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Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Student Organization Records Collection

  • CA ON00357 2014
  • Fonds
  • 1887–1976

Fonds consists of the records of various student clubs and organizations including the Y.W.C.A., the Women's Athletic Association, the Cricket Club, the Varsity Christian Fellowship, Liberal Arts Club, Le Club Française, Literacy and Mutual Improvement Society, the Football Club, Bible Study Committee, the Social Caput, Orchestra, Classic Club, Chaplain's Council, Victoria Church Students Union, Contemporary Club and the Barefoot Club.

Records include constitutions, meeting minutes, correspondence, financial records, membership lists, newsletters, etc.

Student Organization Records Collection

Alexandra F. Johnston fonds

  • CA ON00357 2166
  • Fonds
  • 1946–2009

Fonds consists of records, 1946–2009, consisting of six series relating to Johnston’s academic life and research, including those relating to her education, 1946–1961; professional life, 1957–2009;Records relating to the church, theatre and other activities, 1965–2003; teaching records, 1959–2008; scholarships and publications, 1971–2009. and photographs, [1961?]–2002.

Fonds consists of records created between 1946–2009, consisting of six series relating to Johnston’s academic life and research, including: Education, 1946–1961; Professional life, 1957–2009; Records relating to the church, theatre and other activities, 1965–2003; Teaching records, 1959–2008; Scholarships and publications, 1971–2009; and photographs, [1961?]–2002.

Johnston, Alexandra F.

Alida Martin fonds

  • CA ON00357 2103
  • Fonds
  • [ca. 1829]–1949

Fonds consists of addresses and lectures notes by Samuel Nelles; clippings, eulogy and biographical information regarding Samuel Nelles and his family; photographs.

Martin, Alida

Alma E. Wales fonds

  • CA ON00357 2096
  • Fonds
  • 1924–1928

Fonds consists of a scrapbook titled “Some of my College activities and interests,” which includes photographs, ephemera, correspondence and clippings showing activities and events from Alma E. Wales’ years as a student at Victoria University, 1924–1928.

Wales, Alma E.

Charles Bruce Sissons fonds

  • CA ON00357 2041
  • Fonds
  • 1920-1965; 1931-1961 predominant

Fonds consists of manuscripts, notes and other material relating to Sissons' biography of Egerton Ryerson [193-], as well as articles [1931-1949], notes regarding Victoria University history [ca. 1950], and reminiscences [ca. 1961].

Sissons, Charles Bruce

Murray A. Cayley fonds

  • CA ON00357 2184
  • Fonds
  • 1919-1922

The fonds consists of a scrapbook assembled by Murray A. Cayley that focuses mainly on the activities of the various musical and dramatic clubs of which he was a member. It includes newspaper clippings, posters and announcements, and programmes for concerts and plays. The scrapbook also contains many ephemera items from his time at Vic, including programmes and invitations for the Freshman and Senior Receptions, Senior Dinners and Graduating Class Dinners as well as Admit to Lectures cards, class schedules, and Hart House membership cards.

Cayley, Murray Alexander

Nellie Greenwood fonds

  • CA ON00357 2120
  • Fonds
  • 1950–1959

Fonds consists of manuscript, [195–?] (and photocopy) of reminiscences of Nellie Greenwood concerning her years at Victoria College, 1880–1884.

Greenwood, Nellie

Thain Wendell MacDowell fonds

  • CA ON00357 2101
  • Fonds
  • 1917

Fonds consists of photcopies of military dispatches sent by MacDowell to report on his activities on the battlefront of Europe.

MacDowell, Thain Wendell

Ross Malcolm Taylor fonds

  • CA ON00357 2122
  • Fonds
  • 1914

Fonds consists of bible presented to Ross Taylor by the Victoria College Y.M.C.A., 1914.

Taylor, Ross Malcolm

Augustus Edward Lang fonds

  • CA ON00357 2125
  • Fonds
  • [1926?]

Fonds consists of notes by Augustus Edward Lang regarding the publication of "The History of Victoria College" [ca. 1926].

Lang, Augustus Edward

Charles Whitney Leslie fonds

  • CA ON00357 2117
  • Fonds
  • 1952-[196-]

Fonds consists of sermons, lectures, addresses, correspondence and clippings related to Professor Charles Whitney Leslie’s theological concerns, 1952-1960s.

Leslie, Charles Whitney

Emmanuel College (Toronto, Ont.). Alumni/ae Association fonds

  • CA ON00357 2028
  • Fonds
  • 1927–2014

Fonds consists of the following series: minutes of the Union Theological Alumni Association, 1927–1933; minutes and reports, 1928–1935, 1968–1992, 1995-2014; records of the Secretary/Treasurer, 1928–1973; correspondence, 1930–1934, and Records of events, 1978-2011

Emmanuel College (Toronto, Ont.). Alumni/ae Association

Harold Bennett fonds

  • CA ON00357 2106
  • Fonds
  • 1915–1971

Fonds consists of speeches, addresses, lecture notes, degrees, memorabilia, correspondence, 1915–1971, of Harold Bennett; verse exercise by John Charles Robertson, 1929.

Bennett, Harold

Emmanuel College (Toronto, Ont.). Faculty Committees fonds

  • CA ON00357 2133
  • Fonds
  • 1948–2009, predominant 1948-1994

Fonds consists of the records of Emmanuel College committees made up of faculty. Fonds is comprised of the following series: Minutes and correspondence, 1968–1990; Minutes of the Graduate Studies Committee, 1948–1975; Minutes of the Advanced Degree Committee, 1985–1994; Correspondence of the Basic Degree Committee, 1985–1987; Records of the Worship Committee, 1981-1983; and Records relating to Music program, 2002-2009.

Emmanuel College (Toronto, Ont.). Faculty Committees

Richard Pinch Bowles fonds

  • CA ON00357 2060
  • Fonds
  • 1913–1947

Fonds consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence re family, friends, Victoria University, charities and social and other activities and interests, [n.d.], 1913–1929; addresses for special Victoria University occasions, and on various subjects including theology and the relationship of students to the university, [n.d.], 1919–1928; baccalaureate addresses, 1915, 1916, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928; address by Bowles and addresses by others at his installation as President, 1913; lecture notes, [n.d.]; manuscripts of theological articles/books, 1946–1947; and a historical account of Dr. Bowles ancestors.

Bowles, Richard Pinch

Richard Seymour Kelly fonds

  • CA ON00357 2100
  • Fonds
  • 1849-1851

Fonds consists of photocopy of a certificate re R.S. Kelly's teaching performance at Victoria College from President Rev. A. McNab, 1849: photocopy of manuscript titled "A Course of lectures on astronomy", 1851 (O/S).

Kelly, Richard Seymour

Wilfred C. James fonds

  • CA ON00357 2109
  • Fonds
  • 1949-1962, predominant 1951-1962

Fonds consists of personal files of Wilfred C. James, 1951-1962, including records relating to his service as Chair of the Board of Regents.

James, Wilfred C.

Carolyn Temple fonds

  • CA ON00357 2139
  • Fonds
  • 1929–1988

Fonds consists of papers, including photographs and scrapbook, of Carolyn Temple, 1929–1988, predominantly relating to Class of 1933 activities, mainly reunions.

Temple, Carolyn

Lorna Fraser fonds

  • CA ON00357 2116
  • Fonds
  • 1966-1974

Fonds consists of notes; clippings; extracts of Board of Regents and Senate minutes re Medicine, 1857-1891; correspondence; articles and other research material, 1966-1974, apparently brought together for an article titled "Phoenix: Medicine at Victoria 1854-1892" published in "Vic Report" May 1974.

