Fonds MG 2006 - Albert Norman Shaw Fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Albert Norman Shaw Fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

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

Level of description


Reference code

CA MUA MG 2006

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


  • 1904-1952 (Creation)
    Shaw, A. Norman (Albert Norman), 1886-1964

Physical description area

Physical description

1.8 m of textual records.
25 photographs.

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


Biographical history

Physicist A. Norman Shaw was born in England and educated in Bermuda and Montréal. He graduated in mathematics and physics from McGill in 1908 and in 1911 he won the R.O. King Fellowship to Caius College, Cambridge. There he worked for two years as a research student at the Cavendish Laboratory under Sir J.J. Thomson. Shaw returned to join the staff of Macdonald College in 1913. In 1918, he transferred to the McGill Physics Department; he was appointed Chairman in 1935 and retired in 1952. Shaw's research work was largely in the area of thermodynamics. He passed away in 1964.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds documents Shaw's research and teaching activities, his work with associations, and the progress of his personal career. Shaw's research papers and reading notes (1909-ca 1924) include reports on zonal harmonics and electrodynamometer constants; a group of notes, graphs, photographs, letters and draft articles on tides in the lower St. Lawrence (1917-1924); meteorological tests at Father Point (1917); and an outline for a book on heat.

His university teaching is documented by lecture notes, supplemented by synopses, experiment outlines and assignments, for courses taught by Shaw between 1918 and 1934. These include courses in mechanics (1918), the kinetic theory of matter, and submolecular physics (1919-1920), molecular physics (1923-1924, 1928-1929), electricity (1919), thermodynamics (1920-1922, 1931-1934), thermoelectricity (ca 1931), and heat, light, and sound (1921-1922). Extension courses and popular lectures from 1919-1936 are covered by copies of approximately 18 lectures, occasionally with news clippings or correspondence attached, on molecular structure, electronics, relativity, heat, crystal structure, solar eclipses, and the social and historical dimensions of science.

Correspondence files deal with Shaw's involvement with scientific associations. These cover the American Association for the Advancement of Science's 1938 meeting in Ottawa, and the activities of the Canadian Journal of Research (1947-1950). Shaw's presidency of the Québec division of the Association Committee on Physics and Engineering Physics (1925-1926) is documented by correspondence, materials collected for the division's 1926 report, and reports of the Associate Committees annual meetings, 1923-1930. There is also a copy of Shaw's 1932 Presidential Address to Section III of the Royal Society of Canada.

The progress of Shaw's career is recorded by a few dozen letters regarding his appointment at McGill and his application for a post at Lehigh University (1911-1927); printed memorabilia of Cambridge events, photographs of Cavendish Laboratory associates, and about a half dozen brief notes from Sir J.J. Thomson; C.O.T.C. training materials (1914-1916); correspondence with William Bell Cartmel on ether drift experiments (1934-1938); club accounts; a few personal letters (ca 1930); and several photographic portraits of Shaw.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script note

Material in English.

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Accession nos.

0000-0256; 0000-0454; 1988-0080

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres