Fonds PR3803 - Alberta Women's Archives Association fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Alberta Women's Archives Association fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Multiple media

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: The title is based on content of fonds.

Level of description


Reference code

PAA PR3803

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


Physical description area

Physical description

1.2 m textual records. -- 34 photographs. -- 3 audio cassettes (90 min). -- 3 audio cassettes (60 min). -- 1 oversize negative.

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Alberta Women’s Archives Association (AWAA) was a volunteer-run organization based out of Edmonton, Alberta that worked to preserve and promote the records of women’s history in the province. The AWAA helped individuals and organizations with archival material created by and about Albertan women to collect and preserve those materials, and donate them to an accredited archives.

In addition to encouraging the donation of records created by and about women, the AWAA also worked to increase public awareness of the value of these records. Outreach for these purposes included lectures, educational seminars, and an AWAA newsletter.

The Association was originally known as the Northern Alberta Women’s Archives Project (NAWAP). Formed in 1989, NAWAP sought to address concerns that the records of the women’s movement in Edmonton were being thrown away. The project was sponsored by the Women’s Program and Resource Centre (University of Alberta Faculty of Extension) together with the Women’s Research Centre (Athabasca University and University of Alberta).

In the first year of the project, the team focused on contacting individuals active in Edmonton’s women’s communities between 1960 and 1980 for oral history interviews and records donations. By the second year of the project (1990), focus expanded to include women who were 65 years of age or older whose stories could represent the settlement of northern communities in the late 19th and early 20th century. Women involved in these early years of the project were encouraged to donate their personal papers to the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

In 1993, the project team formally registered as an association, changing the name from the Northern Alberta Women’s Archives Project to the Northern Alberta Women’s Archives Association (NAWAA), and incorporating under the Alberta Societies Act. In 1997, the Association registered as a charity with Revenue Canada. Membership to AWAA was open to any interested party for an annual fee.

On February 25, 2000, the Association applied for permission from the Alberta Societies division to change their name to the Alberta Women’s Archives Association. The new name was thought to effectively reflect the Association’s outreach and contact with all Alberta women, and embodied the Association’s move away from regionally-focused services.

The AWAA published two educational manuals on preserving women’s history in archives, the first in 1993, titled What's cooking in women's history: an introductory guide to preserving archival records about women. The second manual, Preserving women's history: an introductory guide to preserving the records of women's lives, was published in 2002.

In 2012, the AWAA officially terminated their status as a Registered Charity and dissolved the association. In August 2012, their remaining assets were gifted to the Friends of the Provincial Archives of Alberta, who used the funds to describe, process and make available to the public three women’s collections (the Alberta Women’s Institute, Catholic Women’s League, and Women’s Canadian Club of Edmonton collections) at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

Custodial history

Records were donated to the Provincial Archives by former AWAA member Patricia Myers in 2014 and 2016.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the records created and kept by the Alberta Women’s Archives Association between 1989 and 2013. Records include materials related to the group’s outreach activities and special projects in women’s archival representation in Alberta; administrative documents relating to the governance of the Association and its members; financial records of the Association; and communications and publicity materials created by the Association.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Records are arranged according to original order.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access


Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

Finding aids

File list is available.

Associated materials

The PAA Reference Library holds both copies of the AWAA’s published manuals, What's cooking in women's history (1993) and Preserving Women’s History (2002).

The Provincial Archives of Alberta holds the personal records of AWAA member Gertrude “Trudie” McLaren (PR2658).

Related materials


Further accruals are not expected.

General note

The information found within. the administrative history was taken from the records.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier


Institution identifier

Provincial Archives of Alberta

Rules or conventions

Level of detail

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres