Herbert Milnes fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Herbert Milnes fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

Parallel title


Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description

Reference code

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1930s - 1970s, nd. (Creation)
    Milnes, Herbert

Physical description area

Physical description

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.

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

(1906 - 1980)

Biographical history

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.

Custodial history

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.

Notes area

Physical condition

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

  • English

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.

Finding aids

An item level description is available for researchers. Please contact the Archivist for further information.

Associated materials

COA 47 Bernadette Smith fonds
COA 56 Woodstock Field Naturalist Society fonds

Related materials


Further accruals are unlikely.

General note

Further photographs, artifacts and paintings by and/or related to Herbert Milnes may be found in the Woodstock Museum’s collection.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number


Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres