Note on sources
in Female imperialism and national identity

Note on sources

Archival sources

Research for this book has involved the use of archival material, oral sources and photographic records. The National Archives of Canada (NAC) in Ottawa houses the largest IODE collection. MG28 I 17 Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, volumes 1–75, is the meticulous collection that the IODE handed over in 1979. Its focus is on the affairs of the IODE at the national level, although the very structure of the Order meant that local areas were represented in the records. The collection includes: minutes of annual national meetings and annual reports 1900–79; national executive minutes 1901–74; reports to the national executive committee; minutes of national committees 1901–79; miscellaneous minutes 1900–45; constitution, structure and history 1900–79; general histories of the Order, giving accounts of its activities; miscellaneous correspondence; miscellaneous subject files 1901–77; chapter records 1900–74; scrapbooks and newspaper clippings.

There are numerous other collections at the NAC that contain information either from individual members of the IODE, such as Charlotte Whitton, or on Royal Commissions to which the IODE made submissions. Relevant British records are also in Ottawa, such as: MG28 I 336 Society of the Oversea Settlement of British Women; and selected records from the Fawcett Library (now the Women’s Library), London. The Photography and Visual Images Division of National Archives has an IODE photograph collection.

There is a complete collection up to 1978 of the IODE’s magazine Echoes, which is shared between the NAC’s library and the National Library of Canada (NLC). Echoes has been published quarterly since 1901 under a series of long-serving editors, professional journalists who have brought together opinions from around the country, as well as putting forward their own views. The NLC, Ottawa, has an assortment of studies published by the IODE. Of particular use are: Brief History of the IODE (1981); Helen M. Yeo, An Era of Change: Historical Narrative, 1901–1976 (1976, Royal Edward Chapter); Welfare in Alberta: The Report of a Study Undertaken by the IODE Alberta Provincial Chapter (1947); Record of the Post-Graduate Scholarship Holders for the First Twenty Years of the First War Memorial Instituted by the National Chapter of Canada IODE (1945); Laurentian Chapter IODE: 1906–1976 (1976); Canada Within the Empire (1939, Toronto), and IODE 1900–1925 (1925).

I have investigated the extent of IODE material held outside of Canada. There is not much. The Royal Commonwealth Society Library (RCSL) holds records of the Victoria League, and the following IODE records: L. M. Bruce, IODE in Waterloo (IODE, USA); War Relief Records, Illinois Chapters; Golden Jubilee: 1900–1950; G. de. C. Morrell, ‘IODE in Bermuda’, West African Review, 14:2, 64–70; and the colourful Manitoba Souvenir (1916). The Imperial War Museum, London (IWM) has a copy of Charlotte Whitton’s 1944 From Kith to Kin.

Libraries, archives and private collections across Canada have various provincial IODE minute books, local chapter records and scrap-books. The quality of the collections varies according to the members who took an interest in the history of the IODE and have donated records. I benefited from the private collection of Velma Laferty’s (unpublished) ‘History of IODE Alberta’, Audrey Webster’s scrapbook of Mrs C. S. Buchan (Frances), Calgary, Alberta; Bertha Miller’s Clark House (1985, Fredericton, New Brunswick); Joan Church’s Histories of IODE Saskatchewan, Regina; 1919–94, Eleanor Carrothers’s collection, Quebec City; and the scrapbooks of Ruby Greer, Stanstead, Quebec. The value of personal scrapbooks is not to be underestimated. Many IODE chapters have assembled their individual histories through such representation.

The Glenbow Archives (GBOW), in Calgary, Alberta, has a useful collection, including individual chapter records, a summary of Alberta IODE Provincial reports, a summary of the findings and recommendations of the Alberta Welfare Study, carried out in August 1947, a 1959 book on the Provincial Chapter of Alberta, and Calgary Municipal Chapter’s minutes and records. The Provincial Archives of Alberta (PAA), in Edmonton, has an assortment of the Lethbridge Municipal Chapter’s records, the Provincial Chapter’s summary reports for 1948–70 and reports of provincial meetings, and the Edmonton Municipal Chapter’s records.

The British Columbia Archives and Records Service (BCARS), in Victoria, has Provincial Chapter minutes for British Columbia, Ethel Stead’s 1959 History of the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire in British Columbia, parts 1 and 2, local chapter records, and assorted clippings. The City of Vancouver Archives (CVA) holds records of individual Vancouver chapters and the Municipal Chapter. The J. S. Matthews Newsclippings Microfilm 13–246–7, Orders: Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, is useful. The Vancouver Public Library (VPL) has assorted newspaper clippings. At the University of British Columbia Special Collections (UBCSC) is a pamphlet file with Mabel Durham’s article ‘British Columbia’s patriotic women’, The Canadian Magazine, 49: 2 (June 1917).

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (PANB), Fredericton, holds the original minute book of the first IODE meeting in Fredericton on 15 January 1900. There are also Provincial Chapter records and scrapbooks. The Memorial University Library’s Centre for Newfoundland Studies (MULNS), St John’s, has an IODE competition about Canada’s royal heritage with essays by Canadian school children, and the book Light at Last: Triumph Over Tuberculosis in Newfoundland and Labrador 1900–1975 (St John’s, Newfoundland: Jesperson Press, 1981), a publication containing evidence of an IODE chapter in Newfoundland during the First World War.

