Fonds MSS 102, PC 104 - Barry Broadfoot fonds

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Title proper

Barry Broadfoot fonds

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Reference code

CA UMASC MSS 102, PC 104

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Physical description

2.63 m of textual records. -- 57 photographs.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Barry Samuel Broadfoot was born in Winnipeg in 1926. He graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1949 with a B.A. As an undergraduate he was editor of the student newspaper The Manitoban. He had a long career in journalism. Broadfoot worked for the Vancouver News Herald, The Edmonton Bulletin, the United Press, and finally for The Vancouver Sun (1955-1972). In 1972 he turned his creative energies into publishing books on Canadian history, which were based upon his extensive oral history interviews with ordinary Canadians across Canada. These included the best-selling works Ten Lost Years (living memories of those who survived the Great Depression), Next Year Country (an overview of life on the Prairies up to 1987), The Immigrant Years (stories of immigrants from Britain and Europe who came to Canada after the Second World War) and several others.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The Broadfoot collection is organized primarily according to his nine published histories: Ten Lost Years (1973); Six War Years (1974); The Pioneer Years (1976); Years of Sorrow, Years of Shame (1977); My Own Years (1983); The Veterans' Years (1985); The Immigrant Years (1986); Next-Year Country (1988) and Ordinary Russians (1989). Contained within these collections are contracts, manuscripts (edited and unedited), rejected stories and photographs relating to the books that were finally produced. Signed copies of the books are provided for all but Six War Years. Newspaper and magazine reviews have been included for most of the books. There are also two unpublished manuscripts and a number of essays on such topics as the writing of oral history and the publishing industry in Canada. Broadfoot carefully organized his papers and included descriptions and explanations of most of his papers.

An important aspect of the collection is the correspondence that Broadfoot received when he solicited the assistance of Canadians in the writing of two of his books: The Veterans' Years (1985) and The Immigrant Years (1986). The files of correspondence (seven for The Veterans' Years and three for The Immigrant Years) include, respectively, stories from men and women detailing their personal experiences in the Second World War and their return to Canada; and stories of families and individuals who immigrated to Canada in the post-war era and their adjustment to Canadian life.

A conspicuous absence in Broadfoot's collection is his taped interviews. Broadfoot did not save his tapes and, thus, the actual reminiscences are not available to the researcher. As well, Broadfoot corresponded for twelve years with Canadian author, Margaret Laurence. According to Broadfoot, Laurence kept all of his letters. However, Broadfoot destroyed all of Laurence's letters to him.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Barry Broadfoot donated his papers to the University of Manitoba in June of 1991. The Memorandum of Agreement was signed on December 31, 1991. In March, 1992, Broadfoot's papers were certified as Cultural Property--a "Gift to Canada"--by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.


This collection is organized into 12 series.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

There are no restrictions on access to the Collection; however, copyright provisions to unpublished materials may apply. Researchers must confer with the University Archivist before publishing anything other than fair use excerpts. Users must abide by the laws of copyright as amended by Parliament from time to time.

Finding aids

A finding aid can be generated from this description.

Associated materials

Separated from the manuscript collection are 56 photographs (PC 104). Most of these were used to illustrate three of Broadfoot's books (Ten Lost Years, Six War Years and The Prairie Years).

Related materials


No further accruals to this fonds are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Inventory prepared by Kathleen Epp in June 1994;
Finding aid encoded by Julianna Trivers in June 2002;
Quality checked by Mary Grace Golfo on 15 March 2017.

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