Visit this blog for regular posts about Your Archives: The Histories We Share throughout 2020. Visit the Archives of Manitoba to see the records in person.

May 2020:

May 29, 2020

Le Club Belge fonds — Submission by Neil Pryce

“”The collection from Le Club Belge (Belgian Club, St Boniface) is a wonderful resource showcasing the activities of the Belgian community in Manitoba, records from its very beginning 115 years ago in 1905 are held for safekeeping at the Provincial Archives.

First  minute book of Le Club Belge
First minute book of Le Club Belge
Archives of Manitoba, Le Club Belge fonds, Le Club Belge minute book, 1905-1913, P5703/1
Le Club  Belge Act of Incorporation, 1905
Le Club Belge Act of Incorporation, 1905
Archives of Manitoba, Le Club Belge fonds, Act of Incorporation, 1905, P5710/5
List of  Belgian soldiers of Manitoba serving with the Belgian forces in Great Britain
List of Belgian soldiers of Manitoba serving with the Belgian forces in Great Britain
Archives of Manitoba, Le Club Belge fonds, Belgian-Canadian Soldiers, 1944, P2845/9

Of particular interest would be the first minute book from 1905-1913,  the original copy of the Articles of Incorporation, and the list of Belgian soldiers involved in WW2.”

Want to know more? Search Keystone for other records related to Le Club Belge, Belgian-Canadians, and World War II.

Want to participate in Your Archives? See Submit Your Story for details. You may e-mail us at yourarchives@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post and your comments may be included on this page.

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May 21, 2020

Petition for Franchise for Women — Submission by Roland Sawatzky, Curator of History, Manitoba Museum

The petition after treatment

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The petition after treatment
Archives of Manitoba, LA 0009 Sessional papers, GR0247, 32 Petition of A.M. Blakely et al [from Women’s Christian Temperance Union] re: Franchise for Women, 1893, G 7173.

“The first petition for the vote for women in Manitoba was gathered in 1893, and included almost 4000 signatures. The petition sheets were pasted together and rolled into a scroll for presentation. It was introduced to the provincial Legislature but was defeated 28 to 11. It was criticized for not representing enough Manitoba women, so a second petition drive was held, and almost 1500 more signatures were gathered. The issue was then entirely ignored by lawmakers. One of the great things about the petition is that the communities of the signatories were listed. It turns out over 80% of the signatures were from rural Manitoba, and the rest from Winnipeg.

“I had a replica made of this petition for the Manitoba Museum 2016 travelling exhibition ‘Nice Women Don't Want the Vote.’ I wanted to return to study the petition in more detail, but it was in fragile condition. Thankfully, the Archives of Manitoba conservation staff took on the project.



The 1893 petition undergoing preservation treatment

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The 1893 petition undergoing preservation treatment

“Within a year, a colleague of mine was able to spend time photographing the scroll (26 metres long!) and other parts of the petition. She then counted every name and location. Time consuming though it was, she was able to reveal interesting demographic and geographical data from this primary source. We have presented this information at an international conference, and intend to publish sometime in the near future.”


Want to know more? Search Keystone for other records related to suffrage, women and the Legislative Assembly.  Or read past blog posts commemorating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Manitoba. You can also Visit Us in person at the Archives of Manitoba.

Want to participate in Your Archives? See Submit Your Story for details. You may e-mail us at yourarchives@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post and your comments may be included on this page.

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May 14, 2020

L.B. Foote fonds — Submission by Danny Schur, composer/producer/writer of historical musicals

“In my research for my musical ‘Strike!’, set against the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, the wealth of photographs taken by Lewis Benjamin Foote were essential viewing. His most famous photograph of the overturned streetcar is arguably Winnipeg's most iconic shot.



Strikers  overturn a streetcar in front of City Hall, June 21, 1919
Strikers overturn a streetcar in front of City Hall, June 21, 1919
Archives of Manitoba, A 0272 Exhibits and other records related to the Winnipeg General Strike trials,
Exhibit 998, 1919, G 7494 file 3

“But more than just the stirring shots of Bloody Saturday, Foote captured so much of Winnipeg's early history. His photographs of the slums of the era I find to be particularly moving, showing a Dickensian level of poverty that we tend to romanticize or forget.

Interior of a  slum home
Interior of a slum home
Archives of Manitoba, L.B. Foote fonds, Foote 1491. Interior of slum home, ca. 1915, P7399/4

“In short, Foote's collection is Winnipeg. If a picture is worth a thousand words, he contributed millions of words in Winnipeg's and Manitoba's story.”

Want to know more? Search Keystone for other records related to the Winnipeg General Strike, L.B. Foote, and Winnipeg photographs.

Want to participate in Your Archives? See Submit Your Story for details. You may e-mail us at yourarchives@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post and your comments may be included on this page.

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May 7, 2020

Children’s Home of Winnipeg fonds — Submission by James Mochoruk, Historian, University of North Dakota

“This is an amazing collection. What is most striking about the Home’s records is the window – or windows - they provide into White Anglo Saxon Protestant Winnipeg – particularly those of the working and lower middle classes. This is the case because as a Protestant institution, the Children’s Home records deal primarily with the children and families of British and/or British-Canadian descent. So often when one thinks of the sorts of economic and familial crises that might lead to a family placing one or more children in an ‘orphanage’ there is a natural tendency to think about the North End of Winnipeg and the foreign-born population (usually meaning eastern and central Europeans – not the British ‘foreigners’ who also lived there in certain neighborhoods). However, in the records of the Children’s Home we see the impacts of economic downturns, family crises, health emergencies and the like upon the Canadian-born, but particularly upon the British-born immigrants who filled the Canadian West and Winnipeg during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And in a geographic sense, although there are clearly some ‘North End’ cases, the ‘clientele’ of the Home came from every part of working-class Greater Winnipeg: St. James, Fort Rouge, Norwood, Weston, Brooklands, East and West Kildonan, and Central and West End Winnipeg were all well represented in the records of the Home. And so too were many rural districts, as prior to the mid-1920s, the Home had a surprisingly large number of children who had come from the homes of agricultural labourers and unwed mothers from throughout Manitoba and even Saskatchewan and Northwestern Ontario.”

Selected records from the Children’s Home of Winnipeg fonds
Archives of Manitoba, Children’s Home of Winnipeg fonds, 1884-1985

Want to know more? Search Keystone for other records related to Children’s Home of Winnipeg, Children’s Aid Society of Winnipeg, and adoption.

Want to participate in Your Archives? See Submit Your Story for details. You may e-mail us at yourarchives@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post and your comments may be included on this page.

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