Fonds 22-002 - Thomas H.B. Symons fonds. 2022 additions

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Title proper

Thomas H.B. Symons fonds. 2022 additions

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the creator of the fonds.

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    Dates of creation area


    • 1961-2019 (Creation)
      Symons, Thomas H.B.

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    92 cm of textual material
    2 photographs

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Thomas H.B. Symons was born at Toronto, Ontario 30 May 1929, son of Harry Lutz Symons and Dorothy Sarah Bull. He was educated at Upper Canada College, University of Toronto (B.A. 1951), and Oxford University (B.A. 1953, M.A. 1957). He married Christine Ryerson 17 August 1963 and with her had three children: Mary, Ryerson and Jeffery. Professor Symons held many posts as an educator, including Assistant Dean of Men, Trinity College and Instructor of History, University of Toronto 1953-1955; and Dean, Devonshire House, University of Toronto 1955-63. His most notable post, however, was as the founding President and Vice-Chancellor of Trent University, 1961-1972. Symons also held many presidencies, chairmanships and memberships in various organizations, mainly dealing with the topics of education, Canadian studies, Indigenous rights and human rights. From 1971 to 1973, Symons was the President of the Canadian Association in Support of Native Peoples. He was the author of several reports and articles and contributed chapters to many books including: "Political Education in Canada" 1988; "Archives Libraries and the Canadian Heritage" 1983; "A Century of Canada's Arctic Islands, 1880-1980" 1981; "A History of Peel County" 1967; and "Native Rights in Canada" 1970. Professor Symons resided in Peterborough, Ontario until his death on January 1, 2021.

    Custodial history

    Fonds was in the custody of Christine Symons before being donated to Trent University Archives in 2022.

    Scope and content

    Fonds is comprised of personal and professional correspondence, newspaper clippings, honorary degrees and other documents pertaining to the life and career of Thomas H.B Symons. The newspaper clippings are on the subject of French as a second language in Ontario schools, the Sturgeon Falls School Crisis (1971), and the Ministerial Commission on French Language Secondary Education. Some of the correspondence and other documents pertain to the Mulholland Family (1961-1965).

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    Physical condition


    Immediate source of acquisition

    Fonds received via Kathryn Matheson in 2022.


    Folder headings maintained as received.

    Language of material

    • English
    • French

    Script of material

      Language and script note

      Some of the newspaper clippings are in French.

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      Associated materials

      This fonds along with: 82-001, 97-019, 01-003, 11-001, 15-006, 17-004, 18-001, and 19-001 is an addition to 78-003.

      Related materials


      General note

      Box 1

      Loose in Box

      Certificates, Awards, Honorary Degrees

      • Trent University Alumni Association, Honorary Membership to Alumni Association, March 30, 1982
      • University of Manitoba, Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws, May 28, 1990
      • Loyalist College, Certificate of Appreciation, Foundations for the New Millennium Campaign, May 4, 1998
      • Concordia University, honoris causa, Doctor of Laws, May 27, 1981
      • Dalhousie University, letter granting Dr, Symons Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, May 13, 1983. Includes photograph of Thomas H.B. Symons wearing academic dress
      • University of New Brunswick, honoris causa, Doctoris in Utroque Jure, May 18, 1972

        Day Planners

      • Thomas H.B Symons’ day planners for the years 2000-2014, 2019

        Box 2


        1. Newspaper clippings n.d. or incomplete date, and 1966–1970.
        2. Newspaper clippings, February 1971–September 1971.
        3. Newspaper clippings, October 1971.
        4. Newspaper clippings, November 1971.
        5. Newspaper clippings, December 1971.
        6. Newspaper clippings, January 1972–September 1972
        7. Correspondence, and other documents pertaining to the Mulholland Family, 1961–1965. Includes financial statements of the Mulholland Board of Trustees, documents, Mulholland Family newsletters, Mulholland Cairn, genealogy, and the Mulholland Family Picnic (September 1961)

      Large Materials Cabinet – Drawer 51

      Oversized Material

      • Photograph, Ontario Advisory Committee on Confederation, 1965
      • Waterloo Lutheran University, honoris causa, Legum Doctoreum, November 7, 1971
      • University of Ottawa letter conferring honoris causa, Doctor of the University, October 20, 1974
      • International Council for Canadian Studies, Governor General’s Award for Canadian Studies, May 27, 1998
      • Letter from Prime Minister, 1982 re Distinguished Service to Education Award
      • Canadian National Research Society, Keith Matthews Prize for best book of 1999 (Meta Incognita a discourse of discovery: Martin Frobisher's Arctic expeditions, 1576-1578), September 1, 2000
      • Albany Club of Ontario, Honorary Life Member, n.d.
      • [St. John’s College, University of Manitoba], honoris cause, Dortoris Jures Canonica, 2001
      • National Trust for Canada, Gabriel Léger Medal, October 21, 2016
      • Queen Elizabeth II [Silver Jubilee Medal], 1977
      • Association for Canadian Studies, Award of Merit, May 1984
      • University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, honoris causa, Doctor of Letters, December 14, 1985
      • Certificate appointing T.H.B Symons as a Member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Ottawa, June 13, 1978
      • Certificate appointing T.H.B Symons as a Member of the Canada Council, Ottawa, July 12, 1976
      • York University, honoris causa, Doctor of Laws, June 8, 1973
      • Dalhousie University, honoris causa, Legum Doctorem, May 13, 1983

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