Hannah Mary MacPherson:

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

Inventory prepared by Emma Prescott
University of Manitoba
330 Dafoe Library, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2
(July 2009)

Finding aid encoded by Emma Prescott (July 2009)
Finding aid written in English.



Collection Summary

Repository:
University of Manitoba
330 Dafoe Library, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2

Creator:
Hannah Mary MacPherson

Title:
Hannah Mary MacPherson fonds

Dates:
1916 - 2008

Quantity:
0.76 m

Identification:
A.09-27, Mss 301, PC 252

English

Return to Top


Biography of Hannah Mary MacPherson

Hannah Mary MacPherson was born in Natal, South Africa in 1888. She was the daughter of Mr. McKenna, a member of the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons (a unit that saw action during the Boer War), and Mary who was born in India of Scots origin. In 1890 the family moved from South Africa to England, and then moved to Canada in 1910. Hannah Mary McKenna married Evan MacPherson in Winnipeg in 1914 and had three children, Donald (born 1916 in Winnipeg), Thora (born 1918 in Scotland) and Norman (born 1920 in Winnipeg). Evan and Mary MacPherson became actively involved in the Spiritualist movement in the early 1930s when Mary was requested by spirits to write a book and call it “Our Quest for Truth”. In 1938 Evan MacPherson, who suffered from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), died at the age of 49. Four years later Mary MacPherson lost both her sons in plane crashes. Donald was shot down in Holland and ten weeks later his brothers’ plane crashed on landing in Scotland. Mary MacPherson continued to live in her house on Maryland Street with her daughter Thora until Thora’s husband, Gordon Smith, returned home at the end of World War Two. At that point Mary moved in with her brother Charles and his wife, Nellie to 635 Sherbrook Street where she lived until 1971 when she died. She worked for the Red Cross during World War Two and was a member of The Silver Cross Mothers, The Airmens Club, Cock of The North Camp, Sons of Scotland and the Spiritualist Church of Winnipeg. Mary continued her involvement with the Spiritualist movement throughout her life. She attended Camp Chesterfield, Indiana on numerous occasions and wrote about and transcribed séances. She was known to Dr. and Mrs. Hamilton for her interest in psychic research and corresponded with Dr. O.A. Ostby. In the 1960s Charles McKenna also became involved in the séances and typed up the sessions for his sister.

Return to Top


Scope and Contents of the Collection

The fonds is related to Evan and Mary MacPherson’s instigation and recording of many séances during the period 1933 to 1936 as well as recordings and transcriptions of a number of séances from 1939 to 1952. In addition the fonds contains recordings of Mary MacPhersons personal musings, reflections and inspirational writings throughout the early 1960s. The records are in various formats including handwritten notebooks and loose pages, typed pages, newspaper clippings, published material, lists of spirit visitors, poetry, correspondence, printing on squares of fabric and artwork and channeling on index cards. The majority of the records are from séances held in their home in Winnipeg.

Return to Top


Restrictions on Access

No restrictions

Return to Top


Restrictions on Use

No restrictions

Return to Top


Custodial History

The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Pamela Smith and Deborah Bingman in 2009.

Return to Top


Detailed Description of the Collection

HANNAH MARY MACPHERSON SPIRITUAL PAPERS [ 1916 - 2008 ]