In Ontario, the Queen’s University Archives (QUA), Kingston, has the Wilhelmina Gordon Collection. The Lorne Pierce Special Collection (LPSC), also held at Queen’s University, has a number of rare IODE publications: Record of the Post Graduate Scholarship Holders for the Years 1945–1990, with a Foreword by Cecilia Furness, national officer and War Memorial secretary (1990); Welfare in Alberta. The Report of a Study Undertaken by The Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (Alberta Provincial Chapter IODE, 1947); Charlotte Whit-ton’s From Kith to Kin (IODE, 1944), and The Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire: Chapters of the Order (Ottawa: IODE, 1934). The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, at the University of Toronto, has IODE proofs of a collection called ‘National pictures for Canadian schools’ (1918), and Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire Souvenir (IODE 19th Annual Meeting, 1919).

The Provincial Chapter of Ontario (1070 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario) has the Ontario Provincial Chapter’s annual reports and minutes,1920–92, scrapbooks, and recent documents such as mailing lists for the Canadian north. The National Chapter of Canada (40 Orchard View, Suite 254, Toronto) has the annual National Meetings’ minutes for 1978–93, Echoes for 1979–94, and published sources such as 80th Anniversary, IODE Manitoba (Provincial Chapter of Manitoba, 1992), and IODE: A Brief History, 1900–1982. (National Chapter, 1982).

The Public Archives and Records Office (PARO) in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, has records for the IODE Royal Edward Chapter 1901–87 and souvenir programmes. Helen Yeo’s aforementioned book remains the most comprehensive source for the Island.

As for Quebec, I have found little source material, although the Colby-Curtis Museum, Stanstead, has assorted newspaper clippings.

The Saskatchewan Archives Board (SAB), Regina, has a large collection of individual chapter records, Regina and Saskatoon Municipal Chapter records, and Provincial IODE Saskatchewan records. There are also records of educational awards, scrapbooks, and correspondence


I conducted forty-seven interviews across Canada with members of the IODE. The objectives of these interviews were to

  • gather personal accounts of participation in the IODE;
  • fill in regional details that were not available in the national records; and
  • allow for oral history research that could verify and cross-refer to written sources.

The approach followed for the interviews was to use the contemporary structure of the IODE as a framework, setting out to interview one member in every 200 out of a 1992 total of 10,000. Hence the number of interviews per province corresponds as closely as possible to the proportion of national membership held by that particular province. The IODE, through its social network, itself acted as informants in identifying those who would be interviewed. This was arranged by using the IODE’s structure to order the writing of letters first to the national headquarters, and with its permission writing to provincial presidents, asking for contacts. The details of the interviews are:

Alberta (12)

21 April, 1994: interview of a seven-member group, the Royal Canadian Legion, Calgary, Alberta.

24 April 1994: interview at an individual member’s home, Calgary, Alberta.

26 April 1994: interview of a three-member group, the Canada Place Food Court, Edmonton, Alberta.

27 April 1994: interview of a single member, the YWCA Café, Edmonton, Alberta.

British Columbia (3)

29 April 1994: interview of a three-member group, member’s home, Kerrisdale, Vancouver.

New Brunswick (4)

21 and 23 October 1993: interviews of single members in their homes, Fredericton.

25 October 1993: interviews with single members, at the Earl of Leinster Bed and Breakfast and the Union Club, Saint John.

Newfoundland (1)

14 July 1993: interview of a member in her home, St John’s.

Ontario (10)

9 October 1993: interview of a member in her home, Campbellford.

4 November 1993: interview of a member, Christchurch Cathedral, Ottawa.

8 November 1993: interview of a four-member group, Briargate Retirement Home, Kingston.

23 February 1994: interview of a member, IODE Provincial Chapter of Ontario, Hamilton.

24 February 1994: two interviews, by telephone, of individual members, Toronto.

25 February 1994: interview of a member at my homestay, Toronto.

Prince Edward Island (5)

27 October 1993: interview of a five-member group in a member’s home, Charlottetown.

Quebec (10)

22 November 1993: two interviews of individual members in their homes, Montreal.

12 and 13 February 1994: two interviews of individual members in their homes, Sillery.

28 August 1995: interview of a five-member group in a member’s home, Stanstead.

31 August 1995: interview of a member in her home, Stanstead.

Saskatchewan (2)

18 April 1994: interview of a member in her home, Regina.

20 April 1994: interview of a member in her home, Meota.

Theses and dissertations

A single PhD thesis has been written about the IODE, which forms the research base for this book: Catherine Gillian Pickles, ‘Representing twentieth-century Canadian colonial identity: the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE)’, Department of Geography, McGill University, 1996.

At the time of writing, five MA dissertations directly concerned with the IODE have been completed: Daniel Buteau, ‘De L’Empire à la nation: L’Impérial Order Daughters of the Empire de 1938 à 1972’, Université Laval, 1987; Marcel Dirk, ‘Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire and the First World War’, Institute of Canadian Studies, Carleton University, 1988; Lisa Gaudet, ‘Nation’s mothers, Empire’s daughters: the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, 1920–1930’, Department of History, Carleton University, 1993; Doreen Constance Hamilton, ‘Origins of the IODE: a Canadian women’s movement for God, king and country, 1900–1925’, Department of History, University of New Brunswick, 1992; and Nadine Michele Small, ‘Stand by the Union Jack: the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire in the Prairie provinces during the Great War, 1914–18’, Department of History, University of Saskatchewan, 1988.

Female imperialism and national identity

The Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 353 42 5
PDF Downloads 228 80 7