The Canadian Women's Press Club was founded in 1904 by a group of Canadian woman reporters returning from a complimentary trip to the St. Louis Exposition. The club was suggested by George Henry Ham, the CPR's publicity director, and the first president was Kathleen Blake "Kit" Coleman. The Toronto Branch was founded in 1909, one of 15 regional branches organized over the years. Established as a "craft club" to help and promote its members in the profession of journalism, the Club remained active until the 1990's, counting as members most Canadian women journalists of note. In 1971 the Canadian Women's Press Club became the Media Club of Canada, and the Toronto Branch of the Club became the Media Club of Canada, Toronto Branch. In 1976 the Toronto Branch became an autonomous group under the name Toronto Women's Press Club, later changed to the Women's Press Club of Toronto. The Toronto Branch ceased in 199? and the Media Club of Canada suspended operations in 199?
By the 1980's the Women's Press Club of Toronto had launched a history project and put Kay Rex, a long-time member, in charge of collecting materials and writing a history of the Canadian Women's Press Club to 1971. Her book No Daughter of Mine: The Women and History of the Canadian Women's Press Club, 1904-1971 was published in 1995 by the University of Toronto Press.
Women's Press Club of Toronto fonds
Women's Press Club of Toronto fonds. - 1909-1995; predominant 1950-1985.
1.5 m of textual records and other material
The fonds contains materials collected by and sent to Kay Rex for the purpose of writing a history of the Canadian Women's Press Club, as well as records of the Toronto Branch given into her keeping when the Club ceased operation. These were intended for eventual deposit at the University of Waterloo to join the book collection of the C.W.P.C. which was donated to the Doris Lewis Rare Book Room in 1977.
The fonds consists of records documenting Toronto Branch operation during the period of the 1960's to 1980's, including constitution and by-laws, correspondence 1965-1991, minutes of regular and executive meetings, 1968-1989, a file on the closing of the Club's premises at 44 York St., Toronto, and scrapbooks of club activities and personalities. Historical materials include textual records, photographs, publications and scrapbooks. The earliest scrapbook is dated 1921 and contains biographies and photographs of members. Trips taken by C.W.P.C members in 1950 and 1955 to the United Kingdom, Europe and Russia are documented through members' files, photographs, and scrapbooks.
Arranged in 9 series:
- Constitution and Bylaws,
- Canadian Women's Press Club: Branch Files,
- Canadian Women's Press Club: National Files,
- Printed Materials,
- Audio-Visual Materials.
- Title based on content of the fonds.
- Includes 1 m. of textual records, ca. 140 photographs, 29 slides, 18 scrapbooks, 1 sound reel.
- Donated by the Canadian Women's Press Club, Toronto Branch (Women's Press Club of Toronto) via Kay Rex, 1996.
- Related records can be found in GA231 Kay Rex fonds.
- Related papers can be found at the National Archives of Canada where, in 1976, the Media Club of Canada deposited its archives.
Call number: GA 94
Women's Press Club of Toronto Library
Donated to the University of Waterloo Library in 1977, the library of the Toronto Branch of the Canadian Women's Press Club is made up of presentation copies of books written by and donated by the club's members in addition to books published by significant Canadian women writers. There are over 200 books in the collection.
Included are works by such well-known figures as Mabel Dunham, Emily Murphy, Marjorie Freeman Campbell, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and Katherine Hale. Also present are a number of books presented to the club by notable Canadian figures. Included are a copy of John Buchan's The Three Hostages, which he presented on October 23, 1924 "in memory of a delightful visit", Igor Gouzenko's The Fall of a Titan, which contains not only a lengthy presentation inscription but also a sketch done by him, and a signed copy of the first Canadian edition of Mazo de la Roche's Jalna.
Also included are a number of scarce children's stories in a Canadian setting, a copy of The National Ballet autographed by Margot Fonteyn, and an early biographical directory, Morgan's Types of Canadian Women, published in 1903.
All items in this collection are located in the Doris Lewis Rare Book Room and are non-circulating.Find it in the catalogue: enter the search term Canadian Women's Press Club. Toronto Branch, donor.