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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

Professional Associations

Records in this series document Dr. Hogg's involvement in numerous associations relating to the study of astronomy. The series, comprised mainly of correspondence, memoranda, reports, membership lists, newsletters, agenda and committee minutes, documents the various positions of authority she held in the leading national and international astronomical and scientific organizations. They cover a twenty-five year span including:

Program Director for Astronomy, United States National Science Foundation (1955-1956); president of the International Astronomical Union Subcommission on Variable Stars in Star Clusters (1955-1961); president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (1957-1959); first woman president of the Physical Sciences section, Royal Society of Canada (1960-1961); president of the Royal Canadian Institute (1964); Councillor of the American Astronomical Society (1965-1968); first president of the Canadian Astronomical Society (1971-1972); honorary president of the Toronto Centre, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (1972-1977) and honorary president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (1977-1981).

The series also serves to document the wider activities of these organizations in addition to simply shedding light on the activities of Dr. Hogg alone. Notably, council and committee minutes strongly document the workings of the Toronto Centre of the R.A.S.C. between 1961-1986, the R.S.C. between 1955-1985 and the R.C.I. from 1954-1968. The activities of the IAU are also well represented. In particular, a series of reports and memoranda between 1952-1981 highlight the workings of Commission 27 on Variable Stars. Related records outlining the activities of these professional organizations can also be found in the General Professional Correspondence Series (Series I).

Arrangement is alphabetical by association, which include:

  • American Astronomical Society (AAS)
  • American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
  • Canadian Astronomical Society (CAS)
  • International Astronomical Union (IAU)
  • National Research Council (NRC)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC)
  • Royal Canadian Institute (RCI)
  • Royal Society of Canada (RSC)
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