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Dates of creation area
[1910?] - 1984 (Creation)
- Pratt, Viola Whitney
Physical description area
19 photographs: b&w
3 photographs: col.
6 photographs: sepia
9 stamp albums
16 audio cassettes
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Viola Leone Whitney Pratt was a writer and editor of the magazine World Friends. She was born in Atherley, Ontario, the daughter of a farmer and a teacher. She married Edwin John Dove Pratt on August 20, 1918, and they had a daughter, Mildred Claire, born in 1921. She died in Toronto, Ontario on September 6, 1984.
Pratt completed Grade 8 at the age of 11, and began attending Orillia Collegiate (1903-1908), where she received Junior Matric at age 14 and Senior Matric at age 15. As she was too young to enter university, she stayed at home and studied music. After half a year of music study, she tired of it and applied for a teaching job at Zephyr, which she got and taught the second term. She entered Victoria College, University of Toronto in 1909, and graduated in 1913 with a first in three honours courses: English and History, Modern Romance Languages, and Modern Teutonic Languages. She then attended Ontario College of Education (1913-1914) and taught High School in Amherstburg, Renfrew, and St. Mary's.
In 1929, she was a founding member and editor of World Friends, a magazine for children published monthly by the Woman's Missionary Society of the United Church of Canada, and retired from the magazine in 1955. In the 1930's, she was President of the Canadian Authors' Association. She was President of the University Women's Club; founding member of the Margaret Nice Ornithological Club; member of: Victoria Women's Association, Helconian Club, White Cross Guild at the Toronto Psychiatric Hospital, and Amnesty International. From the 1930's on, Pratt addressed various groups such as university women's groups, church groups, and book clubs. She accompanied her husband, E.J. Pratt, as research assistant on his trip to British Columbia for preparation of Towards the Last Spike. Pratt read to blind students at University during and after the Second World War. She also wrote book reviews for the Globe and Mail. In 1956, Pratt was awarded a honorary degree of Doctorate of Sacred Letters from Victoria University and published two books: Famous Doctors and Journeying with the Year.
The fonds contains documents related to her husband, E.J. Pratt and were donated with her collection.
Viola Whitney Pratt's journals are located in the Mildred Claire Pratt fonds as they were donated with Claire's collections. This includes journals donated by Dr. Elizabeth Popham, Emeritus Professor at Trent University in 2016, after completing the last volume of the Collected Works of E.J. Pratt. Viola established the publishing project in 1978, and either Viola or Claire had given the journals to previous editors of the project, possibly Sandra Djwa or Lila Laakso, and they passed the journals down to Dr. Popham.
Scope and content
Immediate source of acquisition
Material relating to Viola Whitney Pratt acquired from the Viola Whitney Pratt estate in 1985 and 1986.
Material acquired from her daughter, Claire Pratt, includes correspondence.
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Other material relating to Viola Whitney Pratt can be found in the E.J. Pratt and Mildred Claire Pratt fonds.
Viola Whitney Pratt's journals are located in the Mildred Claire Pratt fonds.
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Revised: BC March 15, 2018