Fonds 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) - Heather Robertson fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Heather Robertson fonds

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  • Multiple media

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Fonds

Reference code

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)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1942-2014 (Creation)
    Creator
    Robertson, Heather

Physical description area

Physical description

23.4 m of textual records and other material. The A.15-005 includes 15 contact sheets, 191 photos, 260 negatives, 200 slides, 18 audiocassettes & 29 compact discs

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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

The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Heather Robertson in several accessions between 1979 and 2014. The A15-005 accession was donated by Robertson's husband Andrew Marshall in 2015.

Scope and content

The fonds contains literary manuscripts of most of her books, personal and professional correspondence, material pertaining to both her literary and academic careers, more than 1000 photographs, 33 audio-cassettes, 1 videocassette, and 3 computer diskettes. The A12-41 accession of the fonds consists of legal documents and correspondence relating to the Robertson v. Thomson Corp. class action lawsuit, as well as awards, portraits and other correspondence. The A12-133 accession consists of correspondence and a review of "A Terrible Beauty", a periodical on Heather Robertson and a National Magazine Awards Booklet, plus awards and portraits. The 15-005 is comprised of nine series. They include. Biographical & personal information, literary career, research material, publishing contracts, correspondence, areas of interest, photos, tapes & electronic records.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

See individual finding aids for arrangement information.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Certain files have been identified as confidential and are restricted.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Print finding aids for some accessions are available in the Archives' reading room. Electronically available finding aids for all accessions can be found via the following links:
MSS 77, PC 7, TC 67 (A79-16, A79-26, A80-18, A84-39, A85-21, A88-29, A91-03, A92-02, A92-45, A93-17, A95-29, A96-07)
MSS 77, EL 18 (A12-41)
MSS 77 (A15-005)

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No further accruals are expected.

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Final

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Partial

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Elizabeth-Anne Johnson (29 May 2012). Revised by Elizabeth-Anne Johnson (20 August 2012). Revised by Chantel Banman (20 August 2014). Revised by Lewis St. George Stubbs (May 2015).

Language of description

  • English

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