Item - Princess Elizabeth Women's Institute fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Princess Elizabeth Women's Institute fonds

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  • Textual record

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Dates of creation area


  • 1947 - 2020 (Creation)
    Princess Elizabeth Branch, North Oxford Women's Institute

Physical description area

Physical description

approx. 40 cm of textual records

  • consisting of Minute Books, Tweedsmuirs, and Financial Ledger

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1947 -)

Administrative history

In February 1919, the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada was formed so that rural woman would be empowered to speak as one voice at the national level. In doing so, the organization created education opportunities and support programs and services, for women, families, and communities across the Country. Women’s Institute branches were created across Ontario, meant to serve their local communities.

The Princess Elizabeth W.I. Branch of the District of North Oxford was officially formed on November 26, 1947 with fourteen members. Their territory included members from East Zorra and Blandford Townships, though in 1987 it extended to includes members east of Road 22, which goes from Bright to New Hamburg. The name of the branch was chosen, as their first organizational meeting was held the week following Prince Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s wedding. The organization started compiling material for a book in June 1954 and their first History Book was published in September 1960.

The W.I. established several programs to generate solutions for the social facing issues the local community including a Child Welfare Program. The Women’s Institute also elected specific officers for the following: Citizenship & Education, Agriculture & Canadian Industries, Historical Research, Home Economics, Community Activities, Sick and Shut-in. In later years these additional officers were created: Family & Consumer Affairs, Education & Cultural Activities, Caring & Friendship and International Affairs. The Princess Elizabeth W.I. also provides local women with opportunities to get involved in socially engaging activities such as picnics, charity events, banquets, seminars and workshops.

In 1970 the Branch began contributing to the Dryden Project which provides kits to children in developing countries. These kits included items such as clothing, bedding and mosquito netting.

Custodial history

These records were created and maintained by the Princess Elizabeth Women’s Institute. In January 2019, the Minute Books were transferred on long-term loan to the County of Oxford Archives from the Princess Elizabeth Women's Institute on the approval of Mary Nicklas. In 2021, the Branches Tweedsmuirs were transferred to the Archives by the Oxford District Women’s Institute Chair.

Scope and content

The fonds consist of the following Series:
Series 1: Minute Books (1947-1997)
Series 2: Tweedsmuirs (1960-before 1997)
Series 3: Financial (1987-2020)

Notes area

Physical condition

The materials are mostly in good condition, though the spines on a few of the minute books have moderate deterioration and may require future conservation work.

The Tweedsmuirs are in fair condition, with the original covers being lost over time. These records are to be handled with care.

Immediate source of acquisition

In January 2019, the records were received from Sherrill Calder, Board Member of the Tavistock and District Historical Society, on approval of the Princess Elizabeth Women’s Institute and Mary Nicklas. In 2021 and 2023, the Branches Tweedsmuirs were transferred to the Archives by the Oxford District Women’s Institute Chair.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

    Location of originals

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    Restrictions on access

    The fonds is open to public research. Due to privacy legislation, biographies and autobiographies must remain closed to the public until 30 years after the death of the individual. Birth and marriage dates of living people, membership lists less than 50 years old and other privacy concerns will be restricted.

    Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

    Copyright is held by the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO). However, this material is available for research on an unrestricted basis, subject only to those restrictions specified below:

    1.) Any reproduction must state that the material is from the Princess Elizabeth W.I. Collection.

    2.) Written permission is needed from the Princess Elizabeth W.I. if the material, in whole or in part, is to be reproduced (other than for research purposes), stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means. Depending on the situation, the branch may need to consult with the provincial office before making a decision.

    The Archivist has the right to restrict reproduction if the material is in a fragile condition or falls under pertinent Privacy Legislation.

    Finding aids

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

    Associated materials

    COA20 Uniondale Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir fonds
    COA28 Innerkip Women’s Institute fonds
    COA30 Harrington Women’s Institute fonds
    COA77 Kintore Women’s Institute fonds
    COA78 East Oxford Women’s Institute fonds
    COA79 Grace Patterson Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir fonds
    COA114 Hickson Women’s Institute and Tweedsmuir fonds
    COA119 Brooksdale Women’s Institute and Tweedsmuir fonds
    COA132 Anna P. Lewis Women’s Institute fonds
    COA142 Lakeside Women’s Institute fonds
    COA143 Brown’s Women’s Institute fonds
    COA144 Braemar Women’s Institute fonds
    COA145 Oxford North Women’s Institute fonds
    COA146 Oxford District Women’s Institute fonds
    COA154 Woodstock North Women’s Institute fonds
    COA155 East Nissouri Jr. Women’s Institute fonds
    COA167 Plattsville Women’s Institute fonds

    Related materials


    Further accruals are possible.

    General note

    The Federated Women's Institutes of Ontario have made many of their community history scrapbooks and Tweedsmuirs available online:

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