Fraser, Lorna D.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Faculty of Theology Fonds

  • CA ON00357 2022
  • Fonds
  • 1868–1928

Fonds consists of three series: Minutes and other records, 1868–1928; Records of the Dean of Theology, 1910–1928; and Records of students, 1871–1928.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Faculty of Theology

Greer Anne Wenh-In Ng fonds

  • CA ON00357 2157
  • Fonds
  • 1983–2003, predominant 1995–2003

Fonds consists of the following series: Records relating to teaching, 1987–2003; Records relating to writing, 1989–2001; and Records relating to professional activities, 1983–2002.

Ng, Greer Anne Wenh-In

John Hugh Michael fonds

  • CA ON00357 2040
  • Fonds
  • 1898-[194-]

Fonds consists of papers which are primarily undated: sermons, papers, journal articles, papers, commentaries, and notes and rough drafts.

Michael, John Hugh

Alfred Gandier fonds

  • CA ON00357 2026
  • Fonds
  • 1881–[ca. 1950]

Fonds consists of correspondence (including correspondence of the Principal of Emmanuel College), 1893–1932; manuscripts of addresses and articles, 1908–1932; sermons, reports and notes, 1881–1931; diaries, 1881, 1882, 1927; published sermons, articles and pamphlets, n.d., 1905; clippings; memorial booklet, 1934; notebooks on theological subjects, n.d.; and papers from Mrs. Jean Gandier including correspondence from Alfred and biographical notes about him, 1900–[ca. 1950].

Gandier, Alfred

William Jackson Little fonds

  • CA ON00357 2108
  • Fonds
  • 1905-1951

Fonds consists of personal correspondence files, 1926-1949, photograph, and files re the W.S. Dyer Syndicate, which was formed to exploit an oil claim in the Northwest Territories, 1921-1930; minutes, financial records, correspondence regarding the O.R.B. Club, which was founded as a literary and dramatic organization in Toronto in 1908, 1929-1937; scrapbook including clippings about Victoria University, 1905-1918.

Little, William Jackson

John Templeton Program on Science and Religion (Toronto, Ont.). fonds

  • CA ON00357 2146
  • Fonds
  • 1994-1999

Fonds consists of records of the Director, Dr. Thadeus Trenn, and the Administrative Assistant, Gordon Baker, and includes correspondence, reports, memoranda, notes, evaluations, lists, program material, financial and other records relating to the year’s activities, 1994-1999, which were primarily concerned with hosting annual Advanced Summer Workshops, 1996-1999; correspondence, notes, program material and other records relating to workshops attended by Dr. Trenn in Tallahassee, Florida, 1995-1999; correspondence, reports, lists, program material, memoranda and other records relating to a regional meeting, 1996-1998; and correspondence/subject files, 1995-1999, which include correspondence with various academics and Templeton Program administrators, and files re the closure of the Toronto connection to the Program.

John Templeton Program on Science and Religion (Toronto, Ont.)

Joan M. Bigwood fonds

  • CA ON00357 2185
  • Fonds
  • 1966-2016

Fonds consists of records related to the teaching and writing career of Joan M. Bigwood. Records include lecture notes, course administration and course material (outlines, assignments, exams, etc.), research notes, copies of articles, bibliographies, correspondence, etc. Also includes draft typescripts and notes related to articles that were eventually published as well as reviews written by Joan M. Bigwood on other academic articles.

Bigwood, Joan M.

Victoria College (Toronto, Ont.). Music Club fonds

  • CA ON00357 2010
  • Fonds
  • 1930-1977

Fonds consists of constitution, 1963-[1972?]; minutes, 1962-1972; correspondence and other records, 1931-1977; journal record of "The Pajama Game", 1962-1963; scripts, 1962, 1975; song sheets, financial record books, 1930-1963; clippings, 1934-1975; and scrapbook, 1936-1942.

