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Family correspondence

This series contains family correspondence between James Conacher and family members. Correspondence from the 1940s and early 1950s is with his parents, his brother Desmond who was a professor of English at Trinity College and wife Muriel. Much of the correspondence with his family while at Harvard and during WW II is interfiled with general correspondence found in B2005-0011 /001. Later family correspondence was exchanged while the Conachers were on research leaves and is mostly with their grown children. Arrangement is chronological.

Also included in this series is some historical correspondence and documents belonging to ancestor James Roy Conacher (1938-191-).

Letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation for colleagues and students document Conacher’s status as a senior historian and mentor. Conacher’s support was sought by colleagues for grant applications, fellowships, appointments and promotions. Recommendations for students were mainly for scholarships and entrance into graduate school.


This series documents Conacher’s publishing activities relating to his major works including:

The Aberdeen Coalition, 1852-1855 : A Study in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Party Politics (1968)

The Peelites and the Party System 1846-1952 (1972)

Waterloo to the Common Market, Borzoi History of England Vol 5. 1815
to the Present (1975)

Britain and the Crimea, 1855-56: Problems of War and Peace (1987)

Included are files arranged chronologically by title of publication and contain correspondence and contracts with publishers, comments, reviews, partial drafts of chapters and revisions for his first three books. There are three drafts of manuscripts for his final book “War and Peace”, - its title during the writing phase.

Talks, addresses and articles

This series contains correspondence and manuscripts relating to talks and papers many given at symposiums, conferences and meetings. There are also drafts of some published articles as well as a copy of his M.A. thesis from Queens (1939) and a draft of his Ph.D. Thesis from Harvard. Files are arranged chronologically.
His writings on British history are found in two main files containing mainly drafts, as well as a file documenting his contributions to Encyclopedia Americana. On various occasions Conacher gave tributes to many well known Canadian historians. There are typescripts for his tribute to Donald Creighton, C.P. Stacey, Arthur Lower and close friend Kenneth McNaught. Also included in this series are notes prepared for an oral history interview in the early 1980s as well as a draft copy of his unpublished memoirs. Both are interesting for their insights on the University administration and the Department of History in particular.


This series documents Conacher’s role as an external assessor and reviewer. At times it is other historians he has been asked to assess for promotion or act as external reviewer of a Ph.D. candidate. At other times it is a review at the institutional level, as in the case of his role in reviewing the Dalhousie Graduate History Department (1977) and the University of Western Ontario, Graduate Department of History (1986). There are also files relating to Conacher acting as referee for articles most of which are filed in four chronological files covering his entire career (1947-1991). These files contain correspondence with publisher as well as drafts of published reviews.

Disraeli Project

The Disraeli project had begun in 1972 as a large research project aimed at searching out Disraeli letters and related primary and secondary materials for publication. Conacher joined the pared down second phase of the project in 1982 recruited by Senior Editor M.G. Wiebe (Queen’s University). From 1982 to 1993, the group comprising of Wiebe, Conacher, John Matthews and Mary S. Millar published Volumes 3 and 4. Correspondence, reviews, grant applications, minutes of meetings, revision notes, drafts document the groups efforts and Prof. Conacher’s particular involvement.

Professional activities

Records in this series document Conacher’s active involvement in several professional associations including: the Canadian Historical Association, the American Historical Association, the Council of Conference on British Studies, the Champlain Society and the Canadian Catholic Historical Association. There is one file relating to his early involvement in the Canadian Association of University Teachers (1950-1957). Finally there are also files that document his time on the editorial committee of the John Stuart Mill Project (1960- 1990) and the Journal of Modern History (1971-1973). Files are arranged alphabetically by name of association. Canadian Historical Association files are boxed in B2005-0011/022.
Associated Material: Original Editorial files (1951-62) for the Champlain Society have been moved to the Champlain Society Papers (MG 50) in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

University of Toronto

Throughout his career, Prof. Conacher was active on various University administrative committees. In some cases, he was a member of the committee, in other cases he corresponded with committee members or wrote memos on behalf of both the Dept. of History and/or the Faculty Association. There are files for the following committees on which he served: Plateau committee, sub-committee on staff (1955-56), Policy and Planning committee (1961), Presidential Committee on Appointments (1964-1965), Presidential Advisory Committee on Academic Appointments and Tenure also known as the Haist Committee (1968-1971), Presidential Search Committee (1971). There are also several files on the Faculty of Arts General Committee (1970-74) as well as one file relating to a proposed restructuring of the Faculty of Arts (1976)

There are also several files on University structure including records relating to the Duff Berdalh Report (1963), general memos and correspondence (1965-69),the Committee of Concerned Faculty (1971), the Dumphy Committee for Participation of Faculty in Governance (1976), the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Freedom (1977), the Budget Advisory Committee (1978-79), the Governing Council, Academic Affairs Committee (1980), and the Decanal Promotion Committee (1981),

He made submissions to Committee on Graduate Studies (1964-65), Placement Services 1967, MacPherson Committee (1967), Robarts Library fundraising letter (1973), review of Scarborough College (1970), the PACE Committee (1971), Library Advisory Committee (1981). There is documentation on a meeting organized by Conacher with Minister of Finance Donald Macdonald relating to university and research funding and his part in proposing an Emeritus College Retirement Complex (1983-1986).

