Fonds 72 - Edith McConica fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Edith McConica fonds


  • 1896-1930 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

2 cm of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Edith Wilma McConica (nee Crates) was a pianist and teacher, born on March 3, 1890 in Findlay, Ohio to parents William Emmanuel Crates and Eva Araminta Kelsey.

Edith started piano lessons ca. 1896 with Leora Kridler (Mrs. Milton Herrold) in Findlay. She attended Findlay High School, where she was editor-in-chief of the school newspaper Blue and Gold, and valedictorian of her graduating class (1909). She regularly accompanied her classmates during music recitals. She then attended the School of Music at Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) where she gave her senior piano recital on May 15, 1911. She performed Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique; “Der Erlkonig” by Schubert, arr. Liszt; Nocturne, op. 32, no. 1 by Chopin; Rondo Capriccisoso, op. 14 by Mendelssohn; and Concertstuck, op. 19 by Weber. She was also selected to represent her class on the Class Day program during Commencement week (June 13, 1911).

In the 1911 OWU yearbook, Le Bijou, she is described as follows: “Like her sister [Elizabeth Crates], a truly remarkable girl, and if φΒΚ [Phi Beta Kappa] were offered to musical students she undoubtedly would wear a key. She is very small, but is full of activity and sociability, though barring the fact that she has been a 'widow' for her two years’ sojourn here (another proof of brilliancy), she has borne this affliction with smiling grace, and has been an inspiration to all her friends. We are sorry to lose her so soon, but even if she is far away we are sure that she will not be forgotten.”

Edith left OWU following her marriage to Thomas McConica (1889-) on June 26, 1912. They were married in their hometown of Findlay, Ohio, and then moved to Luseland, Saskatchewan where Thomas had established the Luseland Despatch newspaper in 1910. Edith and Thomas had four children: James, William, Thomas, and Martha. She taught all four children to play the piano. During the 1920s, Edith also played piano to accompany silent films in Luseland.

Edith passed away on January 10, 1984 in London, Ontario and was interred in the McConica family plot in Cherry Grove Cemetery, Clare, Michigan.

Archival history

Materials were initially donated to the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (PIMS) library by James K. McConica, son of Edith McConica and former President of the University of St. Michael's College, University of Toronto and Praeses of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. James donated a Steinway Grand Piano to the University of Toronto Faculty of Music in 2000 in memory of his mother. The donation was celebrated during the 2000-2001 concert season with a series of concerts “The Year of the Piano,” starting with a performance by William Aide on October 31, 2000. The official dedication of the Edith McConica Steinway in Walter Hall took place on January 22, 2001 with a recital by Marc-André Hamelin.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred to the Music Library from the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Library (A2022-01).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of sheet music used by Edith McConica when she accompanied silent films in Luseland, Saskatchewan in the 1920s, as well as some pedagogical sheet music used when she was learning piano from Leora Kridler (Mrs. Milton Herrold) in her home town of Findlay, Ohio, and teaching her children piano in Luseland.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged in folders with descriptive annotations by Edith McConica. Annotations transcribed at the series level.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Finding aid created February 2, 2022. RS.




Accession area

Retrieval Code

  • Box: SF/002

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