Alice Cameron Brown:

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

Inventory prepared by Kathleen Epp
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Winnipeg, Manitoba

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

Revision History

  • July 26, 2005 - MSS 105, PC 105 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

Alice Cameron Brown

Alice Cameron Brown fonds


1.09 m of textual records. -- 75 negatives. -- 204 photographs.

MSS 105, PC 105


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Biography of Alice Cameron Brown

Alice Cameron Brown was born in Rolling River, Manitoba on 3 March 1898. The daughter of Sarah and Duncan Cameron, she grew up near Minnedosa, Manitoba and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba in 1921. In 1922, she graduated from the Vancouver Normal School and subsequently taught in a number of prairie schools. While working as a teacher in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Alice Cameron met and married James Edward Brown (1926). The couple and their daughter Elizabeth Allison continued to reside in Tisdale for twenty-six years except for a few years during the Second World War when Alice and Allison lived in Quebec and Ontario, while James Brown was serving overseas. In 1952, the Browns moved from Tisdale and retired in Beamsville, Ontario. James Brown died in 1965. Alice Cameron Brown lived in Ontario until her death on 18 January 1993.

The writings of Alice Cameron Brown span a number of literary genres, including children’s verse, poetry, short stories, plays and novels. In 1934, Brown won first prize in the Canadian Author’s Association (Saskatchewan Branch) poetry contest for her poem “Burning Straw Stacks”. The poem was subsequently published in both the Saskatchewan Poetry Year Book (1934-35) and the Canadian Poetry Magazine (Vol. 1, No. 2, April 1936). Following this, primarily during the late 1930s and the 1940s, a number of Brown’s poems and short stories were published in such magazines as Saturday Night , Canadian Poetry Magazine , Fiction and Canadian Poetry Calendar . In 1962, a number of her children’s verses were published in the W. J. Gage children’s reader, Nunny Bag . Other works, such as her novels, were never published.

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Scope and Contents of the Papers

The Alice Cameron Brown Collection incorporates documentation of Brown’s literary activities as well as her personal life. The “personal” files include twenty-one hand-written journals. These journals represent the later years of Brown’s life and cover the years 1964-1990, though not inclusively. In addition, Brown’s personal correspondence spans a considerable portion of her adult life, from 1926 to 1992. While there are some letters written by Alice, most were written to her by family and friends. The largest bulk of letters were from Alice’s husband, James Brown and many of these (177) were written while James was serving overseas in the Second World War. Together, the journals and the personal correspondence provide considerable insight into the various states of Brown’s life: courtship and marriage, mothering and grandmothering, aging and dying.

Contained within the “professional” files are original draft manuscripts for many of Brown’s poems, children’s verses, plays, short stories, some autobiographical material and novels. Some published copies of Brown’s work are also included, as well as photocopies of published works. Of particular note are the first edition of Fiction , a publication of the Canadian Writer’s Club in 1936, and some early volumes of the Canadian Poetry Magazine and The Canadian Author and Bookman . In addition to the manuscripts, the collection contains correspondence from publishers, literary agents and colleagues, including such persons as Earle Birney, William A. Deacon, Sybil Hutchinson and John Newlove.

Also included is a published collection of some of Brown’s writings, entitled Burning Straw Stacks (1993), compiled by Brown’s daughter, Allison Mitcham. Mitcham’s original manuscript and responses to the book are enclosed.

2000 Accral: Box 9 contains material added in August 2000. It is comprised mostly of correspondence and additional drafts of manuscripts, as well as James Brown’s scrolls of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Masons.

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Organization of the Papers

This collection is organized into 6 series

  • Personal 1964-1990
  • Correspondence: 1923-1993
  • Professional 1919-1951, [19-?]
  • Novels 1968-[19-?]
  • Correspondence – Professional 1933-1994
  • Miscellaneous 1926-1972
  • Photograph Collection (PC 105)
  • 2000 Accession

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Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on access to the fonds; however, copyright provisions to unpublished materials may apply. Researchers must confer with the Head Archivist before publishing anything other than fair use excerpts. Users must abide by the laws of copyright as amended by Parliament from time to time.

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Related Papers

MSS 139 May Cameron Stewart fonds - Sister of Alice Cameron Brown

The papers of Allison Mitcham, Alice Cameron Brown's daughter, are located in the University of Saskatchewan archives.

