Fonds MSS 37, PC 43, TC 31 - Dorothy Livesay fonds

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Dorothy Livesay fonds

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  • Textual record
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CA UMASC MSS 37, PC 43, TC 31

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Dates of creation area


  • 1874 - 1997 (Creation)
    Livesay, Dorothy

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Physical description

23.4 m of textual records and other material.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Dorothy Livesay was a Canadian poet who work spanned over five decades. She was born in Winnipeg in 1909 and moved to Toronto with her parents at the age of ten. Her father, J.F.B. Livesay, was the first general manager of the Canadian Press, a war correspondent during World War I, and author of Canada's Hundred Days (1919). Her mother, Florence Randal Livesay, was a poet of distinction and a pioneer in the field of translating verse from Ukrainian into English. Dorothy Livesay studied at the University of Toronto and the Sorbonne, afterwards becoming a welfare worker, then a newspaper reporter, and finally a teacher. She taught Canadian Literature at the University of Victoria for two years. At the University of Alberta, she taught Canadian Literature and Creative Writing. She also taught in the United States and Zambia, the latter as a UNESCO field specialist. Known chiefly as a poet, Dorothy Livesay won the Lorne Pierce Medal in 1947 for distinguished service to Canadian literature. During the 1940s, she was twice honoured with the Governor-General's Award for Poetry. Some of her best-known poetry publications include Green Pitcher (1928), Call My People Home (1950), Ice Age (1975), Right Hand Left Hand (1977), The Woman I Am (1977), The Phases of Love (1983), and Journey With My Selves: a Memoir, 1909-1963 (1991). She died on December 29, 1996.

Custodial history

The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in multiple installments between 1978 and 1988, and in 1992, 1999, 2002, 2003, and 2004 by Dorothy Livesay and her heirs.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of biographical material, correspondence, drafts, and versions of Dorothy Livesay's writings of all genres. The records are divided into five categories: autobiographical, biographical, bibliographical, business papers regarding her writing and her personal business papers. The remainder of the manuscript collection consists of plays, reviews, poems, short stories, essays, talks and addresses, and memoirs. The photograph collection contains pictures of Dorothy Livesay, her family and friends, and places and buildings. The tape collection consists of conversations between Livesay and others, interviews, poetry readings, radio broadcasts, music, and memoirs.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Restrictions on access

Access to certain material has been restricted and copyright restrictions apply. Copyright to Dorothy Livesay's literary works held by executors of her estate. Please check restrictions within finding aids and contact Archives staff for further information regarding copyright.

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Researchers are responsible for observing copyright legislation.

Finding aids

A finding aid can be downloaded by clicking on the “Download’ link under “Finding Aid” on the right hand side of the screen.

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No further accruals are expected.

General note

A list of books which were de-accessioned and transfered to Better World Books can be viewed by clicking on "Browse Digital Objects" on the right side of the screen.

Other books that were kept as part of the Dorothy Livesay fonds were added to the Rare Books Collection.

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MSS 037: Finding aid created by staff of the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections (1986). Finding aid encoded by Brett Lougheed and Julianna Trivers (March 2002). Revision History: July 26, 2005 - MSS 37 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

PC 043: Finding aid created by the staff of the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections (1986). Finding aid encoded by Julianna Trivers (April 2002). Revision History: July 26, 2005 - PC 43 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

TC 031: Finding aid created by the staff of the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections (1986). Finding aid encoded by Julianna Trivers (April 2002). Revision History: July 26, 2005 - TC 31 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

A1992-021: Finding aid created by Lewis St. George Stubbs (February 2005). Finding aid encoded by Lewis St. George Stubbs (February 2005). Revision History: July 26, 2005 - Mss 37 A.92-21 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

A2004-110: Finding aid created by Vladimira Zvonik (1965-1992). Finding aid encoded by Vladimira Zvonik (2006).

Revised by Natalie Vielfaure (January 2017), N. Courrier (July 2019), M. Horodyski (June 2020).

Language of description

  • English

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