Trent University Library & Archives continues to offer electronic collections and virtual services. As part of the University’s limited and reduced campus presence, Bata Library and the Durham GTA Campus Library & Learning Centre are closed and physical collections are unavailable. Virtual services and support are available by contacting Check for updates regularly on our COVID-19 Alert Page.

Curbside Pickup for Faculty & Graduate Students is available starting June 23rd.

Finding Aid:

Search the Archives

Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 95-003


Catharine Traill Naturalists' Club fonds. -- 1973-1995. -- 51 cm of textual records.

Biography / History

The West Island Naturalists' Club was formed in 1972. In 1974 the name was changed to the Catharine Traill Naturalists' Club in honour of one of Canada's first botanists and naturalists. The club is supported by the staff of John Abbott College and Macdonald College of McGill University. The Club intended to draw members from the Robert Baldwin, Vaudreuil and Soulange Counties but has many national and a few international members including the British Museum, which keeps Club newsletters on file. Membership has often exceeded two hundred persons. The objective of the club is to encourage conservation and foster understanding of everything in local environment and surrounding areas. This is achieved through series of lectures and field trips based on a variety of subjects found in the natural environment. The Club first dealt with its own region, but, as its membership grew it was able to help lobby for other regions.

Custodial History

This fonds was created by the Catharine Traill Naturalists Club and donated to the Trent University Archives by Dr. George McKiel, founding member of the club and executive member until September 1994.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of the Catharine Traill Naturalists' Club's administrative papers, club newsletters, field trip notes, various papers regarding field trips and workshops, membership/address lists and personal correspondence of founding members, George McKiel, Elizabeth Parnis and Wendy Dathan.


Title based on creator of fonds.

This fonds was donated by George McKiel of the Catharine Traill Naturalists' Club.

Restrictions: Box 1 and 2, none. Box 3, personal correspondence, restricted.

Finding aids: Y

For related records see: 80-034, 82-022, 86-002, 90-002, 93-012, 94-007, 95-004, 95-016 and 96-1012.

Finding Aid

Table of Contents  

Series A: Administrative Papers. (Boxes 1 & 2)

Series B: Personal Papers of George McKiel, Elizabeth Parnis and Wendy Dathan, founding members. (Box 3)


Box 1


1: Catharine Traill Naturalists' Club constitutions, Genesis of Catharine Traill Naturalists' Club, Paper-How it all began, Re-Incorporation letter

2: Correspondence-September 27, 1973- December 17, 1974

3: Correspondence-January 30, 1975-December 23, 1977

4: Correspondence-January 28, 1978-December 9, 1980

5: Correspondence-January 22, 1981-October 19, 1983

6: Correspondence-January 4, 1984-December 11, 1984

7: Correspondence-February 7, 1985-December 10, 1986

8: Correspondence-January 10, 1987-December 1, 1993

9: Alfred Bog Meeting Papers

10: Club Pamphlets, The Catharine Traill Naturalists' Club Scholarship-1990, Miscellaneous club papers

11: Museum Feasibility Papers-1974-75

12: Meetings-1973 (notebook), Catharine Traill Naturalists' Club Minutes and Notes-1975 (notebook), Minutes-1980-93, Duties of Secretary, Slate for nomination 1975 and 1985

13: Executive Meeting Agenda 1980-93

14: Statement of Income and Expenses-1976- 78, 1980-86, 1989-90, miscellaneous insurance papers-1992    

15: Miscellaneous undated notes and papers  

16: Membership/Address Lists-1974, 1976-78, 1982-83, 1987, 1990-92

17: News Clippings and Announcements 1973-92

18: Field trips (miscellaneous papers,notes and brochures)

19: Mont St. Hilaire Workshops-November 15- 16, 1986, May 30-31,1987

20: Trip Reports-1982, 1984-86

21: South Moresby Caravan 1986

22: The Pedagogical Use of Field Trips Workshop-1982

23: Alpine Biology Workshop at Banff-1986, Funding proposal, letters and notes, Hold Harmless clause

24: The Huntsman Marine Laboratory program Schedule-July 1-7, 1979, Participant List, Follow-up Letters, Program Questionnaires, Marine Sciences for Fishermen course outline-March 4-9, 1979, (miscellaneous notes and papers for planning workshop and arrangements)

25: The Huntsman Marine Laboratory Program Assessments-July 1979, Proposed schedule for July 1979, (miscellaneous notes and letters for planning the program)

26: The Huntsman Marine Laboratory-1980 participant list, 1980 registration forms, Huntsman Marine Laboratory Newsletter August, 1979, Huntsman Marine Laboratory Fee Schedule January, 1981, (miscellaneous notes and letters about the program)

27: Newfoundland Workshop-July 17-26, 1985, participant lists, application forms, participant biographies, letters pertaining to the workshop

28: Newfoundland Exchange-Tentative Program, letters and pamphlets pertaining to the exchange, Information about Newfoundland

29: Newfoundland Exchange 1985-Proposed budget, Expenses, miscellaneous letters regarding the exchange

Red Binder-contains resume of George McKiel, past president of the Catharine Traill Naturalists' Club, letters about the exchange, proposed itineraries, student participant list, student application forms and information about Newfoundland

30: Catharine Traill Workshop at Trent University-May 1-3, 1992 (miscellaneous letters and papers)

31: Catharine Traill Workshop-Evaluation papers

32: Catharine Traill Workshop budget papers and participant lists

33: Lunenburg Workshop-summer 1993-notes and correspondences for planning of the workshop

34: Lunenburg Workshop-June 13-20, 1993- Itinerary, Expenses, Participant Lists, Evaluations

35: Writings by past and present members- Joanne Barbeau and Bob Clout, Wendy Dathan, George McKiel, George and Jean McKiel, Tienka Hipkins, Elizabeth Parnis and Dennis W. Woodland, Elizabeth Parnis, and Roger Bider, Recipes for wild foods prepared by members are also included

Box 2

Catharine Traill Naturalists' Club News letters No.1 (February, 1974)-No.186 (March, 1994), No.189 (September, 1994)- No.192 (January, 1995). The Club intends to send regular updates of this Newsletter to the Archives.


Box 3


1 Personal Papers of George McKiel, Elizabeth Parnis (1 letter), Wendy Dathan (2 letters)- Founding members of the Catharine Traill Naturalists' Club

2 Personal Correspondence to George McKiel from Ben Lapin (Montreal Field Naturalists' 1983-85)