About the WI Portal

Federated Women's Institutes of Ontario

About the Collection

  Welcome to the portal to the documents created by 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.

  This portal, launched March 31, 2018, is a multi-agency collection.  It allows the researcher, in one site, to search the Women's Institute (WI) documents found in the many archives, museums, libraries, and other organizations across the Province of Ontario in Canada, as well as the main collection at FWIO's Virtual Archives.  Researchers will learn about the rich communities in Ontario, conduct family research, and discover the wonderful work that has been created by WI Members.

  Documents will continue to be added as digitizing continues. It will take a number of years to digitize all documents. 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 1,000 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 community involvement.
  6. Published books
  7. Other miscellaneous documents, such as scrapbooks 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.

Note: The documents in this portal come from a wide range of organizations, each of which digitized their collections at different times over the years and by various means.  Therefore, they may not have the same look or the same abilities.  For example, those from the FWIO’s Virtual Archives have the search term highlighted in the document,  while others do not.

  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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