File consists of a recording of Dr. Allie Vibert Douglas. Topics of the conversation include concern as Queen's Dean of Women (1939) that women students should contribute to WWII: establishment of Red Cross workroom, production of quilts for underground shelters and hospitals, Britain. Mandatory two hours' war work per student weekly: option of Red Cross workroom, canteen work, or military visiting duties, 'anything that made a more useful citizen'. Compulsory lectures, preparing students for possible sabotage emergencies; option of evening courses at KCVI, developing able wartime citizenship. Compulsory St. John's Ambulance first aid course in first term, home nursing in final term; generous participation of doctors, Kingston General Hospital staff; end-of-year examinations (compulsory repetition in case of failure). Head of Phys. Ed. Miss Ross' valuable course in basic drill, leading to enlistment of many female students in army, air force, navy (e.g. Mrs. Fred Gibson). Soccer practice of Commonwealth air trainees on Queen's lower campus: 'it was lovely to see them'. Mrs. Grace Miller's knowledge (as math student at Queen's prior to WWI) of subject (by name) as math student at McGill: notoriety of Canadian women math students due to scarcity. Three undergraduate years at McGill, four years in London (c. WWI). Astonishment after Queen's appointment (1939) that 'women were really hardly regarded as full members of the university'; universal disaster was required to open Medical School to women at McGill (WWI), Queen's (WWII). Subject's written recommendation that Queen's Med School be opened to women; Principal Wallace's rationalization of continued discrimination; pressure applied by wartime government, badly in need of qualified doctors. Limited admission of selected female Med. students midway through WWII. Exclusive male societies on Queen's campus (Philosophy, Political Science); subject's protest of Principal Wallace's customary absence at women's Levana Society graduating dinner, soon rectified. Teas held by subject (as Department of Immigration representative at Queen's) for overseas students (mostly men), limited by rationing, tight university budget; problem of racially prejudiced Kingston landladies, efforts of Mr. Dewar hunting out welcoming accommodations. Proposal of Overseas Club by Jamaican student; donation by public-spirited Service Club man of former home of Physics Professor Harry Harkness (sponsor of Chinese students; high proportion of Chinese in original Overseas programme at Queen's) as first International Students' Centre. Memberships in international organizations: International Federation of University Women (since 1920); International Union of Astronomers; International Union for History and Philosophy of Science. Appointment as IFUW president (1947). Overseas conference participation twice yearly; thoughtful solicitation of chocolate bars from Queen's students, distributed at post-war sugar-starved European conferences; similar distribution of toilet soap at University Service-run recuperation camps (Zurich vicinity) for deported students of occupied countries, who had caught tuberculosis while serving at hard labour. Opportunity to share conference experiences with Queen's students, to impart new discoveries to astronomy students before textbooks could publish them. Honorary degree from University of Queensland, awarded alongside Mlle Jeanne Chaton (heroic underground figure in World Wars I and II). Desperate difficulty securing accommodation in Czechoslovakia prior to 1967 Astronomical Conference (rejection of foreigners by hotel managements unless recommended by Tourist Bureau); lovely experience walking in mountains, 'you felt so safe'. VIP treatment of delegates to Moscow conference of International Union of Astronomers; tour of great Soviet observatories (Leningrad, Crimea, Georgia: Armenian observatory of Dr. V.A. Ambartsumyan). Queen's Ellis Hall observatory, used for student training, public education; potential for modest research programme in photoelectric photometry. Work at Cambridge, England (1921-3) under Lord Ernest Rutherford, Sir Arthur Eddington. Subject's biography of Eddington (pubIished 1956): encouragement from fellow astronomical delegates, rejection by Cambridge University Press as too great a financial risk, acceptance by Nelson's Edinburgh.//lnternational expansion of IFUW: founding in 1918 by 'two outstanding women', Professor Caroline Spurgeon (London University), Dean Virginia Gildersleeve; Canada as third entrant; acquisition of nearly all Western European countries; loss of several nations to USSR following WWII. African memberships in IFUW; Makerere University conference; IFUW work encouraging discriminatory Muslim countries to open higher education to women. Grenoble IUA conference. Realization at Cambridge of personal unsuitability for experimental physics, ideal suitability for astrophysics. Subject's introduction of Astrophysics at McGill University; enlargement of Queen's undergraduate astrophysics programme, introduction of graduate-level programme. Full schedule as combined Dean of Women and Astrophysics lecturer, especially heavy during WWII; disapproval of male 'raids' on women's residences as form of 'bullying', dealings with male students; criticism of University Administration for not taking measures to protect women students from nervous strain. Student accommodation difficulties following WWII: 'great rush' of OVA students back to campus; 'marvellous time' had by mature female students (packed like sardines into newly rented residence house); enthusiastic leadership of Warden Evelyn Macleod. Alterations made for residential purposes to wooden Army huts at St. Mary's-of-the-Lake Hospital; Principal Wallace's anxiety that smoking in residence be prohibited to mature female students, despite permission to male students; subject's refusal to administer a sexist prohibition so absurdly illogical.
Douglas, Dr. Allie Vibert