This site is the creation of a team of funding partners, researchers, technical specialists, instructional specialists, translators, editors and administrators, and relies on the historical records preserved in museums, archives and private collections.

Funding Partners

This website was made possible by the financial contributions of the following institutions:

Department of Canadian Heritage, Canadian Culture Online Initiative

Mount Royal College, Calgary

University of Victoria

Université de Sherbrooke

Production Partners

Mount Royal College

University of Victoria, History Department

University of Victoria, Humanities Computing and Media Centre

University of Sherbrooke, Department of History and Political Science

University of Sherbrooke Translation Program

The Department of Theory and Policy Studies of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

TC², The Critical Thinking Consortium

Hothouse Marketing

Archival/Museum Partners

Archives and Research Collections Centre, University of Western Ontario

Ontario Archives

National Archives of Canada (Library and Archives Canada)

Lucan Area Heritage & Donnelly Museum

Staff — Donnelly Website

This was a team effort. The research co-directors for the project were Dr. Jennifer Pettit and Dr. Kori Street of Mount Royal College. They traveled to various archives and locations to conduct the research for this site. Pettit and Street selected which documents would appear on the site. They also wrote the introductory text, timelines and cast of character biographies. In addition, they contributed interpretations about the events surrounding the Donnelly murders.
Documents were transcribed and proofed by Michelle Abat, Elia Gindin, Jennifer Goodwin and Louise Richard, students at Mount Royal College.

Rachel Rouleau undertook the task of translating the site from English to French. The translation proofreader was Marie Gagnon.

Ruth Sandwell created the teachers’ guides and handouts for the Donnelly website.


The website was designed by Don Craig of Hot House Marketing & Design in Victoria. Both the Irish background of the Donnellys, and the dark nature of their murders inspired the colours of the site. The drawings of James and Johannah were sketches that originally appeared in newspapers after the murders, as did the drawing of Johnny O’Connor. The drawing of the mob outside the Donnelly homestead was created by W.A. Winter. It originally appeared in Macleans magazine. The drawing of the mob entering the home and arresting Tom Donnelly by E.J. Dinsmore also originally appeared in Macleans magazine. All of these drawings and illustrations are used here with permission.

Technical Production

Technical Advisors: Scott Gerrity and Stewart Arneil

Programming: Amanuel Moges

Website Mark Up: Patrick Szpack, Naomi Eichenlaub

Editorial and Database

Heather Gleboff

Carolyne Blanchard

Glen Wigmore


Merna Forster, Executive Director

Françoise McNeil, Translation Co-ordinator

Dr. John Lutz, Co-director
Dr. Ruth Sandwell, Co-director
Dr. Peter Gossage, Co-director

Special Thanks

This project was greatly aided by the hard work and generosity of a number of individuals who merit special thanks:

Ray Fazakas, the pre-eminent authority on the Donnellys, was kind enough to grant us permission to utilize a number of photographs and items from his extensive personal collection. He also contributed one of the interpretations on this site. Moreover, his books on the Donnellys were invaluable to our work. They can be purchased at The Official Donnelly Website .

Likewise, the research undertaken by James Reaney, found at the Archives and Research Collections Centre at the University of Western Ontario, was very important to the creation of this website.

J. Robert Salts allowed us to utilize a number of photographs from his personal collection; in addition, he permitted the project to take a number of photographs of the Donnelly homestead as it appears today. Salts’ book on what it is like to live at the homestead can be purchased at at The Official Donnelly Website. In addition, anyone interested in the Donnellys would enjoy one of Salts’ tours of the homestead.

Donald Cosens, editor of The Donnelly Tragedy, 1880-1980 which is no longer in print, allowed us to use a number of drawings from the book.

Peter McKeown, author of A Donnelly Treatise: After the Massacre granted us permission to use data from one of the maps in his book.

Dennis Duffy, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Toronto, provided one of the interpretations on this site, as did Dr. Lesley Erickson, a specialist in legal history.

Natalie O’Toole of Mount Royal College prepared a map and a number of charts based on census data, and Roland Longpre produced a number of diagrams and maps for the website.

Léon Robichaud of the Université de Sherbrooke oversaw production of the 3-D elements of the website.

The staff at the Archives and Research Collections Centre at the University of Western Ontario also deserve thanks. In particular, John Lutman, Theresa Regnier and Barry Arnott were very helpful.

Likewise, the staff and volunteers at the Lucan Area Heritage & Donnelly museum were generous enough to allow us to utilize a number of their sources, as well as to photograph their reconstruction of the Donnelly home.

Finally, our family, friends and colleagues deserve thanks. Terry Zelinsky of the Mount Royal College finance department and Darlene Williams of the Faculty of Arts Deans’ Office helped the co-directors navigate the complex world of finance administration. Dorothy Pettit accompanied Jennifer on a number of research trips, and she provided a home for Jennifer while she researched the Donnellys. Connie Noviss led Jennifer on a research trip to Glencoe and Wardsville. Most importantly, Jennifer and Kori would like to thank their partners, Gregory and Peg.

Website Creation Date