Classification scheme: 

Title: Mabel Dunham fonds

Dates of creation: [1924?]

Physical description: 3 cm of textual records

Biographical sketch: Bertha Mabel Dunham (1881-1957) was born on a farm near Harriston, Ontario. She was the daughter of Magdalena (Eby) and Martin Dunham. The family moved to Kitchener when Mabel was six. She completed a course in library science at McGill University and was chief librarian at the Kitchener Public Library from 1908-1944. She was the first chief librarian in Ontario to have received training as a librarian.

Mabel Dunham was known as a pioneer of children's librarianship. She wrote four books of historical fiction, The Trail of the Conestoga being her first (1924). She also wrote works on local history and was president of the Waterloo Historical Society. She was involved with many community clubs, particularly those pertaining to women such as the University Women's Club and Business and Professional Women's Club. She received an honorary doctorate in 1947 from the University of Western Ontario.

Custodial history: Donated to the Archives in 2018 by Jannette Porter. Her grandfather, James Montague (Monty) Ritchie (1885-1953), was a publisher's agent for MacMillan, as well as other publishers. He did not usually work with manuscripts, so it is unusual that he had this copy of "Conestoga Trails" in his possession.

Scope and content: One carbon copy typed manuscript of "Conestoga Trails" by Bertha Mabel Dunham, 243 pages. The manuscript has some copy editing marks. The last chapter of the manuscript is shorter than the version published in 1924 by MacMillan under the title The Trail of the Conestoga.

Original archival description created 2018 by Laureen Harder-Gissing


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