Donald Birse:

An Inventory of His Papers at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Stephen Blair
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Winnipeg, MB

Finding aid encoded by Julianna Trivers (August 2002)
Finding aid written in English.

Revision History

  • July 26, 2005 - MSS 52, PC 74 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

Collection Summary

University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Elizabeth Dafoe Library, Winnipeg MB R3T 2N2

Donald Birse

Donald Birse fonds

1887-1969, predominant 1928-1969

0.8 m of textual records and graphic materials. [Note: Includes 127 photographs. -- 14 postcards. -- 2 photographic plates. -- 1 album.]

MSS 52, PC 74


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Biography of Donald Birse


June - October 1924, 1925, 1926 -- Student Assistant, Canadian Geological Survey

October 1926 -- May 1927 Lecturer, University of Manitoba

May 1927 - May 1928 --Geologist, Canadian Pacific Railways

June - October 1928 -- Geologist, Manitoba Department of Mines

October 1928 - July 1932 -- Geologist, Canadian Pacific Railways

July 1932 - July 1937 -- Consulting Geologist, Winnipeg

July 1937 - October 1945 -- Manager, Gillis Quarries Ltd.

October 1945 - March 1947 -- Exploration Engineer, Trans Canada Investors Ltd.


Born in Minnesota, Donald Birse moved to Canada early in life and graduated in geology from the University of Manitoba. His work as a student assistant in the Canadian Geological Survey of 1924-1926 prepared him for a busy outdoor career primarily in northern Manitoba. Besides working for several different companies, Birse hired himself out as a consulting geologist prospecting for new mineral sites, conducting geological explorations and evaluating the economic viability of scores of mining and land claims.

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Scope and Contents of the Papers

The collection contains the files, reports, correspondence, printed maps and pamphlets gathered or created by Donald Birse during his career spanning the years 1928 to 1969. Of special interest are his diaries and work journals, mineral claims, company reports and approximately 150 photographs of various geological expeditions in northern Manitoba from 1924 to 1937.

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Organization of the Papers

This collection is organized into 7 series.

  • Diaries and Work Journals 1887-1953
  • Correspondence 1945-1969
  • Published Essay, Financial Accounts, Assay Booklets, Notes on Stamp Collecting, [19-?]
  • Legal Papers, Option Agreements, Notarized Letters [19-?]
  • Assay Reports, Diamond Drill Records, Maps, and Mineral Claims, [19-?]
  • Rolled Maps and Claims [19-?]
  • Photograph Collection (PC 74)

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Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection. The collection can be consulted and used only in the reading room of Archives & Special Collections, Elizabeth Dafoe Library.

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Custodial History

The Donald John Birse Collection was transferred to the Archives & Special Collections on September 10, 1981 by Mrs. Berythe Birse, Donald Birse's widow.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Diaries and Work Journals 1887-1953
11 Events of 1928
2 Ledger of Manitoba Mining Companies - notes on their operation, 1887-1929
3 Events of 1933
4 Events of 1934 & 1935
5 Events of 1936
6 Events of 1936 & 1937
7 Cross-Section Book, 1948 & 1949
7 Events of 1951
7 Booklet from 1953

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Correspondence 1945-1969
18 Outgoing, 1949-1962

(20 items)

Bank of Commerce

Bluebird Gold mines

Boyd, Alex

Bureau of Geology and Topography

Carter, W.A.

Cadesky, Louis

Cantzler, Alfred

Crown Trust Co.

Davis, B.

Fraser, Horace J.

Gaffney, Frank

Guaranty Trust Co. of Canada

Halliday, James

Johnston, A.E.

Koffman, A.J.

Lithium Corp. of Canada Ltd.

Lockhart, Dan (reverse of Bank of Commerce letter)

McKinnon, Chris

9 Outgoing, 1945-1963

(38 items)

McLaren, A.J.

21 Outgoing, 1946 - 1961

(25 items)

Meston, A.

Mitchell, A.

Moreau, Woodard and Co.

North American Rare Metals Ltd Price, R.L.

Sewell, Eric

Strategic Minerals Prospecting Synd.

Symons, J.T.

Taylor, J.B.

Thomson, Dr. Robert

Waldron, John

2 Incoming, 1945 - 1960

(20 items)

Amey, J.T.

Atkinson, L.F.

Brown, D.

Cadesky, Louis

Cantzler, Alfred

Carter, W.A.

Ciglen, S.

Cox, R.

3 Incoming, 1947 - 1969

(20 items)

Davis, B.

Dawson, C.B.

Dempster, Lorne

4 Incoming, 1936 - 1963

(17 items)

Drybrough, John

Gaffney, Frank

Griffith, R.

Hawes, H.N.

Johnson, H.

Johnston, A.E.

Jordan, R.P.

Kronlund, E.

Leslie, H.T.

Lynch, F.C.C.

McKinnon, Chris

5 Incoming, 1945 - 1967

(18 items)

McLaren, A.J.

6 Incoming, 1948 - 1951

(27 items)

McLaren, A.J.

7 Incoming, 1955 - 1964

(23 items)

McLaren, A.J.

8 Incoming, 1947 - 1960

(15 items)

McLeod, D.A.

McVicar, J.A.

Meston, A.W.

Moreau, M.J.

Morgan, T.

9 Incoming, 1930 - 1961

(30 items)

Munson, G.A.

O'Brien, J.L.