Victoria College (Toronto, Ont.). Music Club

Victoria College (Toronto, Ont.). Council fonds

  • CA ON00357 2050
  • Fonds
  • 1928-2013

Fonds consists of minutes of Council, 1928-2013; and minutes and reports of various Council Committees, including the Staff Student Liaison Committee, 1966-1967; minutes of the Priorities Committee, 1990; minutes, correspondence and other records of the Committee on Recruitment, Counselling and Student Affairs, 1982-1988; minutes of the Academic Advisory Committee, 1986-2013 (incomplete); minutes of the Striking Committee, 1991-2003; and the Property Advisory Committee, 1989-2002.

Victoria College (Toronto, Ont.). Council

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Chancellor's Council fonds

  • CA ON00357 2135
  • Fonds
  • 1982-2004

Fonds consists of the following records of the Victoria University Chancellor's Council: minutes, 1983-1988, 1994-2002 (incomplete); Executive Committee minutes and other records, 1993-2001; Nominating Committee minutes and other records, 1983-2004; background file, 1982-1983; general files, 1983-1984, 1988; and correspondence of the President with individuals, 1983-1989.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Chancellor's Council

Emmanuel College (Toronto, Ont.). Student Society fonds

  • CA ON00357 2009
  • Fonds
  • 1927–1999

Fonds consists of the following series: Constitution, 1939-1994; Minutes, 1927-1999; Records of the President, 1954-1981; Financial records, 1932-1955; Various records, 1963-1999; Records of the Association of United Church Theological Student Communities, 1975-1977; Records of the Athletic Society, 1947-1965; Records of the Clerical Collar, 1968-1971; Records of the Cousland Lectures Committee, 1961-1978; Records of the Missionary Society, 1947-1965; Records of the Theological Society, 1955-1963; and Records of the Worship Committee, 1955-1963, 1983-1997.

Emmanuel College (Toronto, Ont.). Student Society

Walter Theodore Brown fonds

  • CA ON00357 2111
  • Fonds
  • [1903?]-1954

Fonds consists of the following series: correspondence, 1912-1949; addresses, articles and other records, [1903?]-1945; personal material, 1912-1954.

Brown, Walter Theodore

The Strand fonds

  • CA ON00357 2182
  • Fonds
  • 1983-1997

Fonds includes various records, 1983-1997, including constitution, correspondence and photographs used in publications.

The Strand

Emmanuel College (Toronto, Ont.). Continuing Education fonds

  • CA ON00357 2144
  • Fonds
  • 2003-2016

Fonds consists primarily of records related to the continuing education programming offered by Emmanuel College. Included are workshop and course descriptions, calendars and agreements as well as program evaluations and planning documents. Fonds also includes the records of the Emmanuel College Continuing Education Committee which is responsible for the overall planning of the programming offered. Fonds contains the minutes of the meetings and reports from the Continuing Education Coordinator. The fonds contains three series.

Emmanuel College (Toronto, Ont.). Continuing Education

Sparling Family fonds

  • CA ON00357 2168
  • Fonds
  • 1929–[1933?]

Fonds consists of a diary describing life as a student at Victoria University, 1929–[1933?]. The diary is noted as belonging to Florence Sparling, however, it may have been written by several people [handwriting varies greatly]

Sparling

William Arthur Potter fonds

  • CA ON00357 2023
  • Fonds
  • [between 1912 and 1930]

Fonds consists of lecture notes.

Potter, William Arthur

Victoria College (Cobourg, Ont.). Board fonds

  • CA ON00357 2086
  • Fonds
  • 1841-1889

Fonds consists of minutes (including extracts), notes and drafts, reports and other records of the Victoria College Board. Also includes minutes of the annual meetings of ministers of the Wesleyan Methodist Church to elect Board and Officers of the College, 1862-1866. Fonds also consists of records of committees of the Victoria College Board, including the Building Committee.

Victoria College (Cobourg, Ont.). Board

Alan Dignan fonds

  • CA ON00357 2113
  • Fonds
  • 1927–1931

Fonds consists of a scrapbook of Alan Dignan (Victoria Class of 1931) containing clippings, correspondence, notices, programmes and other ephemera concerning student activities at Victoria University, 1927–1931.

