Fonds SC 82 - Ella N. Martin fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Ella N. Martin fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Reference code

CA ON00259 SC 82

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1933-1988 (Creation)
    Martin, Ella N.

Physical description area

Physical description

105 cm of textual records, 21 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Ella Nancy Martin (August 28, 1902-May 16, 1982) was a senior lecturer in the education department at the Royal Ontario Museum from 1938 until her retirement in 1971. Miss Martin studied at Oxford University and the University of Toronto and worked as teacher in Italy, British Columbia and Ontario. She joined the ROM’s Division of Public Instruction in 1938 as one of the museum’s first professional and experienced teachers. Ella Martin devoted her career to improving museum education through object-based learning. She helped develop many educational programs for both children and adults including the museum’s film programs in 1950, a variety of lecture series, travelling kits for schools and the Saturday Morning Club. For over twenty-five years, Ella Martin also organized a number of extension courses on an assortment of topics, often in collaboration with the University of Toronto. Additionally, Ella Martin was a long-time member of the Canadian Museums Association and participated in a number of international museum conferences including the UNESCO Seminar on “The Museum as a Cultural Centre in the Development of the Community” in Tokyo in 1960 and the ICOM meeting in the Netherlands in 1962. Miss Martin also received a number of fellowships to travel and study abroad including the Adult Education Fellowship (1958) and the Canada Council Fellowship (1961-1962). When she retired from the ROM in 1971, she continued to act as a part-time museology consultant for the museum. Ella Martin was appointed to the ROM Board of Trustees from 1974-1977 and afterwards served as an Honorary Trustee.

Custodial history

On September 4, 1986 Christopher J.M. Smith (Ella Martin's nephew) gifted ten boxes of materials relating to Ella N. Martin to the Royal Ontario Museum. The boxes contained books, academic papers, lecture notes, chapters of an unpublished book on museum education and other materials. Three boxes of materials dispensed, distributed or destroyed. A list of the materials contained in these three boxes can be found in the accession record for the fonds which is now located in box 1. In 1988, Mr. Thomas Kirsi from the Royal Ontario Museum Library and Archives gave some of the material from the fonds to Ryerson Archives. The material dontated to Ryerson Archives can be located under Ryerson accession # 1987-008.

Scope and content

Fonds illustrates Ella N. Martin’s work as a senior lecturer at the Royal Ontario Museum and her interest in improving museum education. The fonds is arranged into twelve series, which span her entire career from the late 1930s to the mid 1970s. The fonds includes correspondence, publications, photographs, personal papers and journals, lecture notes, drafts of a book, student reports, course instructions, teacher evaluation forms, interpretative text, film and radio scripts, worksheets for children and other materials. The fonds also contains an accession record.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


The fonds consists of 12 series. Estate records, Biographical, Miscellaneous correspondence, Departmental policy, Education through museums, Draft of book, Educational programs, Museum studies education, Interpretation & special exhibitions, Scripts & Publicity, Museology course, Canadian Museums Association.

Language of material

  • англійська

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Finding aids

A finding aid is available at the Royal Ontario Museum's main library & archives.

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Finding aid created April 2015. Finding aid prepared by Nicole Marcogliese

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  • англійська

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