Nature London Archival Fonds

The Nature London (NL) fonds, an independent holding, is housed, free of charge, in the restricted-access area of the London Room of the Central Public Library (LPL). Due to insufficient space at LPL, additional material is temporarily stored at the archivists’ home. In the past year, during times of lessened COVID restrictions, we were able to resume in-person visits to the Nature London archives.

Ongoing accruals include The Cardinal and club documents such as Board minutes, annual reports, and bi-monthly e-newsletters. Other items relevant to the history of Nature London are accepted as opportunities arise. For the most part, new materials are kept in the archivists’ home, where they are stored according to the Series to which they have been tentatively assigned.

Activities Carried out in Response to Requests (from club members and others)

  • Researched details of 1971 and 1986 Hudsonian Godwit sightings in Middlesex County
  • From club minutes, compiled list of ~100 plants reported in the Komoka Swamp area in 1890s
  • At request of Joyce Reddoch of Ottawa, liaised with LPL re a missing 1860s-era album of watercolour paintings of wildflowers by Elizabeth Keen White (eventually found by LPL)
  • At request of Dr Greg Thorn of Western University, on behalf of Vivian Miao of the UBC herbarium, identified London-area locations where John Dearness collected fungi

Other Activities

  • “Vignette from Nature London’s Past” published in The Cardinal 265:31, Autumn 2021.
    • The Victoria Day List or the May 24th Spring Round-up (early 20th century and later)
  • Assisted Pete Read in researching, writing, editing, and finding photos for first three articles of a four-part series on the history of bird record keeping by Nature London and its predecessors.
    • Keeping Track of Bird Records, Part 1, 1850s-1932, Cardinal 266:34-37, Winter 2022; Part 2, 1932-1950, 267:21-27, Spring 2022; Part 3, 1951-1983, 268:38-42, Summer 2022
  • Delivered tribute at memorial service for Shirley Lorimer, Apr 29, 2022
  • Provided NL’s Awards Committee with background info for citations for four award recipients
  • Provided Cardinal committee with info on three club members who passed away recently.
    • Wrote memorial tribute for Barry Attridge, Cardinal 266:33, Winter 2022
  • Maintained ongoing communications with Paul Titus of Stormwater Engineering Division, City of London, re proposal to erect interpretive signage along Mud Creek recreational trail (south of Oxford, east of Wonderland). This would commemorate the abundance of native orchids that grew there in the 1890s. Draft text, plus photos and other graphics have been submitted.

Professional Development

  • Oct 22, 2021: Participated in half-day webinar that included virtual tours of archives in Woodstock, Owen Sound and Delaware, which provided insights into how different archives are organized, handle storage issues, provide access to the public, etc. (sponsored by Municipal Archives Interest Group of Archives Association of Ontario)
  • Feb 10, 2022: Attended 3-hour Zoom workshop on Rules of Archival Description (RAD) (sponsored by Archives Association of Ontario)
  • Mar 1, 2022: Attended 1-hour webinar – Celebrate with Collections (sponsored by Northeastern Document Conservation Center in Boston)
  • Mar 24, 2022: Attended 2-hour webinar – Building a Digital Preservation System (sponsored by Toronto branch of Archives Association of Ontario)

Winifred and David Wake

Archivists for Nature London