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: 96-1012


Grasses from Stony Lake gatheredand mounted by Cathe Parr Traill... -- July 1893-Sept. 1893. --1 item.

Biography / History

Catharine Parr Traill was born in Rotherhithe near London, England on January 9, 1802 as Catharine Parr Strickland. She was the fifth child of Thomas and Elizabeth Strickland. She was sister to Eliza, Jane Margaret, Susanna (later Susanna Moodie), Samuel and Agnes. In 1832 she married Lt. Thomas Traill. She emigrated with her husband to Upper Canada when the opportunity provided itself and they settled near the Otonabee River near Peterborough, Upper Canada. Together they had nine children. Catharine wrote a number of works on pioneer life in Upper Canada such as "The Backwoods of Canada" (1834), "Canadian Crusoes" (1853), "The Female Emigrants Guide" (1854), "Canadian Wild Flowers" (1868) and "Studies of Plant Life in Canada" (1885). She also kept a journal and in it she wrote down ideas and sketches for future writings. "The Old Doctor" (1985) was probably written between 1835 and 1840 when John Hutchinson, a native of Kirkcaldy, Scotland, was practising medicine in Peterborough, Upper Canada. Before emigrating Catharine had published a number of childrens books and stories in England. Catharine Parr Traill died on August 29, 1899. (Taken from: "Forest and Other Gleanings." Ottawa, University of Ottawa Press, 1994.)

Custodial History

This scrapbook was created by Catharine ParrTraill and given to her friend James Fletcher, a botanist at thePlant Research Institute of the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa,Ontario. His successor, William G. Dore, found the scrapbook atthe Central Experimental Farm. Eventually through her friendshipwith W.G. Dore, Jean Murray-Cole acquired the scrapbook and in1971 donated it to the Trent University Archives. (Taken from:Blythe, Mollie. "History as Storytelling: Mrs. Traill's Scrapbookof Stoney Lake Grasses." from "The Peterborough Review."Vol. 1, No. 1. 1994.)

Scope and Content

This item is a scrapbook compiled by CatharineParr Traill for her friend James Fletcher and given to him January12, 1894. The inside cover has the following inscriptions: "Grassesfrom Stony Lake gathered and mounted by Cathe Parr Traill - Aged92 years." These specimans are from the Island of Minnie Wa-Waand Otter Island. July-September 1893" and "With Mrs.Traill's kind wishes to her much valued and esteemed friend JamesFletcher F.S.L.S. & etc. January 12th, 1894". The scrapbookconsists of 20 pages, 18 which have pressed grasses, from theStoney Lake area of Island of Minne Wa-Wa and Otter Island, gluedonto them. Also included in the scrapbook is a speciman list ofthe grasses and a photocopy of an article, entitled "Grassesfrom Stony Lake Gathered and Mounted by Cathe Parr Traill - Aged92 Years". The article was written by William G. Dore andpublished in "The Ontario Naturalist" in 1966.

Another scrap book assembled by Catharine Parr Traill was donated to Trent University in 1965 and placed in the archives alongside the grasses scrapbook in 2008. It shows mosses gathered in the Stoney Lake area. At some point, the pages were taken apart, mounted and framed in two large frames each containing three pages of mosses; one medium frame containing "Sedges & grass, with mosses, from the bank below the garden at Westove. Gathered and arranged for Katie. With Grandmother's dear love. Oct. 24th, 1889"; and one small frame with Traill's autograph.


The grasses scrapbook is very fragile and has beendismantled. The pages of the scrapbook have been ecapsulated inmylar. Before the scrapbook was dismantled it was photographed by Jane Boyko, research assistant. The prints and negatives are housed in the Archivist's office.

This item was donated by Jean Murray Cole.

Restrictions: N

Associated material located at the NationalArchives of Canada, the Bodleian Library in Oxfordshire, England;the Ipswich Branch of the Suffolk Record Office in Suffolk, Englandand the Scottish Records Office in Lothian, Scotland.

For related records see: 69-001, 74-003, 77-010,82-022, 86-011, 83-1021, 86-1000, 93-1004, 93-1013, 94-007, 95-004and 96-008.

Located in Large Materials Cabinet - Drawer 34.