Prior to 1870, in the area now known as Manitoba, education was delivered in a great variety of ways. Educated parents often took on the job of teaching their children the values and skills they would need to live in the world at that time. The Hudson’s Bay Company developed schools to teach the skills needed in the fur trade. As settlements developed, small schools grew up in them. Most of the teachers in these schools were men. As time passed, however, many young women who had received an education across the sea returned home to start schools. Miss Davis’ school on River Road was one of these schools. Many schools also were founded by religious groups in the community. Nuns of the Roman Catholic Church were very active in teaching at the Red River Settlement.
The territory became the province of Manitoba in 1870. The newly formed government created legislation to organize life in the province. By 1890, the government developed a public school system. Schools which existed at the time could choose to become part of the system or could opt to stay out of it. The schools which chose the latter option became private schools.
The development of the public school system created more jobs for teachers. More women were hired to teach in them. At that time, it was usual for women to be paid less than men for the same work. This situation continued for many, many years. In 1919, the Manitoba Teachers’ Federation (now the Manitoba Teachers’ Society) was founded. Winnipeg School Division, the first in the province, had its own teachers associations. From these groups came strong leadership to improve equity between men and women in school life. Women such as Aileen Garland, Margery Brooker, and Sybil Shack became strong advocates for this cause. Ruth Emsch did the same in rural Manitoba.
Collection Identifier: MSS 156, PC 181, TC 114 (A.99-55, A.02-12, A.04-35, A.05-44)
Title: Marie Barton fonds
Dates: 1897 – 2002; predominant 1970s and 1980s
Extent: 3.9 m of textual records and other material
Biographical Sketch: Marie Barton (nee Rossander) was born in Huntofte, Denmark in 1905. In 1911, she immigrated with her family to Kerrobert, Saskatchewan. She married Leonard Barton in 1928. Overcoming the barriers that existed for married women, Barton taught for four more years to help buy a farm in Davidson, Saskatchewan. The prairie drought of the 1930s drove her and her family from their Davidson farm to a farm at Togo, Saskatchewan and then to Camperville, Manitoba. In 1943, following the death of her husband, Marie returned to teaching to support her four children. In 1955 she graduated from the University of Manitoba with her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees. Marie taught for several decades in Manitoba, first in country schools in the Dauphin area and then in Winnipeg where she managed the pilot program for Junior High School visually impaired students until her retirement in 1970. Marie Barton passed away in 1999.
Digitized Material: The digitized material from the Marie Barton fonds consists of textual and photographic records pertaining to Ms. Barton's teaching career, including her work with visually-impaired children.
Collection Identifier: MSS 105, PC 105
Title: Alice Cameron Brown fonds
Extent: 1.14 m of textual records. -- 75 negatives. -- 204 photographs.
Biographical Sketch: Alice Cameron Brown was born in Rolling River, Manitoba in 1898 and grew up near Minnedosa, Manitoba. She was the daughter of Sarah and Duncan Cameron. In 1921, Alice graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba. While working as a teacher in Tisdale, Saskatchewan in 1922, she met James Edward Brown. The couple and their daughter Elizabeth Allison lived in Tisdale for twenty-six years. In 1934, Brown won first prize in the Canadian Author's Association poetry contest. The winning poem was published in a few magazines, after which numerous poems of hers were published. In 1952, the Brown family moved to Beamsville, Ontario where James passed away in 1965. Alice Cameron Brown died in 1993.
Digitized Material: The digitized material from the Alice Cameron Brown fonds consists of correspondence pertaining to Brown's teaching career.
Collection Identifier: MSS 173, PC 168 (A.03-26)
Title: Doris Saunders fonds
Extent: 0.4 m of textual records. -- 2 photographs.
Biographical Sketch: Doris Saunders was born in Winnipeg in 1901. In 1917 she graduated from Kelvin High School and then enrolled at the University of Manitoba, where in 1921 she graduated with Gold Medals in both Philosophy and English. Upon graduation, she taught at a rural elementary school before heading to Oxford. After graduating from Oxford with a Diploma of Education in 1923 she taught at both Machray Junior High and Kelvin High School. In 1925, while still teaching, she completed a MA at the University of Manitoba.
In 1928, Saunders became the first female appointed to the Department of English at the University of Manitoba and in 1959 became the first female full Professor in the Faculty of Arts. From 1933 to 1945 she was the Dean of Junior Women and was the Registrar of University College from 1964 to 1968, when she retired. Doris Saunders passed away in 2001.
Digitized Material: The digitized material from the Doris Saunders fonds consists of copies of an address Saunders gave titled "Continuing Education for Women in Canada."
Collection Identifier: MSS 152, TC 104, PC 159 (A.02-56, A.04-31)
Title: Sybil Shack fonds
Extent: 4.32 m of textual records and other material
Biographical Sketch: Sybil Shack was born in Winnipeg in 1911. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of Manitoba in 1929 and attended Normal School to become a teacher the following year. During the 1930s, Shack found some teaching work in rural Manitoba before returning to teach in Winnipeg. In 1945 Shack returned to the University of Manitoba winning the Gold Medal in the Bachelor of Education program. She received a MEd the following year. She took post-graduate courses in supervision and administration at the Ontario College of Education. Shack was principal of several schools including Sargeant Park and Kelvin High in Winnipeg. For thirty years she was also involved in school broadcasts over television and radio with the CBC. Shack is the author of several works on women and education. She was a leading proponent of pay equity for female teachers. Shack died in 2004.
Digitized Material: The digitized material from the Sybil Shack fonds consists of textual and photographic records pertaining to Shack's teaching career, her CBC educational broadcasts, and her writing and research on women and education. A video of a discussion with Shack and other female educators is also digitized.