Katrina Anderson:

An Inventory of Her Audio-recordings at the University of Manitoba

Inventory prepared by Jeanette Mockford
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Finding aid encoded by V. Zvonik (2009)
Finding aid written in English.

Collection Summary

University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections,
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Katrina Anderson fonds

Katrina Anderson fonds


9 audiocassettes; 12 mini-cassettes; 1 CD

Tc 129 (A.06-14)


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Biography of Asdis Sigrun Anderson

Asdis Sigrun Anderson was born in Winnipeg Beach on February19th, 1915. Of Icelandic background, she married Thorsteinn (Stoney) Anderson in 1932, and they lived in the hamlet of Libau, near Lake Winnipeg, fishing and farming and eventually having 8 children together. After "Stoney" died in 1967 Asdis moved to Winnipeg. Her uplifting life story was recorded by her granddaughter Katrina Anderson and then published in book form as:"Blessed: Portrait of Asdis Sigrun Anderson" (2005) to mark Asdis’ 90th birthday.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The fonds consists of 21 tapes of Katrina Anderson recordings of her grandmother Asdis Sigrun Anderson' life story.

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Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged into one series.

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Restrictions on Access

No restrictions on Access.

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Restrictions on Use

No restrictions on Use.

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Related Materials

Blessed: Portrait of Asdis Sigrun Anderson by Katrina Anderson

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Custodial History

The fonds was donated to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Katrina Anderson in 2006.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Tc 129 (A.06-14) []

The following is an item level description of the life history recorded by Katrina Anderson of her grandmother Asdis Sigrun Anderson that was compiled into a book, "Blessed: Portrait of Asdis Sigrun Anderson" in 2005

