Fonds MSS 416, TC 74, TC 74A (A87-24, A13-109) - Sheila Rabinovitch fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Sheila Rabinovitch fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Sound recording

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

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CA UMASC MSS 416, TC 74, TC 74A (A87-24, A13-109)

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Physical description

118 audio cassettes
198 audio reels
0.20 m of textual records

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Name of creator

(1914 - 2012)

Biographical history

Sheila Rabinovitch was born Sheila Cohen on July 10, 1914 in Canora, Saskatchewan. Her father, Samuel Cohen, was a successful manager of hotels including the Brooklands Hotel (now Brooklands Inn) on Keewatin St., established in 1926 when the Cohen family relocated to Winnipeg. Rabinovitch's paternal grandfather also built the Nugget Hotel in downtown Winnipeg and her ancestors were among the founders of the Congregation Shaarey Zedek. Rabinovitch graduated from Daniel McIntyre Collegiate in 1932 and then attended the University of Manitoba. With the outbreak of World War Two, she moved to Toronto to work as a journalist and was quickly promoted to department editor for Industrial Canada magazine. She also attended the University of Toronto.

In 1946 she married Milton Rabinovitch and moved to his hometown of Morden, MB where they raised a son (David) and twin daughters (Celia and Sandra). She and her husband later relocated to Winnipeg, where she got actively involved with the art scene. She taught painting and other art forms in Winnipeg public schools and was art consultant to the Toronto Dominion Bank for a period of time. In the early 1970s, she simultaneously embarked on a new career as a writer and broadcaster, working for a period of time with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Her interviews received many accolades including first prize from the Media Club of Canada for "Cora Hind - Woman of the West" and an Actra Award nomination for documentary excellence for "Ralph Connor - The Man from Glengarry." During her career she produced many documentary profiles of Manitoba personalities of local and national interest, which constitute the bulk of the fonds. Rabinovitch passed away on October 2, 2012 at the age of 98.

Custodial history

The fonds was originally donated by Sheila Rabinovitch to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in 1987. The interviews were originally recorded on 5", 7", and 10" reel-to-reel tapes. On arrival at the Archives, most interviews were duplicated onto cassette tapes for preservation purposes and to facilitate use. The original reel-to-reel tapes are found under call number TC 74A, while the cassettes are found under TC 74.

The later accrual, A13-109, was organized and donated to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by the creator’s children, Celia, Sandra, and David Rabinovitch in 2013.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of a collection of approximately 90 hours of 70 taped interviews conducted by Sheila Rabinovitch from 1970 to 1981. The broadcasts range from partial programs to complete and final ones as aired on CBC Radio. Broadcast topics included such prominent historic Winnipeg personalities as Ralph Connor (a pseudonym for Reverend Charles William Gordon), Judge Lewis St. George Stubbs, and lawyer John MacAulay. Other topics include art and the Establishment, the double standard of women and aging, Manitoba small town newspapers, bridge as an obsession, the ethnic recording industry in Canada, women in Judaism, Virginia Satir and her views on family therapy, mandatory retirement, Hans Selye, ethnic groups in Manitoba, and fashion trends.

The second accession, A13-109, consists of a collection of 14 audio reels containing interviews and recordings conducted by Sheila Rabinovitch from approximately 1970 to 1981. Also included is a portion of textual research related to the taped interviews in both accessions. Furthermore, a small amount of textual material related to her personal and professional life are included, such as CBC contracts and documents related to her art collection and philanthropic interests. Broadcast and research subjects include prominent Manitoba personalities such as Ken Leishman, Ralph Connor (Rev. William Gordon), E. Cora Hind, Judge Lewis St. George Stubbs, John W. Dafoe, and others that contributed to the artistic, cultural and social environment.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


A87-24 is divided into two series: the original reel-to-reel tapes are found under call number TC 74A, while the audio-cassette copies are found under TC 74.
A13-109 has been grouped into three series: Interview Recordings, Research Materials, and Personal & Professional Papers.

Language of material

  • English

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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions for this collection.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Any excerpts or quotations from the completed programs, unedited tapes, offcuts, scripts and transcripts of the recorded material must not be used without acknowledgement and attribution to the source. Furthermore, the material is not to be used for broadcast without the written consent of the copyright holder and the donor.
Other copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections for more information.

Finding aids

A finding aid can be downloaded from this description.

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Further accruals are not expected

Accompanying material

The processing archivists transferred a number of published pamphlets, catalogues, brochures and other advertising documents originally attached to the fonds to the Rare Book Collection housed within University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Kevin Palendat and Jessica Nichol on 03 February 2014.
Revised by Tyyne Petrowski, May 2014.
Quality checked by Mary Grace Golfo-Barcelona on 08 June 2017.

Language of description

  • English

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