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Custodial History

The Alice Cameron Brown Collection was donated to the University of Manitoba through several accessions in 1993 and 1994 by Allison Mitcham, daughter of Alice Cameron Brown. Material received after 1994 was added to the collection in 2000. A further accrual was received in 2001, but has not yet been processed.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Personal 1964-1990
11 1964
2 1966, 1967


3 1968


4 1970, 1971


5 1971, 1972, 1973


6 1977, 1978


7 1980, 1981


8 1982, 1983, 1984


21 1984, 1985


2 1986, 1987


3 1988, 1989


4 1990 (incomplete)
5 journal from a trip n.d.

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Correspondence: 1923-1993
26 - to James (husband) and Allison (daughter) 1948-51, 1968


7 - to Allison and Peter (son-in-law) 1990-91


8 - to Naomi (granddaughter) 1980


- from James:
29 1926-31


10 1939-41


31 1942-43


2 1946-56


3 - to James from Duncan Cameron (Alice’s father), 1926


4 - from James to Allison 1939-43


5 - from Allison to Peter 1953-92


6 - from granddaughter Stephanie 1969-92


7 - from grandson Chad 1972-92


8 - from granddaughter Naomi 1990-92


9 - personal (other family, friends ) A-L, 1936-91


Abbott, Douglas Charles 1949

Ada (sister) n.d.

Bryce, Helen 1942, n.d. (2)

Cameron, Clare (sister) 1939

Cameron, Duncan (brother) 1936

Cameron, Jim (brother) 1946-65 (5)

Charlotte ? 1974

Chevalier, Nannie 1978

Innis, Mary Q. n.d.

Lamb, Bert n.d.

10 - personal (other family, friends) M-Z, 1923-82


McGill, E. R. 1959

McGill, Frances 1937

McGill, H. L. 1959

MacGuigan, Mark 1963

McIvor, Dan 1957

McKenzie, Tully 1969

“Auntie Maggie” 1942

“Nannie” (?) 1978

Read, E. M. 1957

Saunders, Doris 1970

Simpson, Doreen 1990-91 (2)

Stewart, Ian (brother-in-law) 1982

*see aso “Bosula” file Box 5, Folder 9 for more correspondence from May and Ian Stewart

Strayer, F. G. 1923

Thomson, George 1964

Thornton, Mildred 1934

Thorson, Joseph T. 1967

Van Blaricom, Earl W. and Kathleen 1941, 1952 (2)

Wheeler (?), Elinor 1951

Wilson, Cairine R. 1960

Wilson, Estelle (sister) 1990 (3)

Wooliams, Eldon M. 1958

Wychers, T. (?) 1964

11 - re: teaching


Government of Saskatchewan Department of Education 1926

Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation 1953

11 - to Allison Mitcham re: Alice Cameron Brown 1993


Cowan, Ruth

Culp, Albert and Marie – memorial donation

Fould, Isabel

Hazel, Susan, Bill – memorial donation

Meewasin Foundation

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

Toms, Ora

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Professional 1919-1951, [19-?]
Original manuscripts, revisions and published works
41 Notebook of Poems and Children’s Verses, 1919-1934

At Twilight, 1919

Dew-Drops and Roses, 1923

My House, 1929

Baby Hands, 1932

Poplars in the Rain, 1933

How Would You Like to Be a Queen?, 1933

Mid-Summer, 1933

Where are you now?, 1933

Sunset, 1933

Shadows, 1933

Burning Straw Stacks (original), 1933


The Dance of Death


The Years to Come


Minnedosa, Manitoba

Christmas Eve, 1933

New Year’s, 1934

2 Children’s Verse A-K

Allison Racing by Herself

untitled “Apart from having lost…”

Baby Hands

The Band-Aid Pod (2) and the Whale and the Snale

The Bird House

B-Tend (2) and In Pastures Green

Campbell’s Dog and the Quigley’s Cat

Christmas Pudding (2) and In the Car The Disconsolate Poodle (3)

The Fair (2)

Fairies’ Places (2) and Swinging The Giggling Brook (3)

The Green Thumb? But No! Guess What! (2)

Highway Giants (2)

A-Hunting (4)


If I Should Meet a Princess (3)

I Made a Pair of Goggles

In a Minute (2)

In Pastures Green (2)

In the Car


3 Children’s Verse L-Z

Lilabel (2)

The Little Old Gentleman (2)

