Accession A2010-052 (Pc 7, El 18) - Heather Robertson fonds

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Heather Robertson fonds

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CA UMASC Mss 77, Mss Sc 77, Pc 7, Tc 67, El 18 (A.79-16, A.79-26, A.80-18, A.84-39, A.85-21, A.88-29, A.91-03, A.92-02, A.92-45, A.93-17, A.95-29, A.96-07, A.00-19, A.03-90, A.05-17, A.08-139, A.10-52, A.12-41, A.12-133, A.15-005)-A2010-052 (Pc 7, El 18)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1942-2007, predominant 1961-1963 and 2006-2007 (Creation)
    Creator
    Robertson, Heather

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Physical description

31.5 cm of textual and other material.

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1942-2014)

Biographical history

Heather Robertson was born in Winnipeg in 1942. She received a B.A. (Honours) in English from the University of Manitoba in 1962. Robertson displayed a penchant for invoking controversy during her term as Editor of the University's student newspaper, The Manitoban. A column criticizing Bison football resulted in her being hung in effigy. She was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and studied Victorian Literature at Columbia University in New York, where she received an M.A. in English.

Returning to Winnipeg, Robertson began a journalism career at the Winnipeg Free Press. She was quickly hired away by the Winnipeg Tribune, where she worked for two years. Robertson received $3000 to pursue her research on Aboriginal Peoples. The resulting voluminous study became the foundation for her first book Reservations are for Indians, published in1970. Three years later, she wrote Grass Roots, with Salt of the Earth appearing the following year. In 1975, Robertson profiled Barbara Frum and Judy Lamarsh in the book, Her Own Women. Two years later, she wrote A Terrible Beauty : The Art of Canada at War. In 1981, she chronicled the life of the infamous Winnipeg bank robber, Ken Leishman, in the screenplay, The Flying Bandit.

Robertson's literary career took a new direction in 1983 with the publishing of Willie, A Romance. The book marked the author's initial attempt at fiction, and she garnered a best first novel award, Books in Canada. The intimate look at the life of Prime Minister Mackenzie King was further developed in Lily, A Rhapsody in Red, published in 1986, and Igor, published in 1989. Robertson has published a number of other works of non-fiction. A Gentleman Adventurer: The Arctic Diaries of R.H.G. Bonnycastle , appeared in 1985. The bestseller More Than a Rose was released in 1991, followed by On The Hill (1992). Robertson also wrote Meeting Death (2000), The Road Well Kept: Branksome Hall Celebrates 100 Years (2001) and Driving Force: The McLaughlin Family and the Age of the Car (2003). In 2003, Robertson edited the autobiography of Angus Shortt, entitled My Life With Birds. Robertson's most recent book, which she co-wrote with Melinda McCracken, is Magical, Mysterious Lake of the Woods (2003). It received the Fred Landon award for the best work on Ontario regional history in 2004.
Like most Canadian writers, Robertson has held a host of other jobs to supplement her literary career. She worked for the CBC and wrote columns for Macleans, Chatelaine, Saturday Night, Canadian Forum, and Equinox. Robertson passed away on her 72nd Birthday, March 19, 2014.

Custodial history

This material was donated to the Archives & Special Collections by Heather Robertson in 2012.

Scope and content

This accrual of the Heather Robertson fonds consists of photographs and scrapbook pages from Robertson's childhood and youth, letters sent home during her time at Columbia University, publications from Robertson's time at the University of Manitoba, and material relating to archival research for her book Measuring Mother Earth: How Joe the Kid Became Tyrrell of the North .

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This collection is arranged in five series:

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There are no restrictions.

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The archives from which archival material was gathered retain the rights to their material.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

20 August 2012

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