Kitchener-Waterloo

Womens' groups artifacts boost online regional library collection

More regional history is moving online as the Region of Waterloo Library digitizes and offers the Tweedsmuir history books of the Ayr and Central Dumfries Women’s Institute to internet users.

Womens' clubs donate archives from 1960s-1990s

Ayr, Ont. as it was in 1899. (Region of Waterloo Library/Public Domain)

More regional history is moving online as the Region of Waterloo Library digitizes and publishes the Tweedsmuir history books of the Ayr and Central Dumfries Women's Institute.

The artifacts, collected by the area women's groups from the 1960s to 1990s, includes photos, newspaper clippings and documents. 

"Among the pages are birth announcements, obituaries, graduation notices, articles and photos of local news," the library said in a release.

Ayr Garage and Ford dealership, 1910s. (Region of Waterloo Library/Public Domain)

"Digital scans of materials originate from the extensive local history collection of the Ayr branch and cover events and people in North Dumfries Township, Galt, Cambridge, Waterloo Region and beyond," the library said.

Accessible

"When possible," the library says, many of the documents in the collection are accessible via a screen reader to people who cannot or choose not to read the printed materials.

Funeral cards, commonly printed to commemorate a loved one, are a large part of the newly-donated collection available online from the Region of Waterloo Library. (Region of Waterloo Library)

According to the library, many groups such as the Federation of Women's Institutes of Ontario have "agreed to make local history items like photo collections, church histories, library histories, and an impressive collection of funeral cards from the 1800s, digitally accessible to all." 

Taylor bequest

The project was funded from the Taylor bequest and a $4,000 grant from an Anonymous Fund administered by the Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Foundation 

In 2013, the library received about $300,000 from the estate of Mr. Thomas Taylor of Toronto, formerly of the Cambridge and North Dumfries areas. 

The funds are "to be used in the purchase and preservation of books and other material available to the general public", and "can be used to benefit the community of Ayr in a variety of ways and over many years into the future," the bequest read.

A group of gentlemen from the 1900s, possibly a sports team or men's club from the Ayr, Ontario area. (Region of Waterloo Library/Public Domain)

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