Our project director, Carole Gerson, has these stories to tell of collaboration with other researchers…

Carole was in touch with Sarah Jamieson Craig’s great-granddaughter, Professor Joanne Findon. Together, they wrote her entry, based on discussions and Findon’s biography of her great-grandmother, Seeking Our Eden.

Sarah Jameson Craig has been brought out of the shadows because her great-granddaughter, Joanne Findon, is an English professor who skillfully gave us Craig’s remarkable story in Seeking Our Eden. While writing was not the major focus of Craig’s life, her various activities as a feminist, health reformer, and utopian thinker were expressed at times in print.

When Carole was visiting her family in Toronto, she reached out to Brendan Edwards, Head of Library and Archives at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).

Brendan Edwards, Department Head, ROM LIbrary and Archives

Brendan Edwards, Department Head, ROM LIbrary and Archives

While I’ve been in contact with many archivists and librarians at obvious institutions, it didn’t occur to me to check the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) until I heard that Brendan Edwards had become Head of their Library and Archives (I happen to know Brendan from an earlier project). Previously, while researching Pauline Johnson, I had seen some of the ROM’s stored Indigenous materials, but I had no idea that its cavernous resources include a library and archives (in addition to dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies, and the bat cave, main attractions for my granddaughters in Toronto). Brendan helped identify several women not yet on our lists, including pioneer paleontologist Madeleine Fritz. Others, whose involvement with the ROM led to some of their papers and publications being stored there, had engaged in a range of activities: Margaret MacLean published educational articles about the ROM’s collections in Saturday Night in 1917; classicist Cornelia Harcum published a book about Roman cuisine in 1914 and articles about the ROM’s classical collections in the 1920s; art historian Helen Fernald worked as Keeper of the ROM’s East Asian Department; and the extensive careers of Katherine Maw Brett and Dorothy K. Burnham in the ROM’s textile department began with Brett’s 1945 exhibition pamphlet and Burnham’s first book, published in 1950.

The first woman in Canada to receive a PhD in the field of geology and palæontology, Madeleine Fritz produced an extensive list of scholarly publications, many in association with the ROM

Margaret MacLean

Margaret MacLean developed a career as the first public educator at the ROM and published many articles about the Museum’s holdings

Cornelia Harcum

After earning a doctorate in classical archaeology, Cornelia Harcum moved from the United States to Toronto, where she published on ancient Greek and Roman culture

Betty Brett Maw

A textile expert at the ROM, Katherine Maw Brett authored books and articles on the history of fabrics and clothing

Dorothy Burnham enjoyed a long career in the textile department at the ROM, which led to her many publications in the field of Canadian and global textiles and costumes