BoxFolder
11 Channeling cards 1947 – 1963
2 Channeling cards 1947 – 1963
3 Channeling cards 1947 - 1951
4 Channeling cards 1951
5 Channeling cards 1960 - 1966
6 Photographs [1957]
  • Silver Cross Mothers laying a wreath on the Cenotaph and a Civic reception for the I.S.F. Congress by the Mayor of Paris.
Binder [n.d.]
  • Brown binder belonging to Charles McKenna with his name embossed on the bottom front right hand corner
BoxFolder
21 Inspirational Writing/Spiritual Writing. 17 March 1962
2 Inspirational Writing/Spiritual Writing. 17 March 1962
3 Inspirational Writing/Spiritual Writing 17 March 1962
4 Inspirational Writing/Spiritual Writing 17 March 1962
5 Inspirational Writing/Spiritual Writing 17 March 1962
6 Inspirational Writing/Spiritual Writing 17 March 1962
7 Synopsis of Ruby’s talks [14 December 1936 – 28 January 1937]
8 Seek and ye shall find [n.d.]
9 Spiritualism means… [n.d.]
10 Count your blessings [n.d]
11 Spirit Communications [n.d]
12 Spirit Friends [n.d]
13 Home Circle [n.d.]
14 The purpose of earthly life [n.d.]
15 The purpose of earthly life [n.d]
16 The purpose of earthly life [n.d.]
17 What do I believe? [n.d.]
18 What do I believe? [n.d.]
19 What do I believe? [n.d.]
20 Healing. [n.d.]
21 My search for God. [n.d.]
22 What does Spiritualism mean to me. [n.d.]
BoxFolder
3 Journals [1946 - 1960]
  • Journal, possibly written by Thora Macpherson recording sittings at Mrs. Sinclairs 1946 – 1947.
  • Journal containing lists of spirit visitors. [24th November 1948 – 25th October 1954].
  • Journal containing lists of spirit visitors. 1956 – 1958
  • Journal containing lists of participants and spirit visitors. October – November 1960
1 Impressions received through Mrs. Macpherson from Mrs. Nellie C. McKenna. 2 Jan 1966 – 1 Jan 1967
2 Cards received from Mrs. Nellie McKenna. July 1963
3 Lists of ‘visitors’, Newspaper clipping, “The other side of the story” , Map of the world regarding the Suez Crisis, Typed transcript page of session [2 May 1949]
4 Transcripts of sessions [July 1939 – 28 June 1949]
5 Transcripts of sessions. Including lists of ‘visitors’ 13 August 1949 – 14 July 1950
6 Transcripts of sessions. Including lists of ‘visitors’ 15 Sept 1949 – 8 Sept 1950
7 Transcripts of sessions. Including lists of ‘visitors’ 20th October 1950 – 4th January 1952
BoxFolder
4 Notebooks “Quest for truth: Our own experience” [1916 - 1951]
  • Book 1. 2nd September 1933 – 1st October 1934. (Book is slightly tete-beche)
  • Book 2. 7th October 1934 – 30th November 1934. (Book is slightly tete-beche)
  • Book 3. 30th September 1934 – 2nd January 1935
  • Book 4. 5th January 1935 – 8th February 1935
  • Book 5. 10th February 1935 – 17th March 1935
  • Book 6. 18th March 1935 – 9th May 1935
  • Book 7. 13th May 1935 – 8th August 1935
  • Book 8. 10th August 1935 – 6th November 1935. (Book is slightly tete-beche)
  • Book 9. 11th November 1935 – 27th December 1935
  • Book 10. 29th December 1935 – 13th March 1936
  • Book 11. 15th March 1936 – 14th May 1936. (Book is slightly tete-beche)
  • Journal entries written by Mrs. Mary MacPherson of séance sessions at Camp Chesterfield. July 1947 and July 1948. 3 notebooks
  • Journal entries about sessions at Camp Chesterfield. July 1951
  • Notebook with notes written in shorthand script. [1916]
1 Journal pages, newspaper clipping about telepathy and a booklet from Dr. Ostby “The Spirit of a Murdered Girl”. [1940]
2 Journal pages, letter about psychic colour painting, article Camp Chesterfield fraud, transcripts of sessions. [9 September 1948 – 30 January 1950]
3 Nameology pamphlet, Journal pages, newspaper clipping. [16 July 1951 – 29 September 1963]
4 Journal pages and newspaper clippings [December 1959]
5 Meditation suggestions, poetry, journal pages, correspondence to and from Mary MacPherson, inspirational and spiritual writings [4 April 1961 – February 1964]
6 Poetry, journal pages, inspirational spirit writings, prayer and bank receipts. [16 March 1962 – 15 December 1963]
7 Journal pages, poetry, correspondence and newspaper clippings about “Pilgrimage to Holland”. [17 March 1962 – 16 December 1962]
8 Journal pages. [20 March 1962 – 18 March 1963]
9 Journal pages, poetry and lists of names. [22 March 1962 – 23 January 1965]
10 Journal pages, eulogies, healing service, prayers and poetry. [22 March 1962 – 6 March 1963]
11 Journal pages and meditation suggestions October 1962. [28 March 1962 – 22 February 1963]
