Centre for Women's Studies in Education (CWSE) fonds

Reference Code: Fonds - F 4698
Title: Centre for Women's Studies in Education (CWSE) fonds
Date of Creation: [ca. 1970]-[ca. 2016]
Date(s) of Accumulation: 1976-2016
Physical Description:

268 posters : offset lithographic prints (243 colour, 24 black and white, 1 black and white and colour)

15 posters : photomechanical reproductions

6 posters : colour laser copies

5 posters : screen prints

2 posters : sepia diazotypes

1 poster : linocut print

1 poster : halftone print

Scope and Content:

Fonds consists of posters created and collected by the Women's Educational Research Centre (WERC), the Centre for Women's Studies in Education (CWSE) and their associates while carrying out feminist educational and research activities as well as supporting advocacy, activism, and community organizing.

A majority of the posters originate in Ontario, including many from the Toronto area. Creators include WERC / CWSE themselves; student associations; university departments; activist groups; community organizations; unions; university departments; and artists (female comedians, theatre groups, musicians, visual artists, filmmakers etc.) Many of the posters depict special events (e.g. lectures, conferences, performances, demonstrations) and services (e.g. legal aid, counselling, health services). Some are aimed at particular communities of women including African, Chinese, Filipino, Indigenous, Jewish and South Asian.

Some posters were also created by government bodies, non-governmental organizations, and others to raise awareness of women's issues such as childcare, sexual harassment in the workplace, domestic violence, reproductive rights, girls' education, gender stereotypes, non-traditional careers, body image etc. Other posters depict themes related to women's issues including racism, poverty, and LGBTQ rights. Certain posters are also commemorative in nature, marking special days such as International Women's Day, or the anniversary of the Montreal massacre.

Posters created by the CWSE include items produced for inclusion in an educational kit (the “Women's Kit”) which was widely used by schools in the 1970s and 1980s throughout Ontario and internationally. Other posters also provide information on milestones in women's history and were meant for classroom use.

Part of the collection is comprised of posters similar to those mentioned above, but produced at the federal level, or originating from other provinces. A small number are also international in scope.

Administrative History or Biographical Sketch:

The Women's Educational Research Centre was established in 1976 by Frieda Forman as a library and resource centre for research on feminism, women's history, women's issues, and their intersection with education.

The Centre for Women's Studies in Education (CWSE) was established in 1983 within the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) as a centre for feminist education and scholarship.

Click on the link(s) below for more information.

Women's Educational Research Centre

Centre for Women's Studies in Education

Finding Aid:

An online listing is available for this fonds.

Structure of Collection:

View how this material is structured within its collection. Select items to navigate through the different available levels of description, including online series, sub-series and listings.

Restrictions on Access:

No restrictions on access.

Physical Condition:

Many of the posters have minor damage such as pin holes and slight creasing. Only significant condition-related issues are noted in the item-level descriptions.

How to order these records:

Reading Rooms: Consult the online listing to identify the records that you require. Order using reference code and barcode number.

Terms For Use and Reproduction:

Copyright has been transferred to the Archives of Ontario by the donor for items where the donor owned copyright. The fonds primarily conists of items with various copyright owners other than the donor. Certain items created by provincial and federal governments are under Crown copyright. For more information on copyright status, contact a Reference Archivist. There are no restrictions on reproduction for research and private study. If you wish to use any of this material for reasons other than research and private study, submit a Request for Permission to Publish, Exhibit or Broadcast Form.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: Donation was acquired from the Centre for Women's Studies in Education in 2017.
Custodial History: The Centre for Women's Studies in Education (CWSE) fonds (poster collection) began as part of the Women's Educational Research Centre's (WERC) collection. The items were created, collected, and accumulated through donations by faculty and associates of WERC / CWSE during their activities and travels, and also as a by-product of CWSE's own activities. When WERC was dissolved in 1998, as a result of the merger of OISE with the University of Toronto, the collection was transferred to CWSE's ownership. Additional items were later added by CWSE.
Related Material:

There are several fonds in the Archives of Ontario's holdings from women's advocacy organizations including F 798 Provincial Council of Women of Ontario fonds, F 207 Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Ontario fonds, F 4570 Older Women's Network Ontario fonds, and F 4706 Ontario Women's History Network fonds.

Government records related to this collection include records series created by the Ontario Women's Directorate, the Ontario Status of Women Council, and the Ontario Advisory Council on Women's Issues. Please search the Archives Descriptive Database using these government body names to identify the associated series.


The text for some item-level descriptions has been drawn from exhibit labels from an exhibit, "Women's Poster Project: Feminist Organizing!", which was held at the Centre for Women's Studies in Education in 2014.