Federated Women's Institutes of Ontario

About the Collection

 Welcome to the Virtual Archives of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO).  We gratefully acknowledge the Government of Canada’s support, through the Documentary Heritage Communities Program of Library and Archives Canada.

 The first phase, launched March 31, 2016, provided a platform to make accessible the many documents the Women's Institutes (WI) have created across the Province of Ontario since 1897.  This allows the original documents to remain within their communities, while researchers across Ontario, Canada, and the world can access them electronically.  They will learn about the rich communities in Ontario, conduct family research, and discover the wonderful work that has been created by WI Members.

 FWIO received further funding in 2017 to continue digitizing documents for 3 years. It will take a number of years to digitize them all. There have been approximately 2,000 branches through the years across Ontario. It is estimated 1,300 Tweedsmuir Community History Collections have been created, with about half collections not yet digitized.

 Included in the collection are:

  1. The award-winning Tweedsmuir Community History Collections, which document the history of a community.  (Private information has been removed.)  More information on the Tweedsmuirs can be found in the FWIO website.
  2. The complete series of the FWIO newsletter, The Home & County, from 1933 to present.
  3. Minute and record books, including the minutes of Stoney Creek, the first WI Branch in the world. (Documents less than 50 years old are not available due to privacy considerations.)
  4. Documents from the Erland Lee Museum, including the Original WI Constitution.
  5. Contributions from WI members and the public on buildings, monuments, and other items showing the WI's community involvement.
  6. Published books
  7. Other miscellaneous documents, such as cookbooks, program books, and photos.

 These documents are searchable across the platform, within a series, or within a document, as much as possible and if not hand-written.  For those documents that are not searchable, they can be easily browsed.

  Within this site is also a record for each branch, district, and area.  Each record contains gereral information, where availbable, such as whether active, when organized and disbanded and the physical location of the Tweedsmuir Collection.

 FWIO will continue to apply for further grants to continue digitizing documents and adding them to this platform.    We also encourage the public to donate to this worthwhile project through the link.

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