The Archives and Special Collections acquires, preserves, and provides access to archival documents in all media formats that support teaching and research at the University of Ottawa.
The Women’s Archives contain more than 170 archival fonds and collections related to the history of women in Canada, with particular emphasis on the feminist movement since the 1960s. Both individuals and grassroots organizations who worked to improve the political, social, and economic conditions of Canadian women are represented in this unique collection.
The Women’s Information Centre, led by Pat Leslie the former editor of The Other Woman, was established in 1977 by a group of women who wanted to collect information about feminist activities across Canada. The group sent letters to women’s organizations and individuals requesting copies of their publications and other documents, emphasizing the importance of preserving the memory of the women’s movement. As a result, various groups sent their newsletters, reports, posters, t-shirts, banners, buttons, and other records. The Canadian Women's Movement Archives was officially established in Toronto in 1982.
In 1992, all the material collected by the Canadian Women's Movement Archives was donated to the Archives and Special Collections of the University of Ottawa and can now be found under the Canadian Women's Movement Archives Collection (10-001) as part of our Women's Archives.
Throughout the years, Archives and Special Collections has continued to collect in this area, acquiring the records of many grassroots organizations and diverse women’s groups as well as the personal papers of significant individuals involved in the women’s movement in Canada and in various spheres of activities.
Collection of Feminist Periodicals
The Archives and Special Collections has the largest collection of feminist publications in Canada, comprising of periodicals and newsletters produced by feminist groups and associations across Canada. It currently stands at just over 1400 titles and includes national publications like Branching Out and Broadside, as well as newsletters from smaller groups like Open Door, and Rural Lesbian Newsletter of British Columbia, etc.
These periodicals represent women from diverse regions of the country, and cover social action in all its forms, and include subjects such as women’s health, the right to abortion, child-care services, as well as literature, art, culture, and assistance for immigrants. The coverage of these periodicals varies from several years of issues to other times just one or two issues.
The Slovak Archives contain more than 30 archival fonds relating to individuals and organizations who were active in the Slovak communities of both Canada and the United States throughout the 20th century. It represents one of the most important collections of Slovak archival material in Canada that documents Slovak immigration as well as highlighting the role and impact that this community had in both Canada and the United States.
Among the significant archival fonds of organizations are the following: Slovak Institute of Cleveland (20-021), the Canadian Slovak League fonds (20-017), and the Slovak Studies Association fonds (20-015). Several prominent individuals' and families' records can also be found including the Doransky Family fonds (20-023), which documents the experience of a family who fled Slovakia in 1945 and moved to Montreal, the Josef Mikus fonds (20-001) which provides insight into the activities of a lobbyist for the Slovak League of America in Washington D.C. and the Joseph Stasko fonds (20-002) which relates to the history and politics of Slovakia.
The literary archives include archival fonds and collections which document the work of various writers in French and Canadian literature from the second half of the 19th century and the 20th century.
The largest collection is the Manuscrits français collection (30-005). Acquired by the Département de français of the University of Ottawa a few years after its foundation in 1968, the purchase of the collection of original documents was intended to encourage students to research French literature. It was subsequently transferred to the Archives and Special Collections in the 1970s in order to ensure its preservation and accessibility.
The Archives and Special collections also preserve many other archival fonds and collections relating to various subjects including music, history, teaching and even U.F.O.s. Please contact us to learn about how to access the finding aids for this material.