This ICA Icarette Model D camera belonged to University of Toronto Astronomer Clarence Augustus Chant in the 1920s

Victoria has a PhD in the History of Science from the University of Toronto. She is interested in the material culture of science of the past and present–the things used in scientific contexts. Her PhD thesis explores the material cultures of university departments of physics in Canada, c. 1890-1939 through their surviving collections of scientific equipment. It asks and answers what historical stories of people and places we can find in such departmental–often somewhat haphazard– collections. Her work has a particular focus on local workshops and makers, and their connection to the establishment and development of scientific teaching and research away from scientific centres.

She is also interested in the spaces of science (e.g. observatories), science in public and museums of science, the history of science in Toronto, women in science, and photography associated with the history of science.

Victoria works with the University of Toronto Scientific Instruments Collection (UTSIC), where she is Assistant Curator. UTSIC collects, conserves and investigates the scientific material culture of the University of Toronto, from galvanometers to goggles. At UTSIC, Victoria has catalogued and researched artifacts from across the university, but especially those associated with the physical sciences. She worked extensively on the David A. Dunlap Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics’ collection, including conducting a series of oral history interviews. Often acting as UTSIC photographer, Victoria has photographed over a thousand UTSIC objects.

Victoria is also fascinated by the educational opportunities presented by collections and material objects at the undergraduate level and beyond. Since 2017, she has been teaching material culture workshops, historical lectures and tutorials focused on UTSIC’s artifacts and Toronto history, putting historical scientific artifacts into students hands. She also has organised many of UTSIC’s outreach activities, including the collection’s booths at the University of Toronto’s Science Rendezvous.

See Victoria’s CV.