Department of History

General correspondence, business files and various committee files document Prof. Conacher’s career in the Department of History. General correspondence covers the period just prior to his hiring in 1948 to his post retirement period up to 1988. Business files are specific to his time as Chairman and relate to managing budgets, general administrative issues and more specific issues being referred to the Chair by various departmental committees.

Finally there are files relating to 40 years of committee work within the Department many dealing with curriculum and the development of the graduate program including the 1968 Graduate Appraisal Committee on re-organization of the graduate department, the Dyck Committee dealing with student staff ratio (1973-1975), the Curriculum Committee (1948- 1966) and perhaps most importantly the Appointment and Tenure Committee (1960-1974). Correspondence and related documents from this last committee are boxed in B2005-0011/026.

University of Toronto Faculty Association

This series documents Conacher’s active involvement in both the U of T Faculty Association of which he was president in 1971-72 and its predecessor the Association of Teaching Staff, for which he was V.P. in 1964-65. Files include minutes, agenda, notes, correspondence, memos and briefs. There are several files relating to University governance and specifically the measures to ensure representation of Faculty on the Board of Governors and after 1970, Governing Council. Files are arranged chronologically.

Non-Professional activities

Correspondence, memos, reports, minutes of meetings document Prof. Conacher’s involvement in non-professional associations. Several files relate to his life as a Roman Catholic, including files on the Committee on Higher Education for Catholics (1960-61), Parish Council for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church 1967-68 and several files relating to his long-time work in the St. Vincent de Paul Society. During the 1950s and 1960s, Prof. Conacher belonged to the Atlantic Treaty Organization. Files contain correspondence with Edgar McInnis, president of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs and with Ronald Ritchie, chairman of the Canadian Atlantic Coordinating Committee Ronald Ritchie. Finally there is one file for an anti-nuclear organization called Third Track for Peace (1984) that included many from the University of Toronto community.


This series contains course lectures, outlines, reading lists for courses taught by Conacher throughout his career including: 1c European History to 1648 (1947-); 2a History of Great Britain (1947- 195-); 3c British History since 1763 and 2d British History 1485- 1763 (1950s); Britain and 1st WW (1979); History 330 and 337 (1970s , 80s); History 1430 Party Politics (198-). Also included are lectures while visiting professor at Notre Dame 1964-66.

For History 330 and 337, there are course evaluations by students for the 1982-83. Also for these later years are Conacher’s comments on student essays and notes on graduate seminars (1980-85).

Ph.D. student files

These Ph.D. files document Conacher’s on-going relationship with many of his Ph.D. students. Files contain mainly correspondence, examiners’ comments, thesis reports, as well as recommendation for grants, appointments and promotions. There is also one file of miscellaneous notes regarding graduate theses. Arrangement is alphabetical by the name of the student.


Copy of James Conacher's doctoral thesis from Harvard University, entitled "Canadian participation in the Sicilian campaign, 1943: the role of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division."

Talks and addresses

This series documents Prof. Hume’s talks and addresses on various subjects. General interest topics often discussed the growth of computers in society, changes in technology, and the development of computer languages. These were written for general public consumption at invited lectures. There are also a few talks on physics.

More technical talks and addresses focused on computer programming, computer graphics, and computer languages such as TRANSCODE, FORTRAN and Turing. These were most often delivered at professional meetings and symposiums. Prof. Hume recorded a series of lectures with accompanying slides on FORTRAN and another computer language called LISP. These were recorded as a type of tutorial on how to use the University’s computer and were designed to teach computer programming to a wide range of academic users at the University of Toronto. This series contains a copy of the tapes on reel to reel as well as some of the accompanying slides - although it is not clear exactly how they originally matched up. Of particular note are the very early views of the Computer Center and its computers that were included in the slide lecture showing the IBM 650, the IBM 7090 and the IBM 7094.

Files are arranged chronologically with undated talks placed at the end. They contain notes, copies of the talks, overhead transparencies, related event programs and correspondence. In addition, there is a card index of talks that essentially gives outlines and notes. Some of these are related to files in this series while others are unique talks. Apart from the FORTRAN lectures, there is one taped lecture of Prof. Hume giving a key note address at the New College Honours Students dinner.

Professional activities

This series has some documentation on various activities and groups that Prof. Hume was involved with including the Royal Society of Canada, Massey College, and the Department of Computer Science. There are a few files on professional association such as the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) and reviews done for the Association of Computing Machinery’s (ACM) journal Computing Reviews. Finally some files document contract work or agreements with private companies.


