Hilda Neatby
Born(1904-02-19)February 19, 1904
DiedMay 14, 1975(1975-05-14) (aged 71)
Alma materUniversity of Saskatchewan
University of Minnesota
University of Paris
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Saskatchewan

Hilda Marion Ada Neatby CC (February 19, 1904 – May 14, 1975) was a Canadian historian and educator.

Born in Surrey, England, the daughter of Andrew Mossforth Neatby and Ada Deborah Fisher, she received a BA and MA from the University of Saskatchewan and a PhD from the University of Minnesota. She taught history at the University of Saskatchewan and was head of the History department from 1958 to 1969. Fluent in the French language, she studied at the Sorbonne in Paris.

In 1966, she published Quebec, The Revolutionary Age 1760-1791, a seminal work in both French and English as part of The Canadian Centenary Series. The historical book examined the transitional events between 1760 and 1791 in the province of Quebec, Canada following victory by British forces over the French Army and the decision made by the King of France to hand over Quebec to the British in the 1763 Treaty of Paris that ended the Seven Years' War.

From 1949 to 1951 she was the only female member of the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences, which recommended the establishment of the Canada Council.

She wrote the book, So Little for the Mind (1953), which was critical of contemporary reforms in the Canadian educational system that were based John Dewey’s philosophical ideas.[1][2]

In 1969, the Board of Trustees at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, commissioned Neatby to write the history of that institution.[3] Queen's University, Volume I, 1841-1917: And Not to Yield was published in 1978, after her death.[3][4]

In 1967, Neatby was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1953, she was awarded an Honorary Doctors of Laws from the University of Toronto. Since 1986, the Canadian Historical Association has awarded "Le Prix Hilda Neatby Prize" for writings in French and English of an article published in Canada deemed to make an original and scholarly contribution to the field of women's history. In 2000, Canada Post issued a stamp in her honour.[5] In 2005, the former Place Riel Theatre (a former cinema, later converted into a lecture theatre) at the University of Saskatchewan was renamed the Neatby-Timlin Theatre, in honour of her and former economics professor Mabel Timlin.[6]



  1. ^ David, Livingstone (2017-11-27). "Still so little for the mind: The enduring relevance of Hilda Neatby's defense of liberal education in public schools". doi:10.25316/ir-481. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "1953: Hilda Neatby's So Little for the Mind published". University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Queen's University at Kingston: Volume I and Volume II". Queen's Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
  4. ^ James, Thia (2017-04-21). "Hilda Neatby, trail-blazing academic, outspoken advocate for improving public education". The Star Phoenix. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
  5. ^ "Neatby honored with Canada Post stamp". University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved April 7, 2005.
  6. ^ "Theatre renamed for past faculty". On Campus News. University of Saskatchewan. 2005-05-13. Retrieved 2018-09-13.