Fonds MSS SC 35 (A1980-010) - Mary Speechly fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Mary Speechly fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

CA UMASC MSS SC 35 (A1980-010)

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


Physical description area

Physical description

1 cm of textual records, 1 photograph

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Mary Barrett was born in London, England in 1873. She received a B.A. from University College, Liverpool in 1892 and then studied at Cambridge. In 1895 she married Dr. Henry Speechly. She joined Henry in Pilot Mound, Manitoba. Within the next year she began work as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Anglican Church. In 1912 she became president of the Pilot Mound Home Economics Society and was an advocate of home economics and domestic science.

In 1916 she moved to Winnipeg with her children while her husband served overseas. She was a member of the Agricultural Women's Association, the Women's Institute of Manitoba, the University Women's Club, and the head of the Women's Canadian Club. As the Treasurer and then President of the Winnipeg Red Cross she later acted as the first Director of the Manitoba Junior Red Cross. In 1924 she was appointed to the council of the Manitoba Agricultural College. She helped found the Family Planning Association of Manitoba and became the first president of the Winnipeg Birth Control Society in 1934. Speechly was appointed the first female member of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba in 1933 where she served until her retirement in 1946. In 1947 she received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.) from the University of Manitoba. She died in Winnipeg in 1968.

Custodial history

Margaret Speechly Stansfield, Mary Speechly's daughter, donated this fonds to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in 1980.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of Speechly's notes on her life activities and achievements, a paper presented by her on social conditions (1954), a paper on the formation of the Winnipeg Birth Control Society (1934), and a letter to Winnipeg Foundation requesting a grant for the Family Planning Association. Yearly reports prepared by Mrs. Speechly for the Family Planning Association of Winnipeg for 1948, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1964 and 1965 as well as the rough drafts of yearly reports for 1957 and 1958 are included. The script for the CBC broadcast entitled Woman of the Century Radio Letter by Jessica Swail (1967) is included. The fonds also contains Mrs. P.H.T. Thorlakson's presentation on the occasion of awarding Ms. Speechly the degree of Doctor of Laws, items and testimonials relating to Ms. Speechly's retirement party and 90th birthday party, clippings regarding the opening of Mary Speechly Hall at the University of Manitoba in 1964, copies of Institute News for March 1960 and 1964 and a black and white photograph of Mary Speechly. Finally, a letter from Eileen Mestery to Ms. Bishop regarding the history of the Winnipeg Family Planning Association, 6 February 1980, is included.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

A finding aid can be downloaded by clicking on the “Download’ link under “Finding Aid” on the right hand side of the screen.

Generated finding aid

Associated materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Finding aid created and encoded by Brett Lougheed (July 2006). Revised by N. Courrier ( July 2019).

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres