Debra Barr and Walter Meyer zu Erpen Research and Publication Collection:

Inventory prepared by Jarad Buckwold
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(February 25, 2013)

Finding aid encoded by Jarad Buckwold (February 25, 2013)
Finding aid written in English.

Collection Summary

University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Dafoe Library, University of Manitoba

Debra Barr and Walter Meyer zu Erpen

Debra Barr and Walter Meyer zu Erpen Research and Publication Collection


0.26 metres of textual material

MSS 375 (A11-63)


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Biography of Debra Barr and Walter Meyer zu Erpen

This collection was created by Walter Meyer zu Erpen primarly for the purpose of assisting those research parapsychology or spiritualism. Debra Barr was a noted Canadian Archivist and one of the founding directors of the Survival Research Institute of Canada (SRIC). Born in 1954 in Tofino, on the west side of Vancouver Island, Barr first attended the University of Victoria and then finished her B.A. at Simon Fraser University in 1977. Following her passion for archives, Barr enrolled in the first Master of Archival Studies program at the University of British Columbia in 1981 and studied under notable archivists Terry Eastwood and Hugh Taylor. Graduating from the program in 1985, Barr went on to work in various archives and records management positions including the Archivist of the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia, Ministry Records Officers for the BC Ministry of Housing, Recreation and Consumer Service and Records Manager for Royal Roads University. She authored the Guide to the Canadian Manuscript Collections in Victoria University Library in 1988, was a member of the RAD Textual Records Working Group in 1990 and 1991, helped prepare the Guidelines for the Development of a Two-Year Curriculum for a Master of Archival Studies from 1987-1989 and wrote articles for the Canadian journal Archivaria (issues 25 and 28), which looked at fonds level description, as well as being guest editor of the journal in the 1990 issue dedicated to religious archives. With Walter Meyer zu Erpen, another notable Canadian Archivist and the donator of this material, Barr was one of the founding directors of the Survival Research Institute of Canada (SRIC), which was dedicated to researching continued spiritual existence after death and the possibility of communication with such spirits. With Meyer zu Erpen, Barr co-authored a biography of Albert Durrant Watson, Canadian physician, poet and psychical researcher, for the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, published in 2005. After her death in 2008, Royal Roads University set up a memorial fund in her honour and sought to name a new archives room after her. Meyer zu Erpen, another graduate of the University of British Columbia Archival Studies program, has been president and archivist of the SRIC since its creation in 1991. Meyer zu Erpen has also played an active part in Victorian and British Columbian politics. As a member of the Green Party, he ran for Victoria municipal council in 1999, coming only 180 votes shy of winning the seat. In 2001, he ran provincially and placed third. He also served the party as Campaign Manager for the 2005 election and co-manager for the 2009 election and served provincially as Fund-Raising Chair from 2003-2005 and Party Chair from 2007-2009.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection was created by the donor himself. His donated material was divided into different fonds and collections in accordance with specifications he himself provided. Consisting of 168 items including research correspondences, books containing Barr’s final publications and alternative versions of said publications, this fonds takes up 0.26 linear metres of shelf space. The items and folders were organized by the donor and are divided by publication. Records bound together by staples, archival clips or other means were done so by the donor and thus are treated as a single record, even those which contain what could be considered more than one document.

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Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on this material.

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Related Materials

This fonds is one of a series of fonds and collections donated by Walter Meyer zu Erpen related to survival and parapsychology research. Other such fonds and collections donatd by Meyer zu Erpen are the Survival Research Institute of Canada fonds (MSS 372; A11-60), A.R.G. (George) and Iris M.. Owen fonds (MSS 373, PC 328, EL 38; A11-61), Survival Research Newsletters and Periodicals Collection (MSS 374; A11-62), Jenny O'Hara Pincock fonds (MSS 376; A11-64), Spiritualist Hymnals and Manuals Collection (MSS 377; A11-65), Kenneth J. Batcheldor fonds (MSS 378, EL 39; A11-66), Albert Batten fonds (MSS 379, PC 329, EL 40; A11-67), Olga Park fonds (MSS 380; A11-71), Howard Reed fonds (MSS 381, EL 41; A11-107). Also related, but not donated by Meyer zu Erpen, is the Hamilton Family fonds (Mss 14, Pc 12, Tc 70; A.79-21, A.79-41, A.79-52, A.79-56, A.79-65, A.80-08, A.80-25, A.81-09, A.86-56) .

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Custodial History

The collection was donated by Walter Meyer zu Erpen, President of the Survival Research Institute of Canada in 2011.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Debra Barr and Walter Meyer zu Erpen Research and Publications Collection [ 1989-2007 ]
1N/A Dictionary of Canadian Biography 2005 (full book) 2005
1 DCB - Albert Durrant Watson - Enlarged Copy for Photocopying 2005
2 Albert Durrant Watson - Version Prepared for Rosemary Ellen Guiley 2006
3 Albert Durrant Watson - Dictionary of Canadian Biography Entry 2001-2005
4 Albert Durrant Watson - Biographical Material [date?]
5 Albert Durrant Watson - BAHAI Connection and Interest in Psychical Research 2002-2007
6 Albert Durrant Watson - Family History 2001-2006
7 Albert Durrant Watson - Archival Repositories and Other Sources 1992-2002
8 Albert Durrant Watson - Bibliography 2001-2002
9 Albert Durrant Watson - "O Canada" Hymn 2001-2002
10 Albert Durrant Watson - Copies of Some of his Publications 1906-1924
21 Archivaria (1990) Article - Preliminary Request for Information 1989-1990
2 Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits - Walter Meyer zu Erpen and Debra Barr Contributions 2006
N/A The Encylopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, 1992 (Full Book) 1992
N/A The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, Third Edition, 2007 (Full Book) 2007

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