Title and statement of responsibility area
Herbert Milnes fonds
General material designation
- Graphic material
- Textual record
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Title statements of responsibility
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Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
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Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1930s - 1970s, nd. (Creation)
- Milnes, Herbert
Physical description area
approx. 40 cm of textual records
- includes over 70 watercolour sketches of local flora and fauna
- includes a number of bound volumes of field notes and nature journals.
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, Herbert Milnes arrived in Canada in 1928. He worked at La France Textiles for more than 40 years until his retirement in 1970, when he became curator of the Oxford Museum. As a lover of history, Herbert Milnes was a former President of the Oxford Museum before becoming its Curator. Over the years he published several local history books including: A story of the Oxford Rifles, 1798-1954 and The Beginnings of LaFrance Textiles (Canada) Limited.
An avid naturalist, in 1934, he helped found the Woodstock Field Naturalist Society and was elected its first President along with Ed Dutton, Vice President and George Nutt, Secretary. The group was quickly affiliated with the Federation of Ontario Naturalists and they held their first regional gathering in 1937 at Downey Wood and Sweaburg Swamp Area. His wife Doris (nee Crossley) was also an active member of the Society and was elected President in 1957. Throughout his lifetime he passionately wrote observational field notes on the flora and fauna (specifically birds, snakes, and turtles) in and around Oxford County. He also captured their images in beautiful lifelike watercolour and pen and ink sketches which were often exhibited at the Museum and elsewhere.
In addition to his keen interest in nature, Herbert Milnes was also a long-time scouting enthusiast. Upon arriving in Woodstock he started one Cub troop at New St. Paul’s which was later formed into the First Scout Group and in 1930 the first Rover group. He would soon after organize a Second Scout Troop at Old St. Paul’s and would later act as honorary District Commissioner for the Woodstock and District Boy Scout Association. In1970 he was awarded the Silver Acorn, the highest award for scouting in the province, during an international jamboree at Camp Shegardaynou, near Princeton. A building donated by Canada Cement when the camp was open in 1958 was affectionately named “Milnes Lodge” and the name was later transferred to a new structure in 1971.
Herbert Milnes was also a member of the Philatelic Society of Woodstock. He passed away in 1980 at the age of 74.
The records were created by Herbert Milnes beginning in the 1930s. These records were eventually donated to the Woodstock Museum and later transferred to the County of Oxford Archives in February 2012.
Scope and content
The fonds consist of the following Series:
Series 1: Essays
- on various Flora and Fauna topics including a number of observational essays on Turtle, Snake and Bird behaviour
Series 2: Watercolour sketches
- mostly depicting local flora found in places such as Benwell Swamp, Tobin’s Bush and Hodges’ Pond as well Long Point in Norfolk County.
Series 3: Field Books/Nature Journals
- bound volumes including loose clippings, drawings, checklists, photographs etc.
Series 4: Statistical Records and Classification Systems
- includes statistics on several bird species in Oxford County such as Northern Shrikes, Rough Legs and Sparrow Hawks; bird breeding records in Oxford County and compilations of biological classifications for species of wildlife form around the world.
Series 5: Miscellaneous
- includes newspaper clippings re. talks given by Herbert Milnes, correspondence with the Royal Ontario Museum of Zoology and other ephemera.
The materials in this collection are in good condition.
Immediate source of acquisition
The fonds was acquired in February 2012 from the Woodstock Museum.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
The fonds is open to publish research. However, please contact the archivist responsible for the records regarding access, as some materials may be too fragile to handle. The Archives will make every effort to supply reference copies where feasible.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Copyright is held by the archives. Researchers are responsible for observing copyright regulations that may apply to the publication of their research. If you wish to publish any of this material, please contact the archivist responsible for the records.
The Archivist has the right to restrict reproduction if the material is in a fragile condition.
An item level description is available for researchers. Please contact the Archivist for further information.
COA 47 Bernadette Smith fonds
COA 56 Woodstock Field Naturalist Society fonds
Further accruals are unlikely.
Further photographs, artifacts and paintings by and/or related to Herbert Milnes may be found in the Woodstock Museum’s collection.
Standard number area