Fonds F0491 - Ruth Dworin fonds

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Ruth Dworin fonds

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  • Sound recording
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Physical description

2.1 m of textual records
337 audio cassettes
265 audio discs
57 objects: t-shirts
1 container of objects : buttons

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Biographical history

Ruth Dworin is a freelance bookkeeper, arts administrator, artistic produces, and tour organizer. After meeting Lucia "Kim" Kimber and Kathy Lewis at the 4th National Women's Music Festival in Champaign-Urbana in 1977 and several more events, the three women established Women's Music Archives as a non-profit organization based at Kimber's home in Fairfield, Connecticut in the fall of 1978. The WMA served "the primary function of the Women's Music Archives is to collect and preserve, for herstorical listening and research purposes, all types of materials related to women's music." The bulk of the collection focused on "woman-identified, woman-made music, primarily, though not exclusively feminist and lesbian in orientation" that "evolved as a definite entity" beginning in the early 1970s.

Dworin then founded Womynly Way Productions in September 1980 and directed the arts organization which produced concerts and events featuring women from all over North America in music, theatre, dance, and comedy until 1990. Dworin also produced the LEAF Roadshow, a cross-Canada tour featuring over fifty performers in 1989.

After consulting since 1984, Dworin established Creative Consulting in 1991 to address the administrative needs of the arts community, and to provide computer training for artists and arts administrators. She is now a bookkeeper for the Chocolate Woman Collective (formed in 2007), an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and inter-generational collective, comprised of senior Indigenous artists, scholars, and their collaborators to research and create the theatrical performance.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records that resulted from Ruth Dworin's activities as a music promoter, queer activist, community organizer and business manager, as well as her personal life and interests. The fonds includes correspondence, diaries, calendars, files related to her production company, Womynly Way, and files related to her work as business manager of This Magazine and Canadian Woman Studies. Recordings include performances from the Women's Music Festival, Berkeley World Music Festival, and the Michigan Women's Music Festival.

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Donated by Ruth Dworin in 2005.


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Some material digitized. See item level descriptions.

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To be determined.

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Associated materials

Dworin's collection of over 900 lesbian pulp novels from the mid-twentieth century as well as works of non-fiction, popularized science and psychology works, and memoirs related to lesbianism is available through the York University Library catalogue at

An exhibit featuring this collection is available at

Material pertaining to Womynly Way Productions can also be found at the University of Ottawa’s Archives and Special Collections (Collection 10-001 - Canadian Women's Movement Archives (CWMA) collection).

See also the Women's Music Archives records and collected music collection at Smith College Libraries (SSC-MS-00552).

Related materials


The fonds comprises the following accessions: 2005-046 and 2014-048. Further accruals may be expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2006/02/16 Sean Smith:. (Creation)
2006/02/16 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist
2014/07/22 Migrated to AtoM.
2019/01/03 KCP, NZ. Post-migration metadata clean-up. Addition of GMD and accession numbers. Published description and generated finding aid. Added pulp collection and exhibit note.
2020/03/26 KCP, N. Somerset. Added subject access points.
2020/05/26 KCP. Added digitized material notes.
2020/10/27 KCP. Added series. Updated extent and dates. Added related material note (uOttawa).

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