Living Magic Hill (2) and Ask the Tree

Moby Doll (3) + clipping

Mother Looks at Me November Dusk (3)

One Year (2)

Peebles and Christmas Pudding; In the Car

The Race of the Poles and Posts (2)

Rain-Drops (1935)

Robins in the Rowan Tree

The Sailing Moon

Sleep, little daughter (2)

Snow Fairies

Summer (3) published copy: The Story Hour Volume VII, No. 31 (July 30, 1939)

Summer Night (2)

Swinging (2)

Thundering Leaves

The Toad on the Road (3)

Twas the Week Before Christmas


Wrights have a Wood-Pile

4 Poetry A-D



A Bluff and To the Riding Mountains Burning Straw Stacks two published copies: Saskatchewan Poetry Year Book (1934-35) Canadian Poetry Magazine Vol. 1, No. 2 (April 1936) also photocopied clippings re: award for the poem

The Dance of Death (3) published, Canadian Poetry Calendar (1938)

Death of an Old Hunter (2)

The Dilletante Disarmament (9)

A Dream (2) photocopy of published copy, Crucible Vol. 5, No. 2 (Spring 1938)

5 Poetry E-L

Encounter (3)

Ever Faster, Still Faster published copy, Canadian Poetry Magazine Vol. 3, No. 1 (June 1938)

Ferry on the Saskatchewan (2)

The Goal Grandma Heard the Alarm Clock “H”, “K” (2)

The Hobo (3)

Hope published Canadian Poetry Calendar (1938)

Huntington Beach, California and Grandpa Patrick

An Indian Talks with his Ancestor (3)

6 Poetry M-Z

Minnedosa (3)

My Daughter

My Grandfather


No Luck

November Garden (2)


The Old Oak (3)

Overseas Mail Poplars

A Prairie Trail (3)

Retreat (2)

Road-Sign published in Canadian Poetry Magazine Vol. 12, No. 1 (Sept 1948)

Snow-Blind (2)


The Swallows Tourist (2)

Writers Eat People (2) plus Niagara; Train Passing; Roses; “It fills me with hilarity…”; Informer

47 Curtains (3)
8 Pagodas in the West – 2 manuscripts of story, 1 of play
9 Untitled, incomplete
410 Short Stories A-E

untitled, “The accident proved it…”

The Agreeable Man

The Anatomy Lesson – photocopy from Saturday Night (May 10, 1941), p. 29

The Ancient Spirit

Approach to Romance – photocopy from Saturday Night (Nov 3, 1939)

The Black Sheep

Casual of the Soil – published The Saskatchewan Author (April/May, 1939), p. 28

The Celestial Visit of Mr. McEdgar

Chocolates for an Aging Woman

Christmas Crosses

Christmas Pageant (2)

The Corporal’s Columns

Daffodils in February (2)

The Dedicated Sales Lady

Delphiniums Blew!

End of Holidays (2) – photocopy of Hamilton Spectator (Sept 1, 1956) – under pen name, Susan Steele

11 Short Stories F-K

A Fore-noon With a Two Year Old (3)

For Love of a Lady

For Want of a House

The Friendly Indian – photocopy from Hamilton Spectator (n.d., under pen name Susan Steele

From Him that Hath Not Fun

For Your Money

A Garden of Trees

The Ghosts of Peace Glen

Good-Bye, Brown Bird

The Good Companion

The Gray Ulster

Heart of Flesh (2)

The Heroism of M. Clotaire

High Road to the Highlands (1 manuscript under Brown’s original title, “Scotch on the Rocks”) - photocopied from Hamilton Spectator (March 27, 1965)

Invitation to Freedom Abetted by the Glowering Beethoven – photocopy of Saturday Night (May 18, 1946), p. 34 The Irascible Ghosts

12 Short Stories L-O

Lake White-Fish

The Lighted Inn

Local No. 10 – Four Hours Late

The Locket

Love and Learn (2)

The Love Story of an Advertising Man Man in a Caleche: of the Best Way to See Quebec on a Sunny Day – photocopy of Saturday Night (Nov 18, 1944), p. 27; plus one draft copy

The Man Who Came to Tea

Memo from Main Street (2)

Of Mice and Military

Mother in the Class-Room

Mountain Magic

Odysseus at the Wheel (2)

Off to the Mines

Olympian Holiday

untitled “Once upon a time…”

On the War (2)

51 Short Stories P-T

The Persistence of Optimism of Those Who Would be Authors – photocopy and clipping from Saturday Night (Sept 2, 1944)

The Perfect Mother-in-Law

Pine Shadows Inn

untitled “Plush!”

