Fonds MS-2-516, SF Box 19, Folder 11 & 12; SF Box 27, Folder 23 & 29 - George Hugh Henderson fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

George Hugh Henderson fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

MS-2-516, SF Box 19, Folder 11 & 12; SF Box 27, Folder 23 & 29

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1907-1950 (Creation)
    Henderson, George Hugh

Physical description area

Physical description

3 cm of textual records (9 folders)

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

(1892 - 1954)

Biographical history

George Hugh Henderson was a leading Canadian physicist during the first half of the twentieth century, best known for his work on radioactivity. He was born in St. Augustine, Florida on December 8, 1892, the son of John Alexander and Margaret Macdonald Henderson. After the death of his parents, Henderson was raised by his grandfather in Pictou, Nova Scotia. He was educated at the Pictou Academy, Dalhousie University and Cambridge University, where he studied with Ernest Rutherford.

Henderson taught at the University of Saskatoon from 1922-1924 before moving back to Halifax to take up the position of professor of mathematical physics at King's College (Dalhousie), where he remained and worked for the remainder of his life. He was a fellow of the National Research Council of Canada, the Nova Scotia Research Foundation, and the Nova Scotia Institute of Science, of which he was a past president. During the First World War, Henderson was not eligible for overseas fighting due to his eyesight and became an engineer officer in the Army. He remained in Canada, where he was enlisted in a garrison until 1918. At this point, he was released from the army to undergo war research, supported by one of the first scholarships issued by the National Research Council of Canada. During the Second World War, Henderson contributed to mine-sweeping and acoustic torpedo research as a physicist for the Royal Canadian Navy, where he gathered a group of forty scientists in Halifax for research and establishing a liaison with the Director of Scientific Research (Admiralty) in England. In 1943, Henderson was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his outstanding contributions as the superintendent of the Naval Research Establishment at Halifax.

Henderson was married to Ruth Wallace Ross, with whom he had two daughters, Nancy and Margaret. He died in 1954 as the result of a heart attack.

Custodial history

Records were donated by Mrs. George Henderson in 1987.

Scope and content

Fonds comprises a letter from Ernest Rutherford and correspondence regarding a proposal to apply for the presidency of the University of New Brunswick. There is also a letter of appointment from the Ministry of National Defence, a list of Henderson's publications, miscellaneous offprints, obituaries, high school diplomas, Cavendish Laboratory dinner menus, and the warrant of appointment to the Order of the British Empire.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


No further accruals expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of Item], George Hugh Henderson fonds, MS-2-516, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Rules for Archival Description


Level of detail

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres