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The Lady Aberdeen Library on the History of Women, known as the Lady Aberdeen Collection, was donated to the University of Waterloo Library in 1967 by the National Council of Women of Canada to mark the occasion of the Centennial of Canadian Confederation.
In 1954, the National Council of Women of Canada's Arts and Letters Committee began to assemble a library of material by and about women. Named in honour of Lady Aberdeen, the founder and first president of the National Council of Women, the collection grew to include not only books, but also periodicals, government documents, pamphlets, clippings, manuscripts, ephemera, and realia. The collection is particularly strong in literary and biographical works by and about Council members.
Included are some 1400 items which document the history of women through biographies and memoirs, literature, historical works, and records of women's organizations in Canada and elsewhere. Highlights among the older works in the collection include an 1852 edition of Roughing it in the Bush, by Susanna Moodie; the 1879 edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe; and the 1836 edition of The Backwoods of Canada, by Catherine Parr Traill.
The University of Waterloo has issued a catalogue of the collection: A Catalogue of the Lady Aberdeen Library on the History of Women in the University of Waterloo Library, compiled by Jane Britton (Waterloo, Ont.: University of Waterloo Library, 1982).