can be found in the peer reviewing and editing series and material related to supervising Ph.D. students can be found in the supervising series.


This series reflects Dr. Roots’ research interests that were expressed through addresses. Related material such as notes, manuscripts, abstracts, correspondence, and promotional material are filed with the corresponding address. The vast majority of the addresses in this series were given at meetings and conferences to fellow scientific researchers and pertained to Dr. Roots’ own research. Of the small number of remaining addresses, most were given at public lectures and also pertained to Dr. Roots’ research. Other address topics include a memorial speech for a professor, a presidential address and a talk on women in neurochemistry.

Peer Reviewing and Editing

This series contains records related to Roots’ role as a peer-reviewer and editor. The material includes notes, correspondence and drafts related to the work of others that Dr. Roots has reviewed and/or edited.


The series contains records related to the processes of Dr. Roots’ research experiments starting with funding applications and ending with publications. The material reflects Dr. Root’s research interests, her experimental findings, the interpretation of these findings, and the development of drafting these interpretations into academic articles and addresses.

Professional Associations and Societies

This series reflects Professor Roots’ involvement in professional associations and societies. Material included in this series is correspondence, organizational documents (constitutions, financial records, etc.), newsletters, meeting minutes, financial statements, membership applications, and notes. Nearly half of the material consists of Dr. Roots’ involvement with the Young Naturalist Foundation.


This series reflects Professor Roots’ involvement with academic administration and academic committees within the Zoology Department as well as the larger University of Toronto. This series includes notes, correspondence, reports and documents related Roots’ role as chair of the zoology department, promotions Roots was involved in, the organization of symposiums and retreats, departmental reviews, budgeting, staffing and re-organizing the zoology department, and handling cases of academic misconduct.

Supervising Graduate Students and Research

This series contains records related to the work of students Professor Roots was supervising. The material includes correspondence, notes, drafts, grant applications and reports on student work.