Item 1 Side B Easter 1990 Asdis Anderson requests to have the history of her life recorded
She speaks about the mentality these days: everything is expensive today, people these days deprived of life's ordinary things compared to when Anderson brought up her 8 children.
She is asked about fighting with her husband and about his personality and their marriage, her philosophy on marriage and divorce, different ethnic groups in the area, and her husband's personality compared with her father.
The CD ends with a congregational song and church service. Perhaps an Easter service?
Item 2 Side B April 1990 & May 5, 1992 The CD begins with Asdis Anderson and Katrina describing photos in an album of Asdis' children and extended family.
Asdis A. describes the jobs her father had and also those of her husband, the reasons why trips were made to Winnipeg, the ethnic groups like Ukrainians, Germans, Icelanders, and Jews in the area, how religion played a part in her life.
Item 3 Side A April 17, 1992 Asdis A. relates about her helping her sister Marjorie and her family and the problems they had like illness and death.
After her husband's death, Asdis A. talks about living in Winnipeg and working for VON as a homemaker and the people she helped.
Around this time Asdis notes her helping other family members when relatives fell ill, had surgery or gave birth.
Asdis A. shares memories on meeting her husband, getting married, and living in her mother-in-law's house for the first few years of her marriage.
Asdis A. talks about how her and her husband's first house was constructed.
She describes the different fish that were caught in the area and how they were prepared.
Item 3 Side B April 17, 1992 Asdis A. talks about having no regrets with her life, but wishes certain events, luxuries would have been appreciated.
Asdis A. lists the changes she saw happen in the world like marriage breakdown and families dissolving, availability of medical help, communications, travel, more opportunities in jobs, and education.
Asdis A. talks about how the outbreak of World War Two and the economy changed their lives.
Asdis A. recites a few children's songs in Icelandic.
Asdis A. talks about how a ban on fishing in Lake Winnipeg drove people to cut wood for a living
Item 4 Side B December 20, 1990 Asdis A. continues to describe photos in her album and describes the life of a local woman, Mrs. Whittle and mentions the death of her own husband in March 1967.
June 18, 1992 Asdis A. describes her father's personality, her teenage years working as a cook at a lodge, her children's injuries, and the story of her sister accidently injuring a relative with a pitchfork.
Item 5 Side A March 17, 1993 Asdis A. describes her childhood at home, her toys, games, looking after siblings, publications that were available at home and how news was spread
Asdis A. talks about her best friend in junior high school, her adventures walking to school, and sleepovers
Asdis A. shares on her short stay in Winnipeg, learning Catechism, and being confirmed.
Asdis A. talks about her feelings about the war starting in 1939.
Asdis A. shares the story of her husband's work on the farm, his mental state, and eventual suicide and the effect on her.
Asdis A. lists the deaths of her parents and in-laws, their ages, and cause of death.
Item 5 Side B March 17, 1993 Asdis A. describes the death of her father and the time leading to the death of her mother.
Item 6 Side A March 17, 1994 Asdis A. relates the journey of her parents to Winnipeg and how they came to live at the Sandy Hook area, had a family and when they were born.
Side B March 17, 1994 Asdis A. describes different things she remembers in the household when growing up like her dolls, kerosene lamps, cook stove, butter churning, cooking fish, butchering beef, pigs, chickens, deer, garden, and the various foods that were prepared.
Item 7 Side A March 17, 1994 Katrina interviews Sylvia, a daughter of Asdis A.
Sylvia talks about the personalities of Asdis and her siblings.
Other memories of growing up as Asdis' daughter included: chores in the barn like feeding animals and milking cows, sleeping arrangements, Christmas time, traditional Icelandic foods, Christmas gifts, birthday celebrations including a cake, relatives known for their singing and playing the violin, and brother Hendrick's death during World War Two.
Item 8 Side A February 28, 1994 : interview with Sylvia
Side B March 18, 1994 : interview with Sylvia
Item 9 Side A August 19, 1994 Asdis further discusses her childhood near Lake Winnipeg, the death of her baby, her father buying a farm and trapping wolves, singing hymns while her sister played the organ, her father playing the violin at school dances, building rowboats, and ice fishing with a dog team.
Side B September Asdis describes the local general store, her school teachers, picking up groceries, her father fishing, playing records on a gramophone, sleepovers with friends, games played at school, her parents interaction with other Icelanders and speaking Icelandic amongst themselves, dating her future husband, her husband's marriage proposal, having tonsils removed, raising turkeys on the farm, the large house her in-laws lived in.
Item10 Side A-B August 19, 1994 Asdis A. describes being pregnant and giving birth to her first son, the kinds of animals they had on the farm, her mother-in-laws farm and the animals they had, the garden, dry weather, grasshoppers, bartering during the Depression, discussions on politics, the births of her other children, her brother being wounded in the war and the other being killed, chores in her house like baking bread, caring for sick children, her brothers owning a general store in the area after the war, drinking problems in the family, getting a sewing machine, making cakes for special occasions, prevalence of smoking in the community, the effect on her when her husband shot himself, the mink farm and the effort needed to raise and pelt them.
Item11 Side A August 19, 1994 Unidentified person singing in Icelandic.
An unidentified child speaking and it is unintelligible
30 minutes on the cd is the sound of someone typing on a key board.
Item12 Side A-B August 1994 Asdis A. describes how the mink farm was operated and her part in it, the money they earned from it, pelting the mink, and stretching the skins
Asdis A. describes her transition from a wife on the farm to a widow in the city, having roommates, living in an apartment, helping relatives when they were ill.
An unidentified woman sings songs in Ukrainian like "You are My Sunshine" and "He's a Jolly Good Fellow".
Asdis A. describes the trees on the homestead where she lived with her husband, weather condition, uses for deer meat, different ethnic groups that married into her family, and the teenage years of her children.
Item13 Side A February 19, 1995 Asdis' son describes his childhood and memories of foods, pastimes, catching a wild bittern, slingshots, nicknames, stories they heard as a child, his father being a poet, and neighbors' personalities and their houses.
Side B February 19, 1995 A group of people singing "Jingle Bells" in English
One of Asdis' sons discusses rumors of the sex lives of people in the neighborhood, his father building boats, and the stories his father made up to entertain his children.
Item14 Side A February 19, 1995 Asdis' son relates stories about neighbors and rumors about sex and murder in the area.
A group of people are recorded singing "Happy Birthday" to Asdis on her 80th birthday and the same song is thereafter sung to her son. This is followed by toasts and messages of good wishes and thanks to Asdis and Katrina.
It is revealed at this birthday party that Asdis' brother Hendrick is buried in a mass grave in Germany, Asdis describes the moment the telegram arrived at the store near their home. A few war stories about other troops from the area are told and a description of Asdis' Paulina is discussed along with a description of her looks.
Side B February 19, 1995 Asdis' family tells stories about her siblings, playing piano at home and singing songs, living at the fishing camps, going to school, the birth of other siblings, looking after siblings, being isolated, failing health of Asdis' siblings, conditions of the schools and the expectations of the teachers towards the students, games they played at school, using slingshots to hurl stones at vehicles owned by duck hunters.
Item15 Side A February 19, 1995 Asdis relates how sickness was dealt with in the country, her problems with epileptic seizures later in life, major diseases her children suffered, cooking was a big part of her life and the various jams, cookies, meat dishes that were made.
Side B February 19, 1995 Asdis' sister talks about the hard life Asdis had because of the jobs that Asdis' husband had, her brother getting a pitchfork in the back and surviving, Asdis' husband's mental illness and personality, the card games that were played, and Icelandic Christmas traditions.
Item16 Side A June 17, 1995 Asdis' son talks about singing songs by popular musicians and changing the words for fun, descriptions of the vehicles the family drove in later years, different ailments of people in the area and the cures they developed using local plants, the mink farm and caring for the animals, and hunting with his father as a young person.
Side B June 17, 1995 Stories and jokes about Asdis' children are told by an unidentified speaker, an unidentified woman sings a few songs like "You Are My Sunshine" in another language.
Item17 Side A August 11-13, 1995 Asdis describes getting her first camera and taking pictures of her children, the family cats and dogs, moving to a farmyard when her children were young, how her life mimicked her mother's, the lack of emotion and affection in the family, her epileptic seizures at age 46, personality characteristics of family members, her first kiss from her husband, and her dislike for beer and cigarettes.
Side B August 11-13, 1995 Asdis describes her job at a bakery in Winnipeg and her strong dislike for it, her visit to the Gimli festival following the death of her husband, her prior isolation, her learning to care for her mother-in-law's sheep and learning to spin wool and make garments, her prize of a electric mixer for buying the most flour in the community in 1959, the names of cows and calves, banding ducks that her husband and a few sons did to earn money, her husband's good relationship with his children.
A walking tour is conducted by Asdis and Katrina and the yard and buildings are described.
Item18 Side B Part One, p.1-15 Patrina Anderson Koven reading Asdis Anderson's story, that was later published as "Blessed: Portrait of Asdis Sigrun Anderson"
Item19 Side A Katrina records part of "Blessed" from page 16 onwards.
Item20 Side A Katrina records part of "Blessed", it is the same recording as Item 19.
Side B Katrina records part of "Blessed" pages 19-50
Item20 Side A Katrina records part of "Blessed" pages 51-79.
Side B Katrina records part of "Blessed" pages 79-onwards
Item21 Side A Katrina records part of "Blessed" pages 51-79.
Item21 Side B Katrina records part of "Blessed" pages 79-onwards
One separate CD is part of this fonds and is a copy of a thesis by Kyle McMillan, "Mapping and characterization of the upper Lake Agassiz beaches along the Manitoba Escarpment between the international border and the Assiniboine River"

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