Héritage preserves J.S. Woodsworth fonds

Heritage, a project to digitize and provide access to vast troves of unpublished archival material, has preserved the personal papers of J.S. Woodsworth (1874-1942), a minister and politician and a pioneer in the Canadian social-democratic movement.


Woodsworth was ordained a minister in 1896 and spent two years as a circuit preacher in Manitoba before studying at the University of Toronto and Oxford University. He was director of the All People's Mission from 1908 to 1913, ministering to the poor and the working class and seeing the appalling conditions in which people lived. This led him to write a number of books that still remain basic reading on the history of social practice and reform in Canada: Strangers Within Our Gates (1909), My Neighbour (1911), and Studies in Rural Citizenship (1915).

In 1913, Woodsworth accepted an appointment as Secretary of the Canadian Welfare League, and between 1915 and 1917, served as director of the Bureau of Social Research for the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. In 1921 he was elected to the House of Commons as an independent labour candidate for Winnipeg North Centre, and he continued to represent that riding until his death in 1942. He was one of the founders of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (forerunner to the New Democratic Party) in 1932 during the Great Depression and was its leader until his resignation in 1940.

About the Resource

These fonds include correspondence, subject files, reports of the Bureau of Social Research, printed material, souvenirs, personal papers and scrapbooks. Original correspondence and memoranda has been removed from some of the scrapbooks.

Permanent link: http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.lac_mikan_106890