News & Updates
Ramsay Women's Institute Records Local History
Over the past 60 years, the Ramsay WI has recorded the history of the farms, villages and people in the northern area of Ramsay Township in their Tweedsmuir History Books. In 1979, a slide show on Leckie's Corners was produced with a narrative. This formed the basis for a history kit which went on to win the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada Tweedsmuir Competition for the best Community History in 1982.
Then, in 1990, as part of an Ontario Historical Association promotion, a video titled “Letters to Bennie's Corners” was made available to schools.
The third hamlet was featured in the 2010 DVD “Blakeney Then and Now” produced by Michael Dunn. Jill Moxley wrote and narrated the text, Jean Macpherson and Marilyn Snedden collaborated on the research and photography in all these projects.
In 2011, it was decided that they needed to keep up with new technology and so many hours were spent recording the new version when Micahel Dunn upgraded the earlier technology. Art & Terri Clarke produced the DVD insert and co-ordinated the actual production of the DVD, titled Hamlet Histories: Bennie's Corners, Blakeney, and Leckie's Corners.
This DVD is available for $15 from Millstreet Books in Almonte or from Marilyn at email@example.com
The other major technology update happened in 2012 when the branch contracted Jim Austin to digitize their 5 volumes of Tweedsmur Histories so that not only do we have photocopies of our books at Archives Lanark, but also DVD's which allow easier copies of photographs, etc.
Home & Country and Provincial Tweedsmuirs Digitized
Taken from the Fall 2011 issue of the Home & Country ROSE Garden
This past June, we had some excitement in the FWIO Provincial Office! Ruthann LaBlance, Manager of Digitization from the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS), spent some time digitizing the Provincial Tweedsmuir History Books as well as all of the Home & Country newsletters – dating back to 1933! Ruthann brought along all of her equipment and explained that to digitize, she essentially must take a photograph of each page. Certainly you can imagine what a long process this is! It involves lots of standing and strain on the arms. Ruthann is the only person in her department, so she is responsible for all of the digitizing and the editing that comes afterwards. For every hour of digitizing, there is approximately 3 hours worth of editing. This involves going through each page to ensure there are no items that should be kept private. It was wonderful having Ruthann in the office and seeing FWIO’s history being preserved for future generations.
Treasured Ontario Rural Histories to be
Formatted for Online Access
Guelph, Ontario / 2009 Nov 19
Joy Trimble, President of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario and Don Hinchley, President of the Ontario Genealogical Society, today signed an agreement to digitize and place on line the rural histories known as the Tweedsmuir Histories.
Since 1920 the Ontario Branches of the Women’s Institute have been gathering local history and preserving it in book form. Because the WI is largely a rural organization, these are histories of small communities. There are about a thousand of them, comprising an estimated half million pages of local Ontario history. They are one-of-a-kind and only a few have been photocopied or digitized. Many are in delicate condition and so are at-risk documents.
The project will take at least three years. As they are prepared, the digitized Histories will be placed in the OGS e-Library where anyone can borrow and read them. There will be a small borrowing fee; the money will go to the maintenance of the original Histories and to the operation of the lending system. The project will identify, conserve, preserve, and digitize all available Ontario Tweedsmuir Histories.
Ontario Genealogical Society
The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) is a registered charity, founded in 1961 with the mandate “To encourage, assist and bring together all those interested in the pursuit of family history”. It has slightly less than 5 000 Members, most living in Ontario although a significant number live elsewhere. The OGS has 30 Branches in all parts of Ontario and two Special
The OGS operates a scanning project named “Keeping and Valuing Ontario’s Heritage” which enables it, in partnership with Ontario's heritage organizations such as archives, museums and libraries, to digitize and place on the OGS website considerable quantities of material of genealogical value. The project has been underway for six months and is still in the data gathering stage. The Tweedsmuir Histories will be a significant component of this project. The project has received core funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Cultural Strategic Investment Fund of the Ontario Ministry of Culture, and the Jackman Foundation.
Additional funding is being sought for the conservation and preservation of the Tweedsmuir Histories and to fund the salaries of interns to help train future professionals in the conservation, preservation, and digitization of paper documents.
For more information, contact:
FWIO: Lynn Ruigrok, Executive Director 519-836-3078
OGS: Sarah Newitt, Executive Director 416-489-0734