Dignan, Alan

Ministers of the Wesleyan Methodist Church fonds

  • CA ON00357 2092
  • Fonds
  • 1837–1888

Fonds consists of minutes of annual meetings of the Ministers of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, 1837-1856, 1860-1861 as well as minutes of the Faculty of Theology and Board of Examiners.

Ministers of the Wesleyan Methodist Church

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Stephenson House fonds

  • CA ON00357 2172
  • Fonds
  • ca 1892-2009, predominant 1940-2009

Fonds consists of constitution, 1990; minutes, 1940-1982; Board of Stewards minutes and other records, 1941-1979, 1991-1998, 2001-2009; financial record books, 1941-1965, 1990-1991, recipe and menu records, 2004-2005; and one series of photographs.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Stephenson House

Rose Hannah Barker fonds

  • CA ON00357 2115
  • Fonds
  • 1881-1951, predominant 1885-1944

Fonds consists of diaries, 1885-1944, which reveal the activities and concerns of the Victoria University Library; correspondence, 1881-1941; 15 photographs; a handwritten copy of "The Old Ontario Strand", 1910 (copied by Annie Barker); and Annie Barker's will, 1951.

Barker, Rose Hannah

Emmanuel College (Toronto, Ont.). Principal's Office fonds

  • CA ON00357 2062
  • Fonds
  • 1929-2016, predominant 1945-2001

Fonds consists of 12 series containing the records of the former Principals and the Principal's Office: Subject files ; Correspondence ; Records relating to the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada ; Records relating to the Emmanuel College Financial Campaign ; Records relating to teaching staff ; Records related to committees and task forces ; Records related to inter-institutional agreements and cooperation ; Records related to honorary degrees ; Records related to programs and degrees ; Records related to Lectures, Conferences and events ; Records related to bursaries, scholarships and funds ; Records related to grants and endowments

Emmanuel College (Toronto, Ont.). Principal’s Office

Francis Huston Wallace fonds

  • CA ON00357 2186
  • Fonds
  • 1839-1936

Fonds consists of mostly personal papers divided into the following series: Studies (1863-1872); Ministry (1871-1926); Finances (1863-1936); Autobiography (1873-1921); Memorabilia (1883-1933); Family Correspondence (1839-1930).

Wallace, Francis Huston

George Wallis Field fonds

  • CA ON00357 2147
  • Fonds
  • 1934-2001

Fonds consists of the following series: records relating to research, 1934-2002; records relating to courses, 1950-1980; records relating to students, 1962-1993.

Field, George Wallis

Victoria College (Toronto, Ont.). Alumni Association fonds

  • CA ON00357 2053
  • Fonds
  • 1865-1970, predominant 1921-1970

Fonds consists of the following series: constitutions, 1963-1964; Minutes, 1865-1970; Records concerning revival of the Alumni Association, 1921-1922; Records of the Secretary Treasurer, 1925-1963; Records concerning the Victoria Emmanuel College Building Fund, 1929-1930; Records concerning World War II students, 1939- [ca. 1946]; Records concerning class reunions, [ca. 1920]-1968; Minutes of the Library Improvement Committee, 1893; Directories of alumni, 1884-1964; Correspondence of World War I alumni, 1915-1918; and Photographs.

Victoria College (Toronto, Ont.). Alumni Association

John Mercel Robson fonds

  • CA ON00357 2128
  • Fonds
  • 1934–1995

Fonds consists of: Correspondence, 1947–1986; Records and memorabilia relating to early education and personal life, 1934–1995; Articles and other writing, 1959–1994; Records relating to research and projects, 1943–1990; Records relating to academic life and community service, 1959–1989; and Photographs, [1951], n.d.

