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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 12-003


Professor John William Burbidge fonds. -- 1958-2011. -- 1.1 m of textual records. -- 30 photographs. -- 1 compact disc.

Biography / History

John William Burbidge was born in 1936 in Hoiryung, Korea, the son of missionary parents. He married Barbara Annette Perkins in 1958 and they have three children, James, Elizabeth, and Bruce. Professor Burbidge received an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and History at the University of Toronto in 1957 and a M.A. degree in Philosophy at Yale University in 1958. He then entered Emmanuel College, proceeding to ordination in the United Church of Canada and a Bachelor of Divinity in 1962. After studying theology at the University of Heidelberg the following year, Professor Burbidge became the minister responsible for Lakeview United Church in Mississauga. In 1971 he received a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. Professor Burbidge began teaching at Trent University in the Philosophy department in 1970 and taught there until his retirement in 1999. While at Trent, he served in several roles including Master of Champlain College, Chair of the Philosophy Department, Acting Registrar, and Associate Vice President for Student Services. He was also a long-time member of the Friends of the Bata Library. In the 1980s, Professor Burbidge served as Vice-President and President of the Hegel Society of America and in 1998 was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Amongst his publications, to name a few, are such titles as: On Hegel's Logic; Hegel on Logic and Religion; Real Process: How Logic and Chemistry Combine in Hegel's Philosophy of Nature; and Hegel's Systematic Contingency. Professor Burbidge has developed an interest in bookbinding and repair and is working towards certification by the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild.

Scope and Content

Fonds includes documentation pertaining to the professional and private life of John William Burbidge. Included are his manuscripts of books, articles, and sermons, and student papers. Also included are research materials, offprints of published articles, correspondence with publishers, personal correspondence, lecture notes relating to Professor Burbidge's teaching career at Trent University, and congratulatory letters and cards relating to his retirement from Trent University and election to the Royal Society of Canada.


Custodial History: Fonds was in the custody of Professor John Burbidge before being donated to Trent University Archives.

Immediate Source: Fonds acquired from Professor John Burbidge in 2012.

Restrictions: N

Finding Aid

Box 1

1. Research notes
2. Research notes
3. Research notes
4. Research material

Loose in box: The United Church Observer - issues include articles by John Burbidge, 1965-1976

5. The Owl of Minerva - issues include articles by John Burbidge, 1979-2004
6. Offprints of articles published in various journals
7. Reviews of John Burbidge's books Loose on shelf:

Black binder of article manuscripts

Box 2

1. Manuscript: "An Enquiry Concerning Human Reasoning"
2. Manuscript: "Hegel: An Introduction to His Work"
3. Manuscript materials (includes partial drafts, correspondence, notes)
4. Manuscripts of various articles/chapters
5. "Unpublished manuscript material"
6. Sermons
7. Sermons
8. Correspondence, Nick Walker, 1990-1994
9. Correspondence, re The God Within, 1992-1996
10. Correspondence, re Jena Logic, 1979-1986
11. Correspondence, re The Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Logic, 2000
12. Correspondence, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, 1973-1996
13. Correspondence, Ardis Collins, 1989-2000
14. Correspondence, Scarecrow Press re Historical Dictionary of Hegelian Philosophy, 1996-2000
15. Correspondence re publications, 1995-1999
16. Correspondence re publications, 1973-2004
17. Correspondence re articles, 1988-1996
18. Correspondence re education, 1973-1975
19. Correspondence, file titled "Hegelians", 1977-1999

Box 3

1. Correspondence, Cinzia Ferrini, 1992-1997
2. Correspondence, Klaus Hedwig, 1970-2000
3. Correspondence, misc., 1982-2010
4. Correspondence, 1979-1995, includes one photo with John Burbidge (1991)
5. Correspondence, 1977-1992
6. Correspondence, 1958-1974
7. Course and lecture materials for courses taught at Trent University, 1982-1985

Box 4

Student essays and papers written by John Burbidge; included is a copy of his doctorate thesis titled "Contingent Truths of Historical Fact and Eternal Truths of Reason: The Challenge of Lessing's "Ditch" and the Responses of Hegel and Schelling"

Box 5

1. Greeting cards; sympathy cards and letters of sympathy re the death of John Burbidge's mother, Margaret Pearl Burbidge, 1997
2. Retirement event at Trent University, 1998: includes correspondence and cards, a guest book, photographs (ca. 30). Among those depicted in the photographs are John Burbidge, Lois Fleming, Chris Los, Scott Pollard, Ashok Kaushik, John Wadland, John Hillman, Michael Fox, David Morrison, Marion Grant, Shirley Rolufs, Jan Fialkowski, Steve Dantzer, Fred Helleiner, Martin Boyne, Jacquie Solway, Gwynne Roseborough, Maged El Komos, Peter Northrup, Judy Lloyd, Tom Eadie, Ken Field, Lionel Rubinoff, Marion Fry, Linda Jeanette, John Casserly, Barb Hulcoop, Tony van Hoeckel, Dawn Smith, Denis Smith, Marion O'Brien, Barbara Burbidge, Chris Tindale, Costas Boundas, Peter Barrett, Bernie Hodgson, Don Giles, Ada Meecham, Jeannette Healy, Joanne McCurdy, Leona Fredericks, Mavis Prior, Carol Murray, David Gallop, Catharine Gallop, Skip Maxwell, Jack Lodge, Fred Tromly, Jean Lipinski, Paul Thompson
3. Election to Royal Society of Canada: congratulatory letters and cards, 1998
4. Biographical material relating to the life and career of John Burbidge (Note: a curriculum vitae was included in the donation with the intention that it become part of the fonds); also included is one compact disc titled "Archives and Bibliography"

Additional box added June 2012 [Box 6]

Published articles and books by John Burbidge

Additional box added February 2015 [Box 7]

Correspondence: congratulatory letters re appointment as Master of Champlain College, 1976; congratulatory letters on receiving Trent University's Distinguished Research Award, 1993; one piece of correspondence re Burbidge family genealogy, 1997; correspondence with publishers and reviewers' notes re the manuscript for "Ideas, Concepts and Reality", 2011-2012

"The Commonplace Book of John Burbidge", 1958-2013 (handwritten, re thoughts on philosophical matters)

"Hegel: An Introduction to his Works" by John Burbidge: manuscript, notes, correspondence; also, Mind: A Quarterly Review of Philosophy (Volume 122 Number 488, October 2013) with article by Burbidge on Hegel