Making Room for Women in the Archives

Making Room for Women—a project of The United Church of Canada Archives with a volunteer advisory committee—is a coordinated effort to identify and preserve personal papers of women in The United Church of Canada and the records of organizations in which they have participated. Since the United Church Archives are regionalized by Conference, archivists have been encouraged to take initiatives to bring women’s records into their conference archives.

The goals of this program are to address the scarcity of women’s records and stories held in the archives and encourage women to donate their records and provide their stories for future generations.

In Montreal & Ottawa Conference Eileen Lavigne began by interviewing women who have had a connection with UCW (United Church Women) in our Conference and collecting material for the archives. She subsequently also interviewed lay leaders, ordained ministers and a former Conference archivist.

The Making Room for Women at the Archives Committee has a list of women in ministry, in leadership roles, and in women’s groups about whom they are seeking information. You may know these women or have information about them. You might even be on the list yourself.

From Montreal & Ottawa Conference the list includes Londa Beaudon, Hazel Bigby, Sharon Johns, Maureen Scott Kabwe, and Phyllis Norma Smythe.

The current list is just a starting point; it is constantly changing as we receive papers and as we add more names.

This project includes all women who have served our church whether lay or clergy in all our Presbyteries. Your story could inform and inspire others. Please share it.

If you would like to share your story e-mail the archives at or call 514-634-7015 ext. 28

Beverly Anderson-Levine
Conference Archivist