- 1922-2009 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
74 cm of textual records
17 photographs : b&w/col. ; 17.5 cm x 12 cm and smaller
Name of creator
Ruth Marion Bell (née Cooper) was a scholar, political scientist, and activist who received her BA in political economy from Trinity College in 1955. She was born on 29 November 1919 in Detroit, Michigan, to Roy Laurence Cooper and Olive Pearl (née O’Mulvenny). She attended St Clements School in Toronto and in 1955 received a BA in political economy from Trinity College. In 1965 she received an MA in Political Science from Carleton University.
Bell was committed to advancing opportunities for women and was a founding member and first chair of UNESCO's Sub-Commission on the Status of Women and a member of a series of International Federation of University Women's committees as well as more than 50 other organizations including the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, the National and Ottawa Council of Women, and the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council. She acted as the Dean of Renison College, University of Waterloo, and a lecturer in political science at the University of Waterloo, Carleton University, St. Patrick's College, and Algonquin College. In 2004 she published her autobiography Be A “Nice” Girl!: a Woman’s Journey in the 20th Century. In 1981 she was awarded the Order of Canada and in 2005 was awarded the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case for her work on behalf of women. Bell was also awarded the City of Nepean's Distinguished Citizen Award in 1982, a Doctor of Laws honoris causa from Carleton University in 1984, Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, Scotiabank Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, and Carleton University's highest non-academic award, the Founders Award in 2008. In 2009 she was awarded a Doctor of Sacred Letters honoris causa, by Trinity College.
Ruth Bell married William Kirby Rolph in 1945 and travelled with him to New York, New Orleans, and Canberra, Australia where he died in 1953..
In 1963 Ruth Rolph married Richard Bell (1913-1988), who served as the Progressive Conservative representative of Carleton County in the Canadian House of Commons from 1957 to 1963 and 1965 to 1968. He was also the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration under Prime Minister John Diefenbaker from 1962 to 1963. His daughter, Judy Miriam Bell, a distinguished lawyer and judge, became a dear friend of Ruth’s; she died 11 March 2000.
Ruth M. Bell died on 16 December 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario.
Name of creator
William K. Rolph was born in Toronto in 1917 to W. Frank and Maidie Rolph and studied history at Trinity College from 1936-1940, receiving a BA in 1940. (Rolph was the nephew of Dr Frederick Whitney Rolph who graduated from Trinity with his BA in 1901 and his MD, CM in 1905.) W.K. Rolph then attended Brown University where he received an MA in history in 1941 and a PhD in Canadian and American history in 1950. Rolph specialized in the study of agrarian movements and published Henry Wise Wood of Alberta through the University of Toronto Press in 1950. Rolph taught history at the University of Western Ontario, New York University, the University of Saskatchewan, and Tulane University before moving to Australia with his wife in 1952 to take a position as Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the Australian National University. While in Australia Rolph became ill and died suddenly on 23 December 1953.
William Kirby Rolph married Ruth Cooper in 1945
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Received in two accessions in 2009 and 2015.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
This fonds consists of textual material and artefacts including correspondence, a draft of William Kirby Rolph’s doctoral thesis, and drafts of articles. The fonds also contains newspaper clippings, certificates, pins and medals, and photographs relating to W.K. Rolph’s life and Ruth Bell’s academic career.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Fonds has been arranged by the archivist in the following series
- Textual records and photographs
- Certificates and diplomas
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
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
Uploaded finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Composite photograph of Trinity College graduation classes of 1940 and 1955 and copies of A History of Trinity College Toronto 1852-1952 and Trinity 1852-1952 were also received and are filed elsewhere in the archives.
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