Title and statement of responsibility area
Sommer family fonds.
General material designation
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- Source of title proper: Title from the content of the fonds.
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
[1918?]-February 15, 2008 (Creation)
- Sommer family
Physical description area
1.1 metres of textual records
166 photographs : b&w, some col. ; 21 x 30 cm or smaller
1 cross-stitch : embroidery (visual work) on waste canvas ; 15 x 15 cm
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Gisela Sommer and Ulrich Sommer, both from Germany, married and had two children; Cornelius and Angelika. In pursuit of a better quality of life, Gisela and Ulrich immigrated to Canada with their two children in 1954 and settled in Georgetown, Ontario.
The Sommer family fared well in Georgetown. Gisela worked as a dietary assistant in a local hospital. Ulrich worked in an enamel factory and eventually opened his own art gallery in 1962 called Gallery House Sol. Cornelius studied to become a lawyer and worked in Toronto, Ontario. Angelika moved to Germany.
Over the course of many years, the Sommer family wrote numerous letters to each other, their friends and their family back home in Germany.
Scope and content
A compilation of personal correspondence consisting mostly of letters exchanged between members of the Sommer family, and occasionally their friends, in Canada or Germany. These letters are interspersed with details of family life and contain observations about the Sommer family’s immigration to Canada, educational pursuits, health and well-being, relationships, finances, businesses and careers, and more. Additionally, these letters contain commentary on contemporary social and political events including the aftermath of World War II, Quebec separatism, and German politics during the 1970s and 1980s. The fonds also incudes photographs, greeting cards, postcards, pamphlets and related ephemera likely exchanged alongside the letters between family members and friends.
Immediate source of acquisition
Donated in 2017.
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Copyright University of Waterloo Library.
A selection of correspondence in the fonds was translated by Lori Heffner Strauss in 2018. A report detailing all of the translation work completed is available.
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Described by NM in 2018.
Revised by NM in 2021.
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