J.S. Woodsworth

SFU given J.S. Woodsworth letters and photos spanning a century

Simon Fraser University has acquired a collection of letters, photos and manuscripts linked to the founding figure.

British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University has acquired a collection of letters, photos and manuscripts linked to one of the founding figures of Canada’s social reform movement.

The school’s library will house a collection from J.S. Woodsworth, a Winnipeg pastor who was co-founder and first leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, the precursor to the New Democratic Party.

Woodsworth was a mentor to Tommy Douglas, the father of universal health care.

Woodsworth’s grandson and his wife donated the 1,300 letters, 200 photographs, and 50 printed pamphlets and manuscripts to the university to preserve them and make them more accessible to researchers. The photographs include historical events, such as the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919.

“We’re honoured that the Woodsworth family has entrusted their rare and intimate collection of photographs and correspondence to us,” Melanie Hardbattle, acting head of the university’s library special collections and rare books, said in a news release. “J.S. Woodsworth had a significant role in shaping the Canada we know today and this collection provides insight into his personal life and the foundations of his political beliefs.”

The private collection is valued at $65,000.

Woodsworth was a Methodist minister who helped form the Manitoba Independent Labour Party. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1921 and five years later bargained his party’s two votes for a promise by prime minister Mackenzie King to enact an old-age pension plan.

He died in Vancouver in 1942 at age 67.

Glenn Woodsworth, Woodsworth’s grandson, and his wife Joy spent several years since 2006 transcribing, describing, and making digital copies of the material, the university said. Before that in the 1990s, 150 letters were transcribed by J.S. Woodsworth’s son, Ralph.

The unpublished letters were written between 1890 and 1990, but most of the letters are dated between 1906 and 1963. They discuss everything from political, socialist and humanitarian beliefs to domestic affairs in the Woodsworth house, the university said.

The core of the family archive was passed down from Lucy Woodsworth to her daughter Grace MacInnis, who organized the correspondence and referred to them while writing the biography “J.S. Woodsworth: A Man to Remember.” MacInnis added around 400 of her own letters to the collection and passed them down to Glenn and Joy Woodsworth with a provision that they not be examined until after her death.

Other collections of Woodsworth and MacInnis material are held at the National Library, the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto.

 

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

PHOTOS: North Delta remembers

Hundreds gathered at the North Delta Social Heart Plaza to pay respect to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of their country

Five free Christmas movies in Surrey on Cineplex ‘Community Day’ for charity

Donations encouraged on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 7

White Rock to ‘embark on a new direction’ for city’s management

Dan Bottrill has been the city’s chief administrative officer since 2012

‘Slight’ arsenic increase noted in White Rock water: city

Challenges in plant commissioning cited, testing underway

Homicide investigators called in after man dies following ‘disturbance’ in Surrey

IHIT says man in 30s pronounced dead at hospital; suspect last seen on 124th Street and may be injured

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Bargaining to resume in Metro Vancouver transit strike as bus driver overtime ban looms

Both sides might be headed back to the table to prevent new overtime ban

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

B.C. teacher suspended for incessantly messaging student, writing friendship letter

Female teacher pursued Grade 12 student for friendship even after being rebuked

Most Read