Parkhill, Douglas F., 1923-1995

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Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Parkhill, Douglas F., 1923-1995

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Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Parkhill, D.F.
  • Parkhill, Douglas
  • Parkhill, Douglas Freeman

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Description area

Dates of existence

1923-12-19 - 1995


Douglas Freeman Parkhill was born on 19 December 1923. He received a bachelors in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto in 1949. From 1949 to 1951 he worked for Canadian Comstock Corporation on the frequency change from 25 to 60 cycles in southern Ontario. He worked with Computing Devices of Canada Ltd. in Ottawa as a systems engineer. He was briefly with AVCO of Canada Limited in Toronto as a Supervisor of Engineering before going to AVCO Corporation in Wilmington, Massachusetts, as Deputy Manager of the Computer and Electronic Systems Department. In 1958 Parkhill became chief engineer of the Advanced Development Department for General Dynamics Corporation in Rochester, New York. Working for MITRE Corporation in Bedford, Massachusetts, from 1961-69, he eventually became head of its Satellite Communications Systems.

In September 1969 Parkhill joined the federal Department of Communications in Ottawa as Director General of Policy, Plans and Programs Branch. He became Assistant Deputy Minister (Planning) in 1970 and was responsible for the Canadian Computer Communication Policy. He was also the OECD Panel on Computer Communications Policy which advised governments on changes brought about by computerization.

Parkhill’s final position with the department was as Assistant Deputy Minister (Research) starting in 1974. He was responsible for communication satellites, computer communications, the development of fibre-optic networks, image communications etc. Parkhill was one of the forces behind the development of Telidon, a Canadian public-private videotex and teletext system. Parkhill received the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Government of Canada in 1982 for his work in this area. He died in 1995.

Parkhill was the author of numerous talks and articles between 1956 and 1984 on the evolving role and challenges of computers, computer networks, communication technologies and the role of the federal government in these areas. He also produced fifty-some classified reports on military information systems, military space systems, satellite control systems and other topics. Parkhill was author of The Challenge of Computer Utility (1966) and with Dave Godfrey, wrote Gutenberg Two: The New Electronics and Social Change (1979).

After Parkhill retired from government service in April 1984, he received a contract from the Deputy Minister of Communications to write a history of the development of the videotex/teletext industry in Europe, Asia, the US and Canada. His manuscript on the development of Telidon “The Beginning of a Beginning” was completed in 1987.


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Rules and/or conventions used

Parkhill published under different variations of his name. Authorized form of name comes from Ingenium's Horizon catalogue record as preferred reference source (RAD rule 22.2A1).


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Written by Larry McNally; entered into Archeion with minor additions by Adele Torrance. Slight revisions based on Ottawa Citizen obituary for Gudbjorg (Bertha) Parkhill, 2018-08-24.




-CSTM Archives, Douglas Parkhill fonds, Series 01 Personal, File 001 Parkhill, D. F. Curriculum Vitae c. 1986.
-"Gudbjorg Parkhill." (24 August 2018). The Ottawa Citizen. Obituaries. Accessed online through the website, 2018-08-24:
-Parkhill, Douglas et al. (1985). Gutenberg Two. 4th edition. Edited by David Godfrey and Douglas Parkhill. P. 185.
-Wikipedia contributors. (2017, June 25). Douglas Parkhill. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:31, April 9, 2018, from

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