Archives Exhibits

On-Site Exhibit

Poster with the text Native Theatre School presents E PI MAWINIHUTH, a theatre collective of pageantry and mystery with a drawing of the profile of a face. Text around the poster reads From the archives, archival display in nBata Atrium on Indigenous Drama and Performance

Celebrating Indigenous Performance History

June 2024, Trent University Archives exhibit cases, Bata Atrium and the Archives (BL 117)

Curator: Angela Bell

This exhibit highlights a recent acquisition of Indigenous performance materials, donated in August 2023 by Professor Emerita Marrie Mumford, Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Arts and Literature at Trent. Prof. Mumford was integral to the development of many Indigenous performance initiatives, including Nozhem, The First People’s Performance Space at Trent. 

Performance in various forms is a prominent aspect in Indigenous cultures across the world. Further, it is an integral part of resurgence and reclaiming Indigenous identity.

The collection documents Mumford’s work with many organizations, including the Native Theatre School (Toronto), the Association for Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts (ANDPVA), the Aboriginal Arts Program at the Banff Centre, the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, and of course Nozhem. This one-of-a-kind collection – which will amount to more than 100 boxes – includes posters, programs, sound and video recordings, photographs, correspondence, scripts, planning notes, and much more. It is currently being processed so that it can soon be accessed by researchers

Read about past on-site exhibits.

Digital Exhibits

Our digital exhibits showcase our holdings, using digital images and transcriptions of textual material to tell stories. In addition to these exhibits, a variety of letters, diaries, court records, and more have been also transcribed and digitized for researchers. Past Archives Newsletters also offer interesting glimpses into our collections.

Sepia photograph of women in nurses uniform posed outside

Nursing Sister Helen Fowlds: A Canadian Nurse in World War I 

A chronicle of the life and service of Helen Lauder Fowlds Marryat, a Canadian nurse who served in World War I, offering a personal glimpse into the challenges and experiences of nurses during the conflict through her letters, diaries, and photographs. Born in Hastings, Ontario in 1889 and enlisting immediately upon the outbreak of war, Helen's journey took her from military training in Quebec to serving in hospitals across France, Greece, Malta, and England, highlighting the role nurses played in the war effort.  



Black and white photograph of four people on a front step

Richard Birdsall Rogers: Designer of the Peterborough Lift Lock 

Learn about the life and achievements of Richard Birdsall Rogers, an engineer who played a pivotal role in the construction of the Peterborough Hydraulic Lift Lock, overcoming numerous challenges, including political conspiracies and court battles. It features a rich collection of Rogers' personal diaries, drawings, correspondence, and photographs preserved at Trent University Archives, offering a unique insight into the engineering marvel's history.  



A man standing on the shore of a canal with a camera taking a photograph of lift locks

Trent Canal 

The Geale-Rogers papers (82-022) showcase the pioneering work of Richard Birdsall Rogers, the supervising engineer behind the design of the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world, opened in Peterborough, Ontario in 1904. This collection includes over 1000 photographs, many captured by Rogers himself, documenting the construction of the Trent Valley Canal, along with detailed diaries and additional photographs that celebrate his contributions to engineering. 



Painting of a house on the water with a boat and two people in the yard

Harriet Pengelley, 1835-1836 

A look at the life of Harriet Brock Pengelley, a skilled artist and diarist who moved from the Isle of Guernsey to Canada in 1835-1836, settling in Monaghan, on the north shore of Rice Lake. Through her watercolors and diaries, the exhibit captures Harriet's struggles and disillusionment as a settler in early Canada, highlighting her brief and tragic life after relocating to manage a vast land grant. 



Three people in construction helmets pointing at a building, with someone walking by in the background

Ron Thom at Trent University. Precambrian Sublime: Bauhaus in the New World 

A collection showcasing the work of Ron Thom, the Master Planning Architect of Trent University. The exhibit highlights Thom's approach to site planning, emphasizing his respect for the natural landscape and the harmony he achieved through careful consideration of scale and design. Learn about Thom's vision for Trent University, characterized by low building heights that preserve unobstructed views of the surrounding hills, creating an intimate campus setting.  



Aerial photograph of land and buildings with a river running through it

Trent University: The Early Days 

A photo collection of life on the Trent campus in its early years. Find photos of Rubidge Hall, the colleges, happenings around the campus, sports, and events. 



Painting of a woman

Women Pioneers in the Peterborough Area: Letters, Diaries and Photographs 

This exhibit pulls material from across the Trent University Archives, highlighting the stories and contributions of six pioneer women in Peterborough County who emigrated to Upper Canada between 1822 and 1883: Frances Stewart, Harriet Pengelley, Isabella Miller, Anna Maria Leveridge, Susanna Moodie, and Catharine Parr Traill. Their occupations, ranging from authors to homemakers, and their experiences in the wilderness offer a unique glimpse into local pioneer life as an early settler. 



Black and white photograph of a man in a suit

Winnett Boyd: Jet Engineer Designer 

This exhibit offers a preview of the Winnett Boyd papers housed at the Archives. It provides a view of the professional journey of Winnett Boyd, a notable aero engine designer and nuclear power engineer, through his correspondence, technical drawings, research notes, and patent applications. It highlights Boyd's contributions, from designing Canada's first turbo-jet engine, the CHINOOK, and later the ORENDA engine, to his work on nuclear reactor design and consulting.  



Cover of a book called Nansen's "Farthest North" with a picture of a boat on it

Special Collections and Rare Books 

A selection of rare books from the Archives, providing a sense of what’s available. For instance, an 1852 version of Roughing it in the Bush, satire from the 1700s, and a 200-year-old copy of Pilgrim’s progress. 




Black and white photograph of a man in a suit carrying a briefcase, standing on grass with a building in the background

The Irish Literary Renaissance and William Butler Yeats 

A showcase of Alfred Tennyson DeLury, a Professor and Dean at the University of Toronto, in his role collecting and preserving correspondences related to the Irish Literary Revival. Featuring letters from figures like Elizabeth Corbet Yeats, W.B. Yeats, and others, the collection offers unique insights into the cultural and political landscape of Ireland during a time of nationalistic fervor and artistic renaissance, from the early 20th century through the establishment of the Irish Free State.  



Black and white photograph of a man wearing a suit

John Beverley Robinson: New Discoveries 

An intimate look into the life and legacy of John Beverley Robinson, a prominent Canadian politician, lawyer, and businessman who served as the mayor of Toronto, was a member of both provincial and federal parliaments, and held the position of the fifth Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Learn about Robinson through a curated collection of correspondence and photographs housed in the Gilbert and Stewart Bagnani fonds at Trent Archives. The collection provides a biographical sketch, a detailed family tree, and a chronology of major events, enriched with scanned images and transcripts of letters.   



Photograph of three girls

Brief History of Photography 

An overview of the evolution of photographic processes and styles during a pivotal era in the history of photography: 1840-1920. From the early daguerreotypes to the advent of glass negatives, the exhibit showcases a variety of techniques including ambrotypes, tintypes, albumen prints, and the popular cartes-de-visite and cabinet photographs, each accompanied by detailed descriptions and historical contexts.