Fonds F2053 - Archibald Hope (A.H.) Young Collection

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Archibald Hope (A.H.) Young Collection


  • 1837-1935 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2.4 m of textual records
2 artefacts
24 graphic items

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Archibald Hope Young, educator and historian, was known as “Archie” to generations of Trinity College students. Born 6 February 1863 in Sarnia, Canada West, to Archibald and Annie (née Wilson) Young, he attended Sarnia Public, Private, and High Schools before going to Upper Canada College 1878-1882, where he was Head Boy in his final year. He matriculated at the University of Toronto in 1882 as a Prince of Wales Scholar and graduated with a BA in Modern Languages in 1887. He was also the president of the University of Toronto Modern Language Club 1886-1887. He received a BA ad eundem in 1892 from the University of Trinity College, and his MA in 1893. He also studied for a period of time at the University of Strasbourg. In 1916 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa, by the University of King’s College.

Before coming to Trinity College, Young was the assistant master in Drummondville High School 1884-1885 and an assistant junior master in Upper Canada College 1887-1889. He was also a Modern Languages master 1887-1892 and an assistant housemaster 1889-1891. Young first became associated with Trinity College in 1892, when he was hired as a lecturer on Modern Languages and Philology. He held this position until 1900, when he was promoted to Professor of Modern Languages and Philology. In 1905, he became Professor of German, a post he held until his retirement in 1931, when he became Emeritus Professor of German. In 1911-1912 Young was Acting Professor of French, and in 1920-1921 he was a lecturer on Church History. He also served for one year as a University of Toronto lecturer on Italian 1909-1910. Upon his retirement he was appointed Research Fellow in Canadian History.

Young also held a number of administrative positions at Trinity College. He was the Librarian 1896-1902, the Clerk of Convocation 1901-1902 and 1903-1922, the Trinity College Registrar 1903-1914 and the Trinity University Registrar 1907-1914 (the two positions were combined in 1914), and the Dean of Residence 1914-1922. In 1904, upon the college’s federation with the University of Toronto, for which he was an advocate, Young was elected by the Trinity faculty to act as a representative on the university’s Senate. He was re-elected to this position until 1923. He also served as editor for the Trinity University Yearbook 1896-1914. Upon the creation of the Universities Bureau of the British Empire in 1913, Young began to act as its corresponding secretary, having attended the Congress the previous year. Young was the principal organizer of Trinity College’s jubilee celebrations in 1902. Naturally, he was also an ex officio and an elected member of both Corporation and Convocation.

In 1903 Young attended the International Congress of History Studies in Rome. In 1910 he was elected as president of the Modern Languages section of the Ontario Educational Association. In 1913 Young became a Non-Resident Life Fellow of the Royal Colonial Institute, and in 1919 he became a member of the St. Andrew’s Society. Young was the historiographer of the Diocese of Toronto starting in 1914 and also served for a time as president of the Ontario Historical Society. In 1920-1921 Young served as a member of the executive of the University of Toronto Alumni Association.

Always one to take an active role with students, Young served as chairman of the Trinity University Review Board of Management from 1914 until his death. He was named honorary president of the Trinity Glee Club in 1905, and in 1906 he founded the Deutscher Klatsch Club to assist students in attaining proficiency in conversational German, an organization which lasted until the outbreak of the First World War. During the war, he wrote to Trinity students and alumni who were involved in the war effort and organized care packages to be sent to them at Christmas. At the time of Young’s death, Provost Cosgrave wrote the following in the midsummer edition of the Trinity University Review: “[Graduates of Trinity College] will think most gratefully of [Young’s] influences upon them in the most critical and formative years of their lives and of his continued interest in them after they had left college. His greatest pleasure was to gather a group of graduates for tea in his room or in the Board Room and recall the days when they were students at Trinity. He wrote annually or oftener to hundreds of his former students expressing his interest in their concerns and telling them what was passing at Trinity College.”

Young valued his time at Upper Canada College, too, which he demonstrated by his permanent connection to it in the years after he left. For years he acted as a member of Corporation and the Board of Governors. He was also the corresponding secretary and treasurer for the Upper Canada College Old Boys Association. In 1917 he edited The Roll of Pupils of Upper Canada College Toronto: January 1830 to June 1916, and in 1923 he edited The War Book of Upper Canada College Toronto (1914-1919). He was also a member of the Governing Body of Trinity College School.

Young published widely on the history of Upper Canada and the Church of England in Canada, usually in the form newspaper and journal articles or reviews. His larger works included The Revd. John Stuart, D.D., U.E.L. of Kingston, U.C. and his Family: A Genealogical Study and he edited The Parish Register of Kingston, Upper Canada 1785-1811. In 1922, along with Professor W.A. Kirkwood, Young edited the War Memorial Volume of Trinity College, Toronto, which listed every member of the college who served in the First World War. Young never married and had no children, and lived for most of his life at Trinity College. Much of the latter half of Young’s life was spent writing biographies of John Strachan and John Stuart, but these were left incomplete when he died in Toronto 6 April 1935.

Archival history

The custodial history of the Young collection is complex. The material was in the possession of a number of people before it was acquired by Trinity College,

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection consists of material related to Young’s academic interest in the Anglican Church in Canada and its related people, records related to Young’s time as an administrator of Trinity College, and some material from his personal life. The fonds contains original and copied research material accumulated by Young from various sources, written by John Strachan, his family and contemporaries. Other research interests included Bishop Mountain, the Stewart family, and Trinity College. Published and unpublished manuscripts, Young’s correspondence relating to the administration of Trinity College, and personal artefacts and photographs, are included.

Contains series:

  1. John Strachan research
  2. Mountain family correspondence
  3. Drafts and published work
  4. Trinity College administration
  5. Personal records

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


None expected

System of arrangement

The records were transferred to the archives in no discernible order. Order has been imposed by the archivist.

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Public Domain

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Related units of description

The Archives of Ontario holds more records of John Strachan. The Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House holds the records of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) under the title of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

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Notes area


A portrait of Young, painted by Evan Weekes Macdonald ca. 1932, currently hangs in Seeley Hall.

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  • English



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