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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 04-006


Harley R. Cummings fonds. Additions. -- 1864-1999. -- 60 cm of textual records. -- 50 photographs.

Biography / History

Harley Richard Cummings was born in 1909 in Bond Head, Ontario, the son of Dr. James A. and Mildred Cummings. In 1933, after obtaining an Honours BA from the University of Toronto and graduating from the Ontario College of Education, he began teaching at the Boys' Vocational School and the Glashan Intermediate School and York Street School in Ottawa. In 1942, he was a volunteer education officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force and later became a flight lieutenant. At the conclusion of World War II, Cummings returned to Ottawa and, over the next twenty years, was school principal at a number of schools. Of significant importance is Cummings' book, Early Days in Haliburton, which he wrote in 1962. It includes an introduction by Ontario Premier Leslie Frost. Cummings married Shirley Stotesbury in 1964. He died at the age of 90 on May 10, 1999.

Custodial History

This fonds was in the custody of Mrs. Shirley Cummings before it was donated to Trent University Archives in 2004.

Scope and Content

Fonds consists of documents and photographs relating to Harley Cummings' education and military career; his research notes, correspondence, and manuscripts relating to family history and Ottawa schools history; and miscellaneous scrapbooks.


Title based on the creator of the fonds.
Fonds acquired in 2004 from Mrs. Shirley Cummings.
Restrictions: N
This fonds along with 01-009 and 02-009 is an addition to 00-001.

Finding Aid

Box 1


1: Photocopies of letters provided by Betty Clarke, used by Cummings in researching family history
2: List of information re family history extracted from letters to Cummings from Betty Clarke; correspondence between Clarke and Cummings, 1970-1983
3: Genealogical information re McLachlan, McLean families, etc.
4: Correspondence, 1982-1987, and notes re the book, Cummings: A Tale of Two Families
5: Correspondence, 1982-1983 (note: an index to the items is included in the folder)
6: Notes re"The Isle of Mull by John MacCormick" (Alex Maclaren and Sons); includes information re the Maclean family and index of contents of folder
7: Certificates, correspondence, etc. re Cummings' education, teaching career, and Royal Canadian Air Force career, 1933-1962
8: Draft of Cummings' book, Cummings: A Tale of Two Families; also included is a booklet by Cummings called "My Father's Cousin Maurice Timbury"
9: Correspondence & research notes relating to family history, 1985-1986
10: "Westboro Past & Present" project by Churchill Ave. School's Grade 6 class [Ottawa], May 1966; includes 34 photographs of students, buildings, etc. and a play "Journey Into the Past"
11: Research materials relating to the history of schools in the Ottawa region
12: Newspaper clippings and correspondence relating to the history of Ottawa, [1950s & 1960s]
13: Memorabilia, newspaper clippings, articles, and research notes pertaining to Ottawa and Ottawa schools, [1885-1971]; also includes a copy of Rhapsodist, Normal School, Ottawa, May 1895, Souvenir Number
14: Pictures and sketches re history of Ottawa public schools
15: Obituary and information re the death of H.R. Cummings on 10 May 1999, and of his brother Julien Alexander Cummings
16: Documents and correspondence re Cummings' association with the Royal Canadian Air Force, 1941-1960; also included are 15 RCAF photographs of military personnel, aircraft, etc.
17: Miscellaneous correspondence, 1958, 1990; invitation to the opening of the Victoria Railway, 1878; banquet ticket for Stratford-Upon-Avon Tercentenary Celebration of the birth of Shakespeare, April 23, 1864Loose on shelf:

Diplomas & certificates, property documents; also photograph of the British Commonwealth Relations Conference in Toronto, 1933; scrapbooks & newspaper clippings