Fonds 35

Title: Anson House fonds

Creator: Peterboro Relief Society

Dates of material: 1862-1996

Physical description: 3 cu feet

Repository: Trent Valley Archives

Reference number: Fonds 35

Scope and content:

Research materials related to the Peterboro Relief Society, Anson House, and Anson House Committee. The papers permit the historical analysis of local attitudes and approaches to social welfare, poverty and relief for the aged poor, for a period of over 130 years. The papers, almost entirely bound volumes with some loose papers interleaved, consist of four kinds of records. First there are the minutes (files 1-26), comprising about one-half the fonds, which record the actions of the Anson House Committee, and its predecessors, from 1862-1994. There are significant gaps in this major series. That for 1869 seems to reflect poor minute keeping techniques. The two other gaps 1877-1880 and for the 1950’s, reflect missing books that might yet be found. There are also records, not nearly so complete, that relate to the visitors, and to the employees. (Mainly files, 17, 31 and 32). Thirdly, there are records relating to clientele (files 34-44). There are also miscellaneous printed items of which the most significant are the annual reports for the provincial department responsible for Houses of Refuge, 1886-1888.

Access Conditions: Open to researchers.

Finding aids: Available on Site

Accruals: none expected.

Custodial history:

These records have been housed at Anson House, where they have been the responsibility of the Committee for the House. In August 2000, the records were donated to the Trent Valley Archives with a view to facilitating research into the history of Anson House.

Biographical sketch / Administrative history

The Peterboro Relief Society was founded in 1862 with a view to providing outside relief for the poor of Peterborough. The mandate was narrowed to be primarily Protestants, and primarily women and children, in 1863. The organization continued to dispense some outside relief, but beginning in May 1865 its prime concern became the Peterborough Protestant Home, located by 1870 on Steward St. just north of Brock St, and after 1911 at the location on Anson St; its name was changed to Anson House, in 1931. At different time, there were pressures (usually resisted) to have the Home operate as a House of Refuge, but its mandate was not so widened.

File List