Recess Reckoning

untitled “I See Teddies…”

Shadows Somewhat Back from the illage Street

Sonata in Cooking

Souvenir of Elizabeth – photocopy from Saturday Night (May 11, 1948), p. 25

Suburban Symphony

They’ve Taken the Thrill out o’ Flying (3)

The Trap (3)

A Tree for Thanksgiving (2)

A Tree in Suburbia

Two Are Better Than One (notebook)

2 Short Stories U-Z

The Vanishing Woodpile (2)

That Vote – She is Ours

The Voice and the Echo (3)

War in Peace Glen – published copy of Fiction (1936)

Why Can’t You Write – published copy of The Canadian Author and Bookman Vol. XXVI, No. 1

Wildwood Store and Post Office (2)

The Woodman and His Axe – (2) and photocopy of Saturday Night (Nov 3, 1939), p. 24

3 Notes for Poems, Stories, Etc.
4 Notes for Poems, Stories, Etc.
5 Memoirs – Reflections on Quebec and Ontario

Mrs. Brown Goes to Town

Journal at Chateau Frontenac, 1941

I Came to Toronto

6 Memoirs – Trip to Vancouver, 1951

Coming Round the Mountain

7 Memoirs

Memoirs of Alice Cameron Brown (2 pages)

Dead Yesterdays

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Novels 1968-[19-?]
58 The Invisible Miss Hunsley (“Bosula”),

draft manuscript

9 The Invisible Miss Hunsley (“Bosula”)


clippings re: travel


from May and Ian Stewart, 1968-69 (5 pieces)

from Nannie and Jean Chevalier, 1969 (1 piece)

10 The News Chronicle , draft manuscript
61 Viscountess Selassie , draft manuscript
Between the Eagle and the Moose ,
62 Notes
3 draft 1
4 draft 2
5 draft 3
71 draft 4 (renamed Aquila Acres)
2 final manuscript (renamed They Are All Gone Away )

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Correspondence – Professional 1933-1994
73 Outgoing:

Canadian Poetry Magazine 1936, 1947 (2)

Chatelaine 1958

Salverson, George at CBC 1978

4 Incoming A-F, 1937-68:

American Home 1949

Atlantic Monthly n.d.

Birney, Earle 1942-63 (6)

Canadian Author’s Association, Saskatchewan Branch 1937

Canadian Bookman 1937

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 1939-68 (3)

Canadian Home Journal 1956-57 (3)

Canadian Poetry Magazine 1946-47 (1 letter, 1 uncashed cheque)

Chatelaine 1965

Deacon, W. A. (Bill) 1959

5 Incoming G-M 1933-1990:

Games and Fisheries Branch, Province of Manitoba, 1951

The Globe and Mail 1957

Hart House Theatre ca. 1939

Hay (?), L. R. 1933

Hutchinson, Sybil 1952-57, 1973 (11)

Kellock, Joanne 1990 (4)

Ladies Home Journal 1957

Longmans Canada Limited 1962

Mayfair 1944

6 Incoming N-Z 1936-73:

Newlove, John 1969-73 (2)

Ridley, Hilda M. 1936

Saskatchewan Historical Society 1939 (2)

Saturday Night 1947-63 (4)

The Tamarack Review 1957

Today’s Woman n.d.

The Toronto Star 1954

University of Toronto Quarterly 1936

Weekes, Mary 1935

Winnipeg Free Press Company Limited 1949-51 (2)

W. J. Gage Limited 1961 (4, plus 2 memorandi of agreement)

The Writer’s Club 1936 (2)

7 Burning Straw Stacks , manuscript
8 Burning Straw Stacks , notes used for Introduction
9 Burning Straw Stacks , 2 copies of published work
10 Correspondence – responses to Burning Straw Stacks , 1994

Albright Centre

Belyea, Mabel

Brown, Gerry

Butler, Mrs. M.