Odell, N.E.

Pattison, G.D.

Price, R.L.

Read, T.C.

Sewell, E.D.

Shatford, R.A.

Skidmore, N.T.

Stockwell, C.H.

Symons, J.T.

Taylor, J.B.

Thomson, Robert

Troekhart, R.G.

Waldron, J.

Ward, G.W.

Webber, G.E.G.

Wood, L.N.

Woodard, J.A.

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Published Essay, Financial Accounts, Assay Booklets, Notes on Stamp Collecting
210 Published Essay, Financial Accounts, Assay Booklets, Notes on Stamp Collecting

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Legal Papers, Option Agreements, Notarized Letters [19-?]
212 Apex - Elbow

(20 items)

Apex Molybdenite Synd.

Bear Lake Gold Mines Ltd.

Baker-Patton Option

Black Beaver

Bluebird Gold Mines


Cartwright Lake

Conley Gold Mines Ltd.

Consolidated Yukeno Mines Ltd.

Dominion Gulf Co. Ltd.

Elbow Lake Gold Area

13 English Brook

(19 items)

English Brook Mining Co. Ltd.

14 Federated - Long Bear (16 items)

Federated Petroleums Ltd.

Gatlan Mines Ltd.

Gold Bar Mines Ltd.

Gold Chest

Golden Star Mine

Hawmandale Gold Mining Synd.

Hope Gold Synd. Ltd.

Howe Bay Gold Mining Co.

Jowsey Island Gold Mines Ltd.

Limestone Long Bear

Prospecting and Mining Synd.

31 Lucky Bay - North Star

(14 items)

Lucky Bay

Macketta Gold Mines Ltd.

Meston Group

Mount Keno Mines Ltd.

Neda Gold Mines Ltd.

Norris Lake Gold Mines Ltd.

North American Rare Metals Ltd.

North Star Property

2 Nugget - Winnipeg River


Point Wilkins

Roderick Gold Mines Ltd.

Rowan Lake Synd.

Scotia Gold Mines Ltd.


Sunbeam Kirkland

Tabor Lake Gold Mines Ltd.

Valrex Gold Mines Ltd.

Wallace Lake Gold Mines Ltd.

West Plains Oil Resources Ltd.

Winnipeg Lithium Co. Ltd.

Winnipeg River Tin Mines Ltd.

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Assay Reports, Diamond Drill Records, Maps, and Mineral Claims
33 Alaska - Bird River

(18 items)

Alaska Juneau Gold Mining Co.


Baker-Patton Option

Bear Lake Gold Mines Ltd.

Bee Lake

Bird River

4 Bluebird - Bruno

(25 items)

Bluebird Gold Mines Ltd.

Bruno Long-Lac

5 East Braintree Lithium

(11 items)

6 East Braintree Lithium

(17 items)

7 East Braintree Lithium

(20 items)

8 Edna - Estevan

(14 items)

Edna English Brook

Gold Mining Co. Ltd.

Estevan and Bienfait

9 Gauthier - Halfway Lake

(15 items)



Halfway Lake

41 Hope - Lac du Bonnet

(9 items)

Hope Gold Mines Ltd.

Hawmandale Gold Mining Synd.


Lac du Bonnet

2 Maskwa - Mount Haldane

(16 items)


McMillan Gold

Meston Option


Morton Lake

Mount Haldane

3 Neepawa - Neda

(6 items)


Neda Gold Mines Ltd.

4 North Star

(8 items)

5 Rice Lake

(9 items)

6 Scott - Split Lake

(25 items)


Split Lake

7 Sylvanite Gold Mining Co.

(14 items)

8 Sylvanite Gold Mining Co.

(14 items)

Two Bits

Valley Vein

51 West Hawk - Willingdon

(13 items)

West Hawk Lake

West Plains Oil Resource Ltd.


2 Yukon Territories

(5 items)

3 Miscellaneous File

(2 items)

Map of Unknown Locale

Mineral Claims in Quebec

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Rolled Maps and Claims [19-?]
6 Rolled Maps and Claims

(26 items)

Bermuda Shear

Bluebird and Fox Fractions

Blue Chip

Edna Vein

Grandson Hope 31

Lucky Star

Mayo District

Oiseau River Region

Silver Star


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Photograph Collection (PC 74) 1924-1937, [19-?]
11 Photographs of D.J. Birse on the Canadian Geological Survey of 1924.

Locales include Oiseau-Bird River, Bear Lake and the Wento Mineral Claim.

2 Photographs of D.J. Birse on the Canadian Geological Survey of 1925.

Locales include Warren Landing, Norway House and Oxford House.

3 Photographs of D.J. Birse on the Canadian Geological Survey of 1926.

Locales include Rice Lake, Kitchner Mine and Wallace Lake.

4 Photographs from 1933 to 1935.

Locales include Carrot River, MB, and Bernie Lake.

5 Photographs from 1935.

Locales include Gull Lake, Ont. and Mink Lake, Ont.

6 Photographs of a geological expedition to Mink Lake in 1936-37.
7 Photographs from various periods and locales, undated and/or unspecified.
8 Post Cards: Souvenier Views from Manitoba mining areas. Includes Kitchener Mine and Selkirk Gold Mine.
9 Two photographic plates of Tyndall Limestone and a Photo Album, illustrating features of Tyndall Manitoba Limestone.

(38 items)

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