Fonds MSS 402 - Cliff Eyland fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Cliff Eyland fonds

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  • Graphic material
  • Textual record
  • Object

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on creator of the fonds.

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Physical description area

Physical description

5.2 m textual records

Graphic materials and electronic records including:
1 video recording
6806 slides
1212 photo negatives
48 artist proposals
4 publications
8 wall book projects
8 notebooks/sketchbooks
1469 drawings made in Adobe Illustrator, graphite, charcoal, pastel, paint, marker, ink, pencil crayon
over 5000 photographs
1000s art pieces, and 72 paintings and 5 pieces of artwork by other artists
70 CD's (estimate)

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1954 - 2020)

Biographical history

Clifford Leslie Joseph Eyland was an artist and assistant professor at the University of Manitoba's School of Art. Eyland was born November 7, 1954 to Kathleen Margaret Eyland (nee Williams) and Ronald James Eyland in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Eyland studied at Holland College, Mount Allison University, followed by the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD).

In the 1980s, Eyland began making paintings, drawings and notes in a 3”x5” index card format. Since then, much of Eyland’s work explored the relationship between libraries and galleries, both of which are institutions that house and preserve. Eyland’s index card project formed some of his largest installations which appear in libraries across Canada, such as Winnipeg’s Millennium Library, the Halifax Central Library and Edmonton’s Meadow Library. In addition to his large-scale library installations, Eyland had several solo exhibitions and participated in many group shows throughout North America and Europe. In 2003, he was shortlisted for the nation RBC/Canadian Art Foundation painting award.

Eyland’s writing has been published in Canadian art magazines since 1983, and Eyland curated exhibitions since 1985. He served as a curator at the Technical University of Nova Scotia School of Architecture (now known as Daltech) from 1985 until 1994. In 1998, Eyland became the Director of Gallery One One One (now known as the School of Art Gallery), where he would remain until 2012. During this time, Eyland also taught at the University of Manitoba and served as a board member on Plug In ICA’s Board of Directors from 1995 until 2005.

Cliff Eyland died May 16, 2020 in Winnipeg.

Custodial history

A2014-137 was donated in 2014, and A2018-145 was donated in 2018 to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Cliff Eyland.

Scope and content

A2014-137 covers the life, work, and art of Cliff Eyland. It consists of Eyland's working files, sketchbooks, art projects, and materials collected form other artists and creators. The materials span from 1966 to 2014, and include 240 slides, hundreds of photographs, and thousands of individual drawings and other art pieces. There are also electronic records, mainly comprised of digital images of artwork, audio recordings, and video recordings.

A2018-145 spans over six decades, from the 1960s until 2015, containing the life, work and art of Winnipeg-based artist, professor and curator Cliff Eyland. The fonds has been divided into 10 series and is largely composed of Eyland’s individual drawings and personal art projects, as well as photos and slides of artwork and exhibitions by various artists. Additionally, the collection contains the documentation of Eyland’s personal life, various events, exhibitions and numerous trips.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The fonds were donated directly to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Cliff Eyland.


A2014-137 is arranged into 7 series. The first series, alphabetical files, are files arranged in alphabetical order by Cliff Eyland. Subsequest series are materials grouped together by Eyland but have been listed separately from the alphabetical materials. These series include Newfoundland Artists, Library Projects, University of Manitoba Classes and Students, Daytimers, Single Drawings & Watercolours, and Sketchbooks & Sketchpads. The series of Single Drawings and Watercolours includes oversized materials.

A2018-145 the original order has mainly been kept.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Some records and related materials are available in digital formats on, a 2014 copy of which is stored digitally on a disk within the collection.

Restrictions on access

A2014-137 has some files in the collection that are restricted. Please contact the archives for further information.
A2018-145 has no restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

An online finding aid for A2014-137 is available at the link below:MSS 402 (A14-137).

A finding aid for A2018-145 can be downloaded from the fonds-level description by clicking on the “Download’ link under “Finding Aid” on the right hand side of the screen.

Generated finding aid

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Further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

A2014-137 finding aid was created by Andrea Martin (February 2015). Revised by Tyyne Petrowski (May 2015) and N. Courrier (November 2019).
A2018-145 finding aid was created by Emma Dux (November 2019).

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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