Fonds F1008 - Office of the Dean of St. Hilda's College fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Office of the Dean of St. Hilda's College fonds


  • 1888 - 2004 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

4.78 m of textual records
Approximately 600 photographs
1 graphic item
2 artefacts

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

St. Hilda’s College was created in 1888 by Provost C.W.E. Body to enable the education of women, in tandem with the male students at Trinity College. A Council was formed in 1888 and a Charter, dated 11 February 1890, contains the declaration of incorporation. St. Hilda's College was originally incorporated under the provisions of Chapter 172 of the Revised Statues of Ontario 1887, and subsequently in 1956 was continued by "Letters Patent Continuing St. Hilda's College”. Provost Body appointed Ellen Pattesen, later Mrs. Oswald Rigby as first Principal Miss Patteson and two students moved into a house on Euclid Avenue. In 1889 the College moved to two houses on Shaw Street, to two larger houses on the same street in 1892, and a third adjoining house was added in 1895. In 1899 the cornerstone for a new building was laid on the grounds of Trinity College, designed by Eden Smith. Miss Mabel Cartwright succeeded Mrs. Rigby in 1903. By 1908 the student population had outgrown the new building, and St. Hilda’s expanded into the Provost’s lodge across the driveway, with Miss Mary Elizabeth Strachan presiding over the students in residence there. Some students also lived with Professor and Mrs. Duckworth in their Crawford Street house.

For the first few years, students at St. Hilda’s were lectured separately, but by 1894 all lectures at Trinity were open to women. After the First World War the Principal of St. Hilda’s became a permanent member of the Trinity teaching staff. In 1915, the Principal of St. Hilda’s received the additional title of Dean of Women, giving her jurisdiction over the non-resident students, who increased in number after federation with the University of Toronto.

The move to Queen’s Park in 1925 resulted in the purchase of first one, later three houses on St. George Street. Finally, in 1938, St. Hildians moved into their present home, a Georgian residence on Devonshire Place. Miss Cartwright retired in 1936 and was succeeded by Dr. Mossie Mae Kirkwood. Subsequent Deans were Miss Katherine M. Darroch (1953-1963), Miss Melinda H. Seaman (1963-1978), Dr. Elizabeth M. Rowlinson, (1978-1991) and Dr. Elizabeth Abbott (1991-2004).

In 2004 Trinity became co-ed and the office of the Dean of Women/Dean of St. Hilda’s College ceased to exist. Kelly Castle was named the first Dean of Students, Trinity College.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

This fonds covers nine accessions from the Office of the Dean of St Hilda's, beginning in 1985 and concluding in 2004.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds deals with records relating to St Hilda's College from its founding until 2004. Most of them are from the office of the head of St Hilda's College (whose title changed over the years from Lady Principal to Principal and Dean of Women to Dean of Women and Dean of St Hilda's. Records include correspondence, student records, committee minutes, reports and statistics, photographs, policies, budgets and other administrative records. Note that there are no documents for the period 1953-1978 when Katharine Darroch was in office.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Various lists exist of the material in the earliest accession (1985) but the current files in series 1 were created by the archivist. Subsequent accessions were weeded for material duplicated in Trinity College's main archives or material that fitted elsewhere (eg, Art Committee). Otherwise the files are largely in the order in which they were received.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Some files are closed, indicated in the Series descriptions.

Conditions governing reproduction

Various copyright holders. It is the researcher's responsibility to obtain permission to publish any part of the fonds.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

St. Hilda’s College Alumnae Association, F2142
Cartwright and Wood families fonds, F2182

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Description identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


  • English



Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places