Casey, Joseph

Chiasson, Sr. Yvonne

Cowan, Ruth

Donnelly, Sandra (2)

Lamb, Mildred and Bert

Quigley, Dr. Theresa

Regan, Sheila

Simpson, Doreen

Stewart, Lily

University of Winnipeg

Wilson, Estelle

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Miscellaneous 1926-1972
81 Calendar 1950
2 Address Books


3 Marriage Certificate, James Brown and Alice Cameron, 1926
4 James Brown – Military Documents
5 James Brown speech “Our Duty to the Legion”
6 James Brown – memorial book, etc.
7 Trip to Coast, Alice and Allison, expenses/itinerary, 1939
8 Broadcast Transcript, 1945

(promotion of a Liberal electoral candidate)

9 Clippings re: Brown/Cameron families
10 Personal Documents:

Passport, 1972

Dependent’s Allowance and Assigned Pay, Treasury Form 1943

Driver’s License, 1940

report of contributions to Trinity United Church, 1970

11 Thoughts (incomplete) “On the Superiority of Men…”
12 Teaching Certificates
13 Bachelor of Arts Diploma, 1921

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Photograph Collection (PC 105) [19-?]
11 Photo Album

71 photographs

2 Photographs of Alice Cameron Brown


3 Family photographs


4 Family photographs – the Cameron family, [ca. 1908]


5 Family photographs


6 Friends


7 Friends, Miscellaneous


8 Friends, Miscellaneous


9 Buildings, Landscape


10 Negatives


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2000 Accession 1942-1988

This series consists of the following subseries:

Additional Correspondence: 1942-1998

Manuscripts 1953-1974 and [19-?]

Miscellaneous 1928-1934 and [19-?]

Additional Correspondence: 1942-1998
9 Address book
1 - to Allison Mitcham 1970-89


2 - from granddaughter Stephanie Mitcham 1980-82


3 - from grandson Chad Mitcham 1981-83


4 - from granddaughter Naomi Mitcham, plus journal 1979-83


5 Other:

Birney, Earle (2) 1953, 1973

Brown, Don 1974

Brown, James 1942

Mitcham, Peter 1981

Stewart, May Cameron 1971

Estelle Wilson to Allison Mitcham, 1998

Manuscripts 1953-1974 and [19-?]
96 Play: Curtains
7 Poetry:


The Disconsolate Poodle

Giants by the Road

Mud Pies plus The Giggling Brook

November Garden published copy, Saturday Night (Nov 1953)

Obituary, original draft 1974

Short Stories:
98 Flash Brown; The Disturbing Male
9 Viscountess Selassie
10 The News Chronicle
11 The Perfect Mother-in-Law (written under pen name Doran Ellot, 1961)
11 Extravagant Economies published, n.d.
Miscellaneous 1928-1934 and [19-?]
912 Copy of the Tisdale Recorder, September 1934,

with notice: “Mrs. J. E. Brown wins Canadian Authors Poetry Competition”

13 James Brown, Grand Lodge of Scotland Mason’s Scrolls, 1943 plus copy of photo of T. H. S. instructors, 1928-29
14 Angels in the Snow – published book by Allison Mitcham

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2001 Accession - A.01-57, 1957-2000
11 From Estelle Cameron Wilson and Sandra Donnelly to Allison Mitcham, 1998-2000
2 22 poems and a letter from A. Brown to her daughter A. Mitcham, 1957
13 “Not in the Guide Book” - Trip to Hong Kong, 1970
4 Stories and Sketches, pt.1 – unpublished manuscripts

5 Stories and Sketches, pt.2 – unpublished manuscripts

  • “Two Are Better Than One”
  • “Olympian Feast”
  • “Ducks Are Good This Year”
  • “That Vote – She Is Ours”
  • “The Candle of Youth”
  • “Dinner in the Main Dining-Room”
  • “The Persistence of Optimism”
  • “Mr. McConachie’s Eggs Take Wings”

6 Stories and Sketches, pt.3 – unpublished manuscripts

  • “Rehabilitation”
  • “Friends and Enemies in the Queue and Crush”
  • “The Sitter”
  • “Thoughts Aboard on Ocean Liner”
  • “Conversation in the Next Room”

7 Excerpts from the manuscript “Aquila Acres” pt.1 sent to the various publishers (includes publishers’ letters)
8 Excerpts from the manuscript “Aquila Acres” pt.2
9 Excerpts from the manuscript “Aquila Acres” pt.3
Book: Burning Straw Stacks: Selected Writings by Alice Cameron Brown/ ed. by Allison Mitcham. Lancelot Press, 1993.

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