Collection consists of responses received by the Saskatchewan Archives following their distribution of a series of ten questionnaires to early settlers of the province, in particular those who lived in Western Canada prior to 1914. Each questionnaire focused on one of the following particular subjects: pioneer diet; general pioneer experience; schools; churches; recreation and social life; farming experiences; folklore; health; housing; and local government. The collection also includes responses to an eleventh questionnaire on Christmas that formed part of the material gathered by the Archives for a radio program and that was sent to selective respondents of the folklore questionnaire.
Questionnaire number 1 on nutrition was organized into sections on: flour and other grain products; sugars and syrups; dairy products; meat and fish; beverages; vegetables and dried fruits; canning and preserving; baking; water supply; soaps; fuels; methods of cooking and types of utensils; and wrappings and containers.
Questionnaire number 2 on pioneer experiences included questions on: places lived; income; family relations; travel; commerce; "firsts"; sources of place names; availability of historical source materials; and important changes since their arrival.
Questionnaire number 3 on schools was organized into sections on: personal experiences of early school activity; building and equipment; organization and administration; school attendance; classroom activities; school health conditions; school grounds, games and entertainment; district social life; general.
Questionnaire number 4 on churches included questions on: religious services attended; location of services; buildings used; music and choirs; organizations; youth services; activities and special events (e.g. picnics, suppers, fund raisers); administration and financial support; membership; records available; and special features.
Questionnaire number 5 on recreation and social life was organized into sections on: neighbourly visiting, parties, etc.; organizations and meetings; children's games; picnics and sports; reading; musical entertainment; hobbies and special interests; and general.
Questionnaire number 6 on farming experiences included questions on: dates, locations, and acquisition details of land; financing; machinery; crops, livestock and other commodities; co-operative societies; hazards and difficulties (e.g. pests, weather); harvesting and secondary production activities; exhibitions and fairs; gardening; and interactions with North West Mounted Police.
Questionnaire number 7 on folklore was organized into sections on: introductory information; settlement - the land (location, man-made features; associated stories and jokes), climate (tales/believe about weather phenomenon; associated animal behaviour), celestial bodies (associated stores/beliefs), supernatural beings (stories of ghosts/fairies/strange beings), human beings (anecdotes on individuals who performed unusual deeds), animals; supporting oneself after settlement (how were skills developed; household help); family or group gatherings in the pioneer community (storytelling, singing, jokes); life cycle in the pioneer community - childhood (naming; birthdays; songs, rhymes and stories; superstitions), marriage (accessories; good and bad luck), death (foreshadowing; ceremonies); good and bad luck (signs; attracting/avoiding); and proverbs and proverbial phrases.
Questionnaire number 8 on health was organized into sections on: services of a doctor (e.g. distance; competency; visitation; charges and payment); hospital services (e.g. distance; organization; visitiation; births); home remedies (e.g. associated illnesses and treatments; sources; treatment of serious accidents; aids for the handicapped); public health problems (e.g. vaccinations; epidemics); dental services (e.g. distance; visitation; treatments and services); and general (e.g. prevention; steps taken by the community for improvements).
Questionnaire number 9 on housing was organized into sections on: temporary structures (e.g. sod or log houses; even if the family lived in the building for many years); permanent structures (e.g. including the "better" house built after living for a time in quarters mentioned in temporary structures, a permanent home built upon arrival, or the "homestead shack" that may have been added to and continued as a permanent house); and general (e.g. winterizing; additions; animals/pets; furnishings; windows and ventilation; windbreaks; fire protection and emergency measures/features).
Questionnaire number 10 on local government was organized into sections on: statute labour districts and local improvement districts before 1908; township local improvement districts and rural municipalities after 1908; villages; and towns and cities.
Questionnaire on Christmas included suggested questions on: preparations; foods; guests; gifts; songs; correspondence; impact of weather; amusements; changes over time.