Robson, John Mercel

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Committee of Management Fonds

  • CA ON00357 2058
  • Fonds
  • 1903-1951

Fonds consists of three series: Committee Records, which includes minutes of the Committee, reports of the Dean of Residences/Dean of Women to the Committee, correspondence, by-laws and constitutions, financial reports and other documents related to the management of residences. This fonds also contains the Records of the Women’s Student Union Advisory Committee / Wymilwood Committee series, as well as the Records of the Women's Council series.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Committee of Management

Wallace Family fonds

  • CA ON00357 2187
  • Fonds
  • ca 1840-1996, predominant 1890-1940

Fonds consists of various diaries, journals, correspondence, manuscripts, photographs/negatives, regarding travel, careers, school, and life. Includes documentation about travel to China, Europe, World War I, Go Home Bay and the Madawaska Club (cottage community associated with the University of Toronto).

Fonds has been divided into four series: 1 - Paul Anthony Wilson Wallace; 2 - Edward Wilson Wallace, Jr; 3 - Muriel Joy Wilson Wallace; 4 - Photographs.

Wallace, Paul Anthony Wilson

Margaret V. Ray fonds

  • CA ON00357 2110
  • Fonds
  • 1923-1965

Fonds consists of correspondence, reports (including photographs), notes, addresses, printed material and other records re Margaret Ray’s investigation of the Germans from Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia) settlements at St. Walburg, Saskatchewan and Tupper Creek, British Columbia, on behalf of the Sub-Committee on Refugees of the University of Toronto Women's War Service Committee and her own research interest in refugees and immigration, [ca. 1940]-1952; correspondence, reports, photographs and other material re "rehabilitation" of Indians in British Columbia, particularly the Okanagan Society for Revival of Indian Arts and Crafts, [ca. 1940]-1948; typescript of play written by Margaret Ray relating to Victoria University, [n.d.]; personal records, 1942-1965, including correspondence, typescripts of plays, poems, reviews of "A Book of Canadian Humour" (edited by Ray and J.D. Robins), and material relating to the Okanagan Society.

Ray, Margaret V.

Nathanael Burwash fonds

  • CA ON00357 2042
  • Fonds
  • 1845-1927; predominant 1865-1915

In his capacities as a minister, teacher and administrator, Nathanael Burwash exerted tremendous influence on both the course of the Methodist Church in Canada and the development of the educational system in Ontario for over half a century. In view of this dual role, Burwash's papers are of cardinal interest to religious and educational historians; nevertheless, they also contain valuable insights into the political, social and economic conditions in Canada between 1860 and the end of the First World War. The collection held by the Archives includes a large selection of Burwash's correspondence, diaries, sermons, addresses, essays, lectures, manuscripts, and biographical material.

Burwash's correspondence has been organized chronologically and thematically. The bulk of the material has been classified as general correspondence, but, where the volume or importance of correspondence on a particular subject warranted, a separate file was created. When ever possible, Burwash's replies were placed with the letters in response to which they were written. The major portion of the correspondence relates to the administration of Victoria College: included are letters from students seeking advice, requests for academic recommendations and honourary degrees, applications for staff openings and salary increases, questions concerning curriculum and examinations and debates over the relationship between the university and the government. The close ties between Victoria and other Methodist institutions such as Albert College, Columbian Methodist College and Wesley College in Winnipeg are clearly illustrated. Information concerning the university's financial arrangements and endowments has largely been segregated, but the researcher should also scan the general correspondence and the Massey family correspondence for a more complete picture. The family correspondence provides insights into Burwash's private opinions and reflects many values of Canadian family life. Although there are occasional questions regarding spiritual matters, the problems of training young men for the ministry or mission work, there are not as many as might be expected from the nature of Burwash's involvements. The bulk of the religious correspondence deals with the issue of Higher Criticism (particularly the Workman and Jackson controversies). Because Burwash was generally perceived to be a moderate liberal in theological matters, he received solicitations for support from both conservatives and radicals within the Methodist Church.

