Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00112 - Agnes Chamberlin Papers

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Agnes Chamberlin Papers


  • 1863-1934 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

21 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Agnes Chamberlin was born in Coburg, Ont., in 1833. In 1863, she began to paint studies of wild flowers to illustrate a projected book by Catherine Parr Traill on Canadian flora. Her book Canadian Wild Flowers was first published in 1868, and was eventually published in three more editions (two in 1869, and one in 1895). Nine more of her paintings were reproduced as illustrations for C.P. Traill's work, Studies of Plant Life in Canada, published in 1885. Chamberlin died in 1913.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

This collection was transferred from the University of Toronto's Botany Department to the Rare Books Department in 1966.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection includes original paintings of Canadian flora and mushrooms by Chamberlin, and subscription books for her book Canadian Wild Flowers (1868 and 1869 editions). Most of the paintings have not been reproduced. It also contains original paintings and photographs of Canadian flora and other subjects by Chamberlin's daughter, Geraldine Moodie, an album of pressed plants by Moodie, and an album of pressed ferns by Catherine Parr Trail.

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Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

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Language of material

  • English

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View the Agnes Chamberlin digital collection at

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Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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