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University of Toronto Poster Collection
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Irvine Israel Glass fonds

  • UTA 1313
  • collection
  • 1938-1994

Fonds consists of records documenting the career of Irvine Glass as a specialist in shock waves, a professor and administrator at the Institute for Aerospace Studies and his personal interest in the Jewish peoples through his involvement, in particular, with Canadian Professors for Peace in the Middle East, the Committee of Concerned Scientists, and the Sino-Judaic Institute.

See accession-level descriptions and finding aids for further details.

Glass, Irvine Israel

Administrative files (University of Toronto)

Dr. Glass held several administrative positions in the Institute for Aerospace Studies. From 1961-1966 he was its chairman and from 1968 to 1974 it’s assistant director of education. Most of the records from both of these positions have remained in the respective administrative jurisdictions.

The files in this series include Dr. Glass' "activity reports" (1975-1993), minutes of the Institute's council meetings (1975-1977) and its advisory committee (1976); proposals for buildings, teaching assignments, and post-doctoral fellowships; correspondence concerning visiting professors and exchange students from the Soviet Union (1962-1988) and China (1981-1982), and correspondence about Pathways to Excellence, the history of UTIAS (1976).

Teaching files and lecture notes

Dr. Glass' teaching career began in the autumn of 1950 when he was appointed a research associate in the then Institute of Aerophysics. His earliest surviving lectures are on boundary layer theory, but he became best known for his fourth year course in gasdynamics (ASE 1048, AER 410S), and his graduate courses: non-stationary gasdynamics and wave interactions (1009); shock waves in continuous media, a reading course (1014); gas flows at high temperature (1302, 1402); hypersonic gasdynamics (2003); and his gasdynamics seminar (2045X). While his career was spent at Institute, he also taught elsewhere, especially during sabbatical leave, and was in much demand as a visiting lecturer.

This series consists largely of lecture notes, mostly by Dr. Glass but including some by other specialists in areas such as boundary layer and wing theory. Included are assignments, problem sets, examination questions, course evaluations by students, and a single file on the Institute's Gasdynamics Group (1975-1984).

This series begins with the surviving lecture files from the year (1957-1958) Dr. Glass taught at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London while on sabbatical. Next are his teacher and course evaluations at the University of Toronto (1969-1980); general examination files (1955-1967); and lecture notes, problems sets and examinations, grouped by course and arranged, as far as possible, chronologically within each course. The principal courses are: advanced mechanics, aerodynamic measurements, boundary layer theory, dynamics of space flight, wing theory, gasdynamics, and shock waves. The files begin in 1950 and end in 1984, the year of Dr. Glass' retirement.

Addresses and public lectures

Dr. Glass was much sought after as a public lecturer and gave freely of his time. Most of the addresses relate to his professional work, but he also took time to share his private passions, especially the utilization of geothermal energy and his research on the Jews in China. The last arose from his invitations to visit China in 1980 and 1985, where he was awarded an honorary professorship from the prestigious Nanjing Aeronautical Institute.

The files contain drafts of addresses, covering correspondence, notes, programs, press coverage, photoprints and slides.


As Dr. Glass's reputation as a scientist grew, he began to receive invitations to make special trips abroad. In 1961 he was invited by the Academy of Sciences in the USSR to give a series of lectures on high-temperature gas flows and shock wave phenomena. In 1965 the Polish Academy of Sciences invited him to attend the 7th Fluid Dynamics Symposium at Jurata; afterwards he attended the 7th International Congress on High-Speed Photography and Cinematography in Zurich. In 1980, on the invitation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, he spent four weeks lecturing in China and a further two weeks in Japan as a part of the Speakers' Program sponsored by the Department of External Affairs. In May of 1985 he returned to China on a lecture tour and was awarded an "honorary professorship" by the Nanjing Aeronautical Institute, the first foreigner to receive one. He returned via Japan.

The files in this series document all of these trips. Most include background files, correspondence, programs, drafts of addresses and lectures, notes and press clippings. For the trip to the USSR in 1961, there is only a report prepared by Dr. Glass on his return; he also wrote one for the 1985 trip to China, for which there are also diaries and notebooks. The arrangement is chronological.

Course materials and notebooks

This series contains one file of course materials such as outlines, reading lists, lecture schedules for courses Acland taught at various institutions. Courses for the University of Toronto School of Architecture include 2.23 The European Tradition of Framed Building, 2.24 Mediterranean Tradition, 2.26 The House, 2.27 Residential Patterns 222 and 322 History of Architecture.

Acland’s notebooks, which he most certainly used for lectures, document the subject matter of the courses and the way in which Acland organized his lectures. There are eight in total, illustrated with his original sketches.

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