Fonds MsC-204 - J.S. and Lucy Woodsworth family fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

J.S. and Lucy Woodsworth family fonds

General material designation

  • Textual records
  • Photographic materials

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  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the contents of the fonds

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • [ca. 1860-1997?] (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

104.5 cm of textual records;
171 photographs : b&w prints;
9 photographs : col. prints
4 audiocassettes : 1/8"
2 video cassettes : VHS

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Archival description area

Custodial history

This family fonds was donated to Simon Fraser Special Collection and Rare books by the Woodsworth family in 2016

Scope and content

This fonds consists of primarily of correspondence between members of the Woodsworth/MacInnis families, along with photographic material documenting extended family and some key events. James Shaver Woodsworth (J.S.) was a leader of the social democratic movement in the early 20th century and a co-founder of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) party in 1932, of which his daughter and son-in-law were also key figures. However the subject matter of most of this fonds is of a personal familial nature, rather than in-depth political discourse or strategizing. Included in this fonds are notes, manuscripts and letters, primarily written between himself and his wife, Lucy Staples Woodsworth during the years he was serving first as a clergyman through to his involvement and arrest at the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919, as well as an extended tour of Europe and Russia with Lucy in 1932. There are a few letters between J.S. and his children as they mature and pursue careers but even when J.S. ceases to be the primary author, there is news of him in the correspondence of Lucy up until his passing in 1942.

The bulk of content in this fonds consists of correspondence between Lucy Woodsworth and her daughter Grace Woodsworth MacInnis, although there are occasional letters to, from or between her other children Belva, Ralph, Charles, Bruce and Howard. The content of this material is primarily anecdotal as Lucy informs Grace of her day-to-day activities and meetings. There is some mention of her political activities and leanings - particularly of her attendance at a Women's International League conference in 1924 or in correspondence with Grace's husband, Angus MacInnis - but most letters contain news of friends and family, of health and daily activities.

Because many of these letters were originally assembled by Grace MacInnis herself, there is a subsection of correspondence between herself and Angus, from the very first days of their courtship through their combined political careers in Parliament and up until Angus's passing in 1964.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


This fonds was first assembled by Grace MacInnis, with later contributions made by Glenn and Joy Woodsworth. For the most part items have been arranged as the family organized them - primarily by date or individual. In instances where file titles have been changed or the archivist imposed order, that information is indicated by the presence of square brackets. When arrangement was changed, notes of the original order are present.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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    No known restrictions

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    A file- and item-level description is available.

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    Dates of creation, revision and deletion

    Created 15 Feb 2019
    2nd accrual added 07 May 2019

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