Fonds 1554 - McLennan/Parks family fonds

Identity area

Reference code

UTA 1554


McLennan/Parks family fonds


  • 1883-1990 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3.87 m of textual and graphic records; artifacts (7 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The McLennan/Parks Family is one with a long and influential association to the University of Toronto. Sir John C. McLennan put his mark on the teaching and research of physics at the University from his appointment as demonstrator in 1900 to his retirement in 1932 as Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Chair of the Department of Physics. His sister, Jean McLennan was married to Prof. William Arthur Parks, who was head of the Department of Geology and director of the Palaeontology Museum of the Royal Ontario Museum from 1910 until his retirement in 1935. Their son, Arthur Ewart Park, was a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine (M.D. 1930) and was a noted Toronto doctor.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Sir John Cunningham McLennan, KBE, FRS, FRSC, physicist (born 14 April 1867 in Ingersoll, ON; died 9 October 1935 in Paris, France). After graduating in physics from the University of Toronto in 1892, McLennan worked as a demonstrator and in 1898 went to the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England. In 1900 he received the first doctorate in physics from the University of Toronto. He spent his career at that university, bringing his physics laboratory to the forefront of research in radioactivity, spectroscopy and low-temperature physics.

During the First World War, McLennan was scientific adviser to the British Admiralty. In 1915, he was elected to the Royal Society of London (receiving its gold medal in 1928) and in 1917 received the Order of the British Empire. After the war he returned to the University of Toronto but spent each summer in Britain, becoming president of the scientific section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1923.

President of the Royal Canadian Institute in 1916, he helped found the National Research Council and was a member of the Ontario Research Foundation (established 1928). He resigned from the University of Toronto in 1932 and moved to England where he continued his pioneering research in the use of radium to treat cancer. He was knighted in 1935.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born in Toronto, 9 January, 1907, son of William Arthur Parks, Professor of Geology. Arts, 1923-1927, BA 1927 (University College) ; Medicine, MD 1930. Died in Toronto, 198-.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Head of the Department of Geology and director of the Palaeontology Museum of the Royal Ontario Museum from 1910 until his retirement in 1935.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This accession contains mainly correspondence, photographs, memorabilia and diplomas from all three members of the family. Of particular note are the diaries of Sir J.C. McLennan for the last two years of his life as well as well as geological field notebooks and expense books.

For further details, see attached file list in the finding aid.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)



Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Dates of creation revision deletion

Added to AtoM by E. Sommers, Aug. 2018




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places