This series includes lectures, notes, course outlines, assignments for courses taught by Prof Hume, mainly through the 1970s and 1980s: CSC 108, CSC 201, CSC 280, CSC 354, CSC 2205. There is also documentation on early Physics courses he taught in the 1950s and one course for the Department of Extension on Programming Digital Computers 1957-63. They are arranged by course with Physics and Extension courses files first followed by Computer Science courses.

There are also two taped class lectures: Mikowski Diagrams or the K Calculus and Relativity and Electromagnetism.

Broadcasting and film

Prof. Hume and Prof. Donald Ivey of the Department of Physics were pioneers in educational television, having developed their first 12 part program “Focus on Physics” in 1958. This was co-sponsored by CBC and the University of Toronto. The success of this series was followed up the next year by “Two for Physics”. Both series eventually aired on the National Educational Television (N.E.T.) in the United States. Other programs that followed include:

1960 – 15 short programs on Physics for children produced by CBC in cooperation with N.E.T. for joint use in Canada and United States

1962 – “The Ideas of Physics” – 4 programmes
1963 – “The Nature of Physics” – 5 programmes
1966 – “The Constant of Physics” – 4 programmes
All of these were for in-school broadcasts to Canadian high schools produced by CBC with the National Advisory Council on School Broadcasts

1960-1965 – 18 programmes for “The Nature of Things”, produced by CBC.
The program “The Nature of Things” is still today a staple of Canadian educational television. Hume and Ivey helped lay the foundation for such a successful broadcast run.

By 1960, their success in educational television spilled over into film where they were commissioned by the Physical Science Study Committee (PSSC) in the United States to do four films: “Frames of Reference”, “Periodic Motion”, “Universal Gravitation” and “Random Events”. All of these were created for distribution in high schools. In 1962, “Frames of Reference” won Edison Foundation award for the best science film and “Random Events” received a silver medal from the Scientific Institute in Rome.

This series contains a fairly complete set of scripts for all the titles noted above. Moreover, there is a 16 mm release print for each of the four films and one sound recording of one program from “The Constant of Physics” series. There are also still images from “Frame of Reference” and a file on the Edison Award.

For a good overview, researchers should begin by consulting reports written by Hume and Ivey for most of the television series. They detail the development of each theme. In addition, there is correspondence and contracts with CBC, correspondence with Educational Services Incorporated and the PSSC as well as program guides, clippings, published reviews, correspondence from viewers, and one 1962 audience response report for a “Nature of Things” programme.

Art and Letters Club

Since the 1960s, Prof. Hume has been an active member of the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, serving as its President from 1976-1978. This series documents his participation especially in the Annual Spring Review which he often helped to write, direct and produce.

General documents on the Arts and Letters Club include some correspondence, memorabilia and one file on applications for membership. Most records however relate to the Annual Spring Review. Included are notes detailing concepts and organizational matters, scripts, music scores, programs and correspondence.

Many shows are well documented beginnings in 1965 to 1992, with only a few gaps. Also included in this series is an audio recording of Prof. Hume playing the piano and singing various pieces he composed for Spring Reviews.

James Patton fonds

  • UTA 1647
  • Fonds
  • 1845-1863

Collection of 8 pamphlets relating to University of Toronto with mss annotations by James Patton. Pamphlets included are: "The university question considered: by a graduate" (1845), "Wesleyan conference memorial on the question of liberal education in Upper Canada, explained and defended by numerous proofs and illustrations, by a committee".(1860), "University reform. Report of the resolutions adopted at a great public meeting of the inhabitants of Kingston..." (1861), "Address before the select committee of the Legislative Assembly appointed to inquire into the management of the University of Toronto..." by Daniel Wilson (1860), "Report of the commissioners appointed to enquire into the expenditure of the funds of the University of Toronto, and into the state of its financial affairs..." (1862), "University reform defended: in reply to six editorials of the 'Globe' and 'Leader'..." by a committee of the Wesleyan Conference (1863), "Defence of the plan of University reform proposed by the Senate of the University of Toronto..." (1863), "Statutes of the University of Toronto, 1857".

Patton, James

James Barron fonds

  • UTA 1062
  • Fonds
  • [193-]-1975

Personal records of James Barron, student of Forestry at the University of Toronto in the 1930s. Includes notes and exercise books from his student days, as well as some employment records and evidence of work done for the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Also includes some photographs of forestry work and study, depictions of Killala Lake, Abitibi camps, Owakonze, Lake Temagami, Great Lakes Lumber, Long Lake, Marathon Paper Mills, and Manitou Falls.

Barron, James

John Reid fonds

  • UTA 1692
  • Fonds
  • 1962-1964

Copies of material on T. F. McIlwraith, professor of Anthropology, including his memorial volume. Also copies of some original correspondence and addresses of McIwraith.

Reid, John

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