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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 10-002


Fern Rahmel fonds. Additions. -- 1887-2009. -- 70 cm of textual records. -- ca. 750 photographs.

Biography / History

Fern Alma Rahmel was born in Peterborough in 1914. She attended Peterborough Normal School in 1932-1933 and was editor of the 1932-1933 year book. She taught in elementary and later secondary schools. In 1970 she had been a Peterborough teacher for 20 years with the English Department of the Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School (PCVS). She was Department Head before she retired. She was also assistant to Gwyn Kinsey, editor of "Saturday Night." She was an active participant in theatre and writing. Fern aided Robertson Davies in research while he was editor of the Peterborough Examiner. She wrote children's educational radio plays for CBC. In the 1970 Spring Convocation, Trent University awarded her a honorary Doctor of Laws degree. She was a sustaining member of the Friends of the Bata Library and had been since its inception. She gave talks to the Peterborough Historical Society and published an occasional paper on F.M. de la Fosse, Peterborough's first librarian. Fern died November 28, 2009.

Scope and Content

Fonds consists of diaries, photographs, correspondence, certificates, play scripts and playbills, research material, speeches, short stories, reviews and critiques, genealogies, newspaper clippings and greeting cards related to the life of Fern Rahmel. Also included is a panoramic photograph entitled Sirmilik Hoodoos Panorama by Dr. Roberta Bondar, framed and presented to Rahmel by Trent University.


Custodial History:
Fonds was in the custody of the Fern Rahmel estate before it was donated to Trent University via Lois Davidson.

Immediate Source:
This fonds was acquired via Lois Davidson in 2010. Additional material received via Lois Davidson September 2010 and interfiled.


This fonds, along with 94-005, 97-1020, and 98-006, is an addition to 88-003.

The framed panoramic photograph is located in the Large Materials Cabinet - Drawer 48.


Finding Aid

Box 1

1. Miscellaneous pamphlets, etc.
2. Scrapbook of playbills and newspaper clippings related to Rahmel's theatre productions, 1947-1972; also miscellaneous newspaper clippings
3. Birth, marriage, and death certificates of family members and friends, 1887-1948
4. Obituaries, funeral programs, & related newspaper clippings, 1952-1999; 2009
5. Loomis family history: notebook, newspaper clippings, photographs, correspondence, 1909-1910; 1919; 1952
6. Loomis family genealogy: family tree, correspondence, 1994
7. Ernest W. Rahmel (father) employment documents, i.e. Canadian General Electric (includes 25 years service certificate located on top of box); Pembroke Machining Company
8. Paper entitled "Tales out of School" by Rahmel, ca. 197?
9. Teaching certificates, contracts, related correspondence, 1927-1972
10. Trent University honorary degree: correspondence, citation, convocation program, newspaper clippings, press release, certificate (located on top of box), 1969-1972
11. Correspondence, 1947-2003
12. Greeting cards: congratulatory cards re honorary degree and retirement, etc.
13. Correspondence: congratulatory letters re honorary degree and retirement
14. King George School (Peterborough) reunion: correspondence, class photographs (copies), graduate lists, newspaper clipping, 1998
15. Park Street Baptist Church Women's Baptist Society: programs and pamphlets, correspondence, membership certificate, 1945-1979
16. Robertson Davies: correspondence, invitations, newspaper clippings, photograph of Davies's daughter and grandchildren, 1948-2001
16a. Margaret Laurence: newspaper clippings, letter to Rahmel from Laurence (1972) - note: the letter was received in the Archives loosely inserted inside Rahmel's copy of The Stone Angel by Laurence- see Trent Collection PS8523 .A77 S8 1968B
17. Articles by Rahmel written for Saturday Night and Peterborough Examiner: typescripts and clippings, 1948-1967
18. Theatre Guild: research material, notes, and script for "Murder in the Cathedral," 1973
19. Theatre Guild: photograph, playbill, copy of play script with stage directions and notations for "A Sleep of Prisoners," June 1966
20. Theatre Guild: miscellaneous: correspondence, newspaper clippings, cards, program, budget, 1966-1981
21. Play scripts, undated
22. Shakespeare Club: papers by Rahmel delivered at Club meetings; includes newspaper and magazine clippings, notes, correspondence, 1954-2002
23. Canadian Rose Society: speech with notes and drawings delivered by Rahmel at annual meeting; also ribbons received for prize-winning roses; correspondence, 1997-1998
24. Speeches by Rahmel delivered at Women's Institute: note cards, speech, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, 1968-1971
25. University Women's Club (Peterborough): speeches delivered by Rahmel, correspondence, certificate of recognition, newspaper clippings, program, 1937-2005; also 2 booklets: "Annus Aureus mcmlxxxvii: The Golden Year 1987: A History of the University Women's Club of Peterborough, Ontario 1937-1987"; "Forty Years On: Being a History of the University Women's Club of Peterborough 1937-1977"
26. Speech by Rahmel re Christopher Fry; includes research material, 1950-1951
27. Grammar and composition reports/papers for the "Toronto seminar," 1965
28. F.M. de la Fosse: paper re de la Fosse by Rahmel, also published edition, program, newspaper clippings, correspondence, 1994-2002
29. Reviews/critiques by Rahmel of plays by James Reaney, Arnold Wesker, Shelagh Delaney, T.S. Eliot; includes copy of Reaney's play "The Kildeer", n.d.
30. Short stories by Rahmel

Box 2

1. Photographs of Rahmel (includes a painting or tinted photograph of Rahmel as a child)
2. Photographs of family and friends
3. Photographs of Loomis family

On top of box: one out-sized photograph

Loose in box:
3 photograph albums
23 diaries, 1946-2007
1 plaque: Audio Library Trent University Volunteer of the Year, 1975
Certificate of appreciation from Peterborough Public Library, 1983 (rolled)
Certificate of Recognition from Kiwanis International, Peterborough Kiwanis Music Festival, 1999
Certificate: Summer Radio Institute, Queen's University, for courses completed in summer 1945 Loose on shelf

Photograph album

Family Bible (contains genealogical information)

Large Materials Cabinet - Drawer 48:

Panoramic photograph entitled Sirmilik Hoodoos Panorama by Dr. Roberta Bondar, framed and "presented to Fern A. Rahmel in recognition of her generous support, leadership and commitment to Trent University, June, 2005"