Hart House

Title:  Hart House fonds

Date(s) of creation: 1919-

Physical description: 41.95 + metres of textual, graphic, sound recordings and moving image materials

Admin. history/Biographical Sketch: 

[Extract from Inventory of Hart House Records]  As a centre for student activity, Hart House has occupied a unique position in the University of Toronto and among North American colleges since its opening on 11 November 1919. Brought into existence largely through the efforts of Vincent Massey, Hart House was never meant to be an ordinary students union or "boys club" (despite the fact that women were denied membership until 1972). Instead, Massey envisioned a centre to bind the students of the university's colleges, their professors and support staff in "common fellowship" by offering them educational, cultural, spiritual, athletic, and leisure activities, structured according to the expressed desires of the students. For one of the most unique features of Hart House is the committee and club system and the significant contribution of the student body to the administration of those systems. The committees are the core of Hart House and it was the student membership of the committees, working with faculty and staff representatives, who purchased the Arthur Lismer and Lawren Harris originals and organized concerts by Glenn Gould and Lois Marshall. These committees continue to function in much the same capacity...

...the Warden [is], the chief administrative officer of Hart House. Nominated by the President and appointed by the Board of Governors, the Warden's immediate and very broad mandate includes the administration and supervision of Hart House as well as any other duties deemed necessary by the President, under whose direction the Warden functions...

The chief administrative body is the Board of Stewards. Because it has student members, is considered one of the Hart House committees. Subject to the Board of Governors, the Board of Stewards is responsible for the direction, management and administration of Hart House and members generally represent many aspects of the University of Toronto interested parties in Hart House, including the President of the University, the Warden, faculty and staff representatives and student representatives from the committees.

The activities in Hart House are the responsibility of the committees and clubs. The committees are formal organizations comprised of students, faculty and staff who do much of the routine administrative work in order to provide the students with a broad variety of activities. The student representatives are elected by the membership of Hart House. The clubs, on the other hand, are much more informal groups dealing with a more specific activity. Nevertheless, there are still faculty and staff representatives on hand to provide advice and guidance, but the students are largely responsible for their own activities. 

The staff who assist the students today come from either the Business Office, the Programmes Office as well as Program Advisors and Administrative Assistants (see flowcharts for more information). Known as the Graduate/Undergraduate Offices from 1955 to 1973, the staff in the Business Office and the Programmes Office provide an administrative as well as secretarial support system for the management of the House and running the activities. 

 Scope and content: 
ADMINISTRATIVE FILES - These are files pertain to the administration and maintenance (or housekeeping functions) of Hart House which may originate from the Warden's Office, the Comptroller's Office, the Graduate/Undergraduate Office, the Business Office, the Programmes Office, or the Reservations Office. At the office level these files reflect a particular office's duties and policies regarding the management of Hart House.

OPERATIONAL FILES - These are files pertaining to the activities and functions of  Hart House which reflect its unique mandate and character within the University of Toronto, as well as its duties and responsibilities to the students, graduates, faculty and staff of the university. These files are located in each office and directly reflect the activities of that office. The operational files of Hart House would include all the committee and club files which document participation in activities. 

Access/Use: Restricted; Subject to review under Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Finding aids: Inventory of the Hart House Records (revised 2006)

Related records in a different fonds:  Hart House Theatre, John B. Bickersteth

Accruals:   Further accruals expected.

   Corresponding accessions: See also the following Accessions not described in the  Inventory:  A1975-0006/  A1975-0039/ A1982-0044/ A1988-0012/  A1988-0014/  A1988-0019/  A1988-0031/  A1989-0012/  A1990-0008/  A1990-0012/  A1991-0013/  A1992-0020/  A1995-0017/  A1996-0009/  A1998-0016/  A2001-0001/  A2002-0005/  A2003-0022/  A2004-0018/  A2004-0019