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Ella Smith: Information

A virtual exhibition on one of Mount Allison University's most fascinating scholars.



Archival work on the arrangement and description of the Ella L. Smith fonds was originally conducted between 2004 and 2006 during a project on the Winthrop P. Bell fonds.  That initial work was entirely funded by a significant grant from the Marjorie Young Bell Endowment Fund Committee, Mount Allison University.

This work introduced Ella L. Smith to a new generation of researchers.  Subsequently, her life was written about in the Women's and Gender Studies "We were here" project (2006) under the late Dr. Marie Hammond-Callaghan.  Further work was conducted in 2019-2020 on the transcriptions of her Spanish period correspondence by students of Dr. Lauren Beck in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

Gratitude is expressed to these faculty members and their students, archival assistant Renée Belliveau who constructed and organized this virtual exhibition, great-nephew Jim Fergusson for donating records that expand our understanding of her life and memories and reminiscences from contemporaries which are shared on this virtual exhibition.

The Mount Allison University Archives is very pleased that through this special project access to these private records has been greatly increased and the life and contributions of Ella L. Smith may now be better understood and appreciated.


David Mawhinney

17 March 2021


Mount Allison University would like to acknowledge, honour, and pay respect to the traditional owners and custodians (from all four directions), of the land on which we meet. It is upon ancestral lands of the Mi’kmaw and Wolastoquyik (Maliseet) peoples that Mount Allison University is built.


In keeping with the mission of the Mount Allison University Archives to acquire, preserve and make available the records in its holdings, the preparation of this virtual exhibition is intended to provide increased access to original documents. However, viewers are reminded that the photographs and images of documents used in this exhibition are provided for the purposes of research, private study, general interest and reference only.

Access to the photographs and images of these documents and the technical capacity to download them does not imply permission for re-use. Any use other than those cited above, including publication or re-distribution in any form, electronic and publishing/broadcasting on the Web, or use in an exhibition or display, requires written permission from the Mount Allison University Archives.

Materials made available in this online exhibition may also be subject to additional restrictions including, but not limited to, the rights of copyright and privacy. Users should be aware of their responsibility for determining the existence of such rights and acquiring all necessary permissions.

For information on this virtual exhibition and the archival documents featured in it please contact:

David Mawhinney, University Archivist
Mount Allison University Archives
Ralph Pickard Bell Library
49 York Street
Sackville New Brunswick
E4L 1C6

Telephone : (506) 364-2563
Fax : (506) 364-2617

Technical information

The objective of the Ella Smith virtual exhibition was to digitize and provide online access to some of the original documents in the holdings of the Mount Allison University Archives which relate to her life, work, and family. In this way, the Archives hopes to draw attention to the value of archival material as both a research tool and a teaching tool. Archival documents featured were selected from the fonds. 

The Project implementation was broken into the following processes:

*Research and Selection
*Topic identification, arrangement and text
*Metadata collection
*Web design and access



The scanning was carried out by Renée Belliveau, Archival intern (2018-2021). 

File Format : TIF and JPEG
Digital Resolution : 300 to 600 dpi

Images are stored on the Mount Allison University server and most of the images used in this virtual exhibition are also available on the Mount Allison Archives Descriptions Database. Every effort was made to respect the integrity of the original documents. Therefore, minimal action was taken to correct imperfections in the originals. Cropping the original photograph was inevitable in certain instances. Occasionally, long outside scans were stitched together into panorama images using the open-source image editing software, IrfanView, version X.



Structural metadata has been gathered during the scanning process. The structural metadata files contain information about the pagination of the document and correlation between filename and identification (retrieval) numbers.

Descriptive metadata for fonds includes title / statement of responsibility, dates of creation, physical extent, biographical sketch, custodial history, scope and content, source of title, related materials, associated materials, finding aids, immediate source of acquisition, physical description, notes, and retrieval number.

Descriptive metadata for items includes retrieval number, title, date, restrictions on access, use and reproduction.



Web design for the virtual exhibition was carried out by Renée Belliveau. The banner was also created by Renée Belliveau from archival documents and images (7304/2/5/8 and 2003.08/1/23) using Photo Editor Movavi 5.6 and Canva.



The Ella Smith virtual exhibition will be supported online through the Mount Allison Libraries and Archives LibGuide platform from 2021 onward.