This fonds documents a social and family history spanning almost one century. It revolves primarily around three women: Elizabeth Smith Shortt, and her daughters, Muriel Clarke and Lorraine Shortt. The fonds contains family correspondence, 1880 - 1970, general correspondence 1876-1970, manuscripts, diaries, typescripts, pamphlets, clippings and photographs.
Correspondence includes Cecil B. and Senator E.D. Smith, the Smith and Shortt family letters, Adam and Elizabeth Shortt love letters, but primarily correspondence during and after the war period between Elizabeth, her daughters Muriel and Lorraine, until Elizabeth's death in 1949. Letters follow Elizabeth Smith through Queen's University, her role in formation of the Queen's Medical School for women, her concern with local and national councils of women, and a variety of clubs, commissions, and organizations. Correspondents includes Augusta Stowe-Gullen, Dr. Jennie K. Trout, Eliza Fitzgerald, Lady Ishbel Aberdeen. Also present are 15 manuscript diaries kept by E. Smith Shortt covering the period from 1872-1932 (typescript available for first 8 diaries). Diaries 1892-1911 are memoirs of Shortts' European trips. 23 diaries or day books kept by Lorraine Shortt from 1912-1943 are also present.
The fonds contains also approximately 50 manuscript addresses, reports and speeches given by Elizabeth Shortt, as well as speeches by Lorraine Shortt. About 100-150 pamphlets and leaflets on a variety of subjects document Elizabeth's interests and activities, especially war period and restoration, National Council of Women, Mother's Allowance Commission, etc. Also present are clippings from 1800-1960, original and photocopied newspaper and magazine clippings and articles arranged under about 50 headings dealing with the Shortt and Smith families, and with a multiplicity of organized groups that formed at the turn of the century. Miscellaneous documents include notebooks of Elizabeth Shortt's subjects at Queen's Medical School, certificates, records of investments, bank records, war medals, autograph books, and scrapbook belonging to the family. Photograph albums and approximately 100 loose photographs of family and friends complete this fonds.