Although a number of the diaries are little more than listings of appointments and meetings, others are detailed accounts of Burwash's daily activities as a young preacher and professor and outline the nature of his spiritual concerns. The division of the remainder of the material into sermons, addresses, lectures, articles, essays, and manuscripts was often difficult and, of necessity, occasionally arbitrary. Within each category, the material was arranged chronologically. Generally, any piece containing a text (unless a title indicated otherwise) was classified as a sermon; pieces addressed to an audience (usually without a text) were labelled as addresses or lectures. The lecture notes contain examples of Burwash's work both as a student and as a teacher. Compositions which seem to have been written strictly for publication rather than for an audience were considered to be essays, articles, or manuscripts. The collection includes the complete manuscript for A Manual of Christian Theology in the Inductive Method and the manuscript and several drafts of The History of Victoria College.

Burwash's writings reflect an emphasis on the inner spiritual life of the individual and the importance of such Wesleyan traditions as Christian perfection. His work was an interesting example of a nineteenth century struggle to reconcile spiritual and scientific truths, although like most Methodists he was confident that all modes of truth were ultimately harmonious. Burwash's articulation of Wesleyan doctrine was designed to separate superficial and fundamental concepts in order to prepare a doctrinal basis for church union. The biographical and autobiographical material,initially prepared by Burwash and subsequently by his eldest son Edward,is incomplete in that it deals only with the period of Burwash's life prior to the 1890's. However, it contains interesting information on the nature of the educational system in Ontario, the lifestyle of a young preacher in both rural and urban stations, and the problems facing Victoria College immediately prior to federation.

The fonds is arranged in five series: Correspondence, 1965-1925; Diaries and journal, 1859-1914; Writing, 1860-1917; Notes and manuscripts, 1862-1923; and Records, 1863-1927.

Burwash, Nathanael

Harold Morrey Smith fonds

  • CA ON00357 2061
  • Fonds
  • 1916-1920

Fonds contains letters sent by Harold Morrey Smith to his family from military training camps in Ottawa, England and France during the period 29 June 1916 to 22 May 1919. There are some additional items such as a procedure manual for Signal Training (1918), dispersal certificate (1919 May 24), a small encased picture of Jesus Christ, and a student essay written for a Modern History course.

The letters provide an exceptionally clear and vivid picture of both the external and internal worlds of Harold Morrey Smith during the period of his military service. The world outside him is described in great detail: living conditions and social life in the military training camps; training methods and signalling techniques; excursions to towns and cities, and the social life he found outside the camps; religious services attended as well as movies, plays and musicals taken in.

The internal world of Harold Morrey Smith is pictured in as much detail. It is a world shaped both by the moral and religious outlook of Canadian Methodism, and by a broad education in the liberal arts. The mind of a future lawyer is suggested in descriptive passages that are precise and analytical in approach. Other passages, in which the writer's emotions are more visible, express moral and aesthetic opinions. In some instances it appears that the writer seeks to reassure his parents that their distant son is not falling prey to the common vices of military life. Nevertheless, the letters do explore in a frank and insightful way some of his feelings about his routinized existence and the moral complexity of the war he is training to fight. Other subjects discussed in the letters are his attitudes toward his promotion to higher rank, his desire to see "action", his unwillingness to commit himself to a romantic relationship during this period, as well his thoughts about religion, art, writing, and other more abstract topics. Throughout, his closeness to his family and his fondness for the Victoria College community as remembered in Toronto and experienced abroad are evident.

The letters are written in an unusually lucid and vigorous style, which makes their reading generally quite effortless in spite of all the descriptive detail. It is evident that Smith had definite ideas about composition and style, and that he invested a good deal of time in keeping up his correspondence and diaries (the existence of other letters and the diaries are not presently known). Researchers interested in the subjects addressed in the letters to his family are the ultimate beneficiaries of this substantial investment.

Smith, Harold Morrey

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