Elizabeth Smith was born Jan. 18, 1859 at 'Mountain Hall', Vinemount. She was educated by a governess in the home, at Winona School and at the Hamilton Collegiate Institute. She attended Queen's University, Kingston and received her degree in medicine at the Royal Medical College in 1884 (one of the first 3 women M.D.'s in Canada). She also received a diploma from the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.
For two years Dr. Elizabeth Smith practised in Hamilton. She was married Dec. 3, 1886 to Adam Shortt. They moved to Kingston where Elizabeth lectured at Queen's on Medical Jurisprudence and Sanitary Science. She worked for the first Y.W.C.A. in Canada and served as its president, and was a sponsor of the Kingston Musical Club and presided over it for seven years.
In September 1908 she and her husband, Dr. Adam Shortt, moved to Ottawa where she became very active in the local, provincial, and National Council of Women affairs. In connection with these organizations she wrote pamphlets on social aspects of tuberculosis, housing, inspection of markets, clean-up weeks, fly control, pasteurization of milk, care of mentally deficient, child welfare, and mother's pensions'. In 1911 she was the first Convener of the Public Health and Mental Hygiene Committee of the National Council of Women. She was also Convener of the Committee on Immigration in the Council and was instrumental in organizing a hostel for women immigrants in Ottawa. She was largely responsible in convening a committee to petition the Provincial Government to establish Mother's Allowances in Ontario, and when this was accomplished in 1920, she was appointed vice-chairman of the Provincial Board of Mother's Allowances and acted in that capacity for seven years. She died in Ottawa Jan. 14, 1949.
Muriel Shortt and Roger Clark married in 1917 and settled into fruit farming in Vineland. Her portion of the fonds contains details of the struggle to become established in this field.
Lorraine Shortt, a graduate of Queen's, chose a field in the public service - social work, and the collection traces her successful career in this area.