Fonds Mss Sc 52, Mss Sc 53, Mss Sc 79, Mss Sc 80 - Manitoba Free Press fonds

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Manitoba Free Press fonds

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CA UMASC Mss Sc 52, Mss Sc 53, Mss Sc 79, Mss Sc 80

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0.05 m of textual records.

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Administrative history

The Manitoba Free Press began publication in 1872. By 1900, the Free Press was owned by Clifford Sifton and edited by John Dafoe. The paper's prominence continued to grow and by the 1920s had become, along with the Winnipeg Tribune, one of Manitoba's leading daily newspapers. Reflecting the gradual shift of the Manitoban population from rural to urban, the Manitoba Free Press became the Winnipeg Free Press in 1931. Throughout the next half-decade, the Free Press and the Tribune battled for readership throughout Winnipeg and Manitoba. However, in 1980, the Tribune folded and for a few years the Free Press became the only daily newspaper in Winnipeg. In 1982, the Winnipeg Sun was established but the Free Press remained Winnipeg's dominant daily newspaper. The Winnipeg Free Press Library functions as an in-house research center for its journalists and contains newspaper clipping files arranged by subject, Statistics Canada reports, microfilm copies of the Winnipeg Free Press, and a variety of newspapers and magazines.

Custodial history

The fonds was formerly classified as four separate fonds but combined in 2002 to reflect their common provenance. The former fonds entitled the Winnipeg Free Press Collection (MSS SC 52) and the fonds entitled A Collection of Papers Related to Manitoba Politics and Government (MSS SC 53) were donated by the Winnipeg Free Press to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collection in approximately 1980. Winnipeg Free Press librarian Esme Langer donated the fonds entitled Documents relating to an abortive agreement for building a railroad from Minnesota (MSS SC 79) and the fonds entitled Libel charge against John W. Dafoe (MSS SC 80) in 1982. It is unknown how the Free Press acquired these fonds. While these four former fonds have been combined to form one fonds, they can still be located by their original retrieval numbers.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of six files. The first file, formerly classified as MSS SC 52, consists of a variety of historical writings about Manitoba, as well as correspondence between Brandon Sun editor, C.W. Litchfield, and Winnipeg reporter, J. Fahey. The three files comprising MSS SC 53 contain papers and correspondence primarily pertaining to Manitoba politics and government during the first decade of the 20th century. Also included is a memorial from the legislature of the Province of Manitoba respecting the extension of the boundaries of the province. The fifth file, formerly classified as MSS SC 79, consists of correspondence between James P. MacDonald, MacDonald's lawyer Alex Arthur, Winnipeg grain merchant George Leary, Manitoba Premier, R.P. Roblin, and former Premier Thomas Greenway concerning the construction of a railroad between Northeastern Minnesota and Winnipeg. This series also includes a contract between J.P. MacDonald and George Leary, plus Manitoba Free Press clippings on the railroad. The last file, MSS SC 80, consists of records pertaining to a libel case against Manitoba Free Press editor, John W. Dafoe, concerning the Free Press's reporting of illegal payment of funds during the Boyne Marsh Drainage of September 1900.

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There are no restrictions on this material.

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Printed finding aids are available in the Archives reading room for MSS SC 52 and MSS SC 53.

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