12 Journal pages April 1962 [10 – 25 April 1962]
13 Journal pages and inspirational writings. [5 April – 27 October 1962]
14 Journal pages September 1962 and pay stub. [8 April 1962 – 25 February 1965]
15 Journal pages November 1962 and inspirational writings. [8 April 1962 – 4 May 1964]
16 Journal pages [14 April 1962 – 12 May 1963]
17 Journal pages and newspaper clippings. [16 April 1962 – 12 May 1963]
18 Journal pages August 1962 and prayers. [2 May 1962]
19 Journal pages March 1963. [18 May 1962 – 30 January 1964]
20 Journal pages January 1965. [21 October 1962]
21 Journal pages and Inspirational writing [27 October 1962 – 28 February 1963]
22 Poetry, journal pages, notes, 10 Commandments of how to get along with People, “The Divine Plan” by Glenn Clark, Sunrise Gospel Mission flyer. [18 November 1962]
23 Journal pages about angels and spirit guides. Prayers. [December 1962 - 29 September1963]
24 Journal pages January 1963. 4 January 1963
25 Journal pages. 4 March 1963.
26 Journal pages. [19 March – 24 March 1963]
27 Journal pages. 19 May 1963 and 17 March 1964
28 Journal pages 29 September 1963
29 Journal pages. [13 January – 27 October 1964]
30 Journal pages 12 February 1964
31 Journal pages. [n.d.]
32 Journal pages [n.d.]
BoxFolder
51 Pencil crayon drawings of faces. [n.d.]
2 Printing on squares of fabric. [n.d.]
3 Miscellaneous recent records possibly related to the donation [1990 – 2008]
4 Netherlands War Graves Committee. Itinerary of the 1st Canadian Pilgrimage 1962
5 Newspaper clipping of a photograph of the Silver Cross Mothers placing a wreath on the Cenotaph. [n.d.]
6 Brief biographical sketch 19 January 1965
7 Accreditation certificate and card and Subscription card to the Spiritualists National Union of Canada. Certification as Server and Healer at the Universal Temple of Truth Foundation, Ecclesiastical Governing Body. 1961
8 Winnipeg Spiritualist Church Constitution. 13 January 1954
9 The seven principles. [n.d.]
10 International Spiritualist Federation Program for the Paris Congress and itinerary for tour. 7 September – 1 October 1957
11 International Spiritualist Federation Congess Speeches [1957]
12 Letters from Dr. O.A. Ostby to Mrs. MacPherson. [24th January 1943 – 6th January 1956].
13 Sermon and essay by Dr. O.A. Ostby. [19 February 1952 and 1 November 1954]
14 Copy of Letter sent to Billy Graham from Dr. Ostby. [n.d.]
15 The Psychic Researcher. January 1950
16 Prayers, reflections, Reader’s Digest article, book catalogue and article about automatic handwriting. [1954 – 1962]
17 Series of newspaper articles entitled “Is Survival a Fact” written by Margaret Lillian Hamilton in the Winnipeg Free Press 18 January 1958 – [1st February 1958].
18 The Spiritual Healer. [March 1967].
19 Yours Fraternally. [1962 – 1963]
20 Miscellaneous newspapers: PSI. July/August 1970, The People. 16 February 1958, Cosmic Star. November/December 1964, Pearson’s Weekly. 8 May 1920 [1920 - 1970]
21 Chimes. August 1951
22 Psychic News. [31 May 1952 – 11 April 1970]
23 Two Worlds [21 September 1957 – 8 March 1958]
24 Psychic Observer. [25 January 1950 – 25 June 1955]
25 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings. [n.d.]
26 "Comment” pamphlet and advertisement for Gibert Jeune. [June 1956 – September 1957]
27 Armistice Day 1920 – 1948: The Silent Pause. G. Edgar Owen [n.d.]
28 Spiritualism: some straight questions and direct answers.—Sir A. Conan Doyle and The Transition. Includes a letter from Dr. O.A. Ostby to Mrs. MacPherson. 8 September 1955.
29 Photocopies of envelopes and bags found in the collection [n.d.]

Return to Top


Published material [1901 - 1947]
BoxFolder
61 The Silence of Dr. Lang. [1942]
2 How to meet spirit friends.—Owen R. Washburn [n.d.]
3 Poems of comfort faith and hope.—Allan Junior [n.d.]
Books [1901 - 1947]
  • Intention and survival.—T.Glen Hamilton. 1942
  • The invisible influence.—Alexander Cannon. 1935
  • Powers that be.—Alexander Cannon. 1935
  • The vital message.—Arthur Conan Doyle. 1919
  • The edge of the unknown.—Arthur Conan Doyle. 1930
  • The secret power.—Marie Corelli. 1921
  • My life in two worlds.—Galdys Osborne Leonard. 1931
  • Selected passages dealing with the origin of the New Testament.—Dr. O.A. Ostby.
  • Echoes from the quiet corner.—Patience Strong. 1947
  • The quiet hour.—Patience Strong. 1941
  • In tune with the infinite or fullness of peace, power and plenty.—Ralph Waldo Trine. 1933
  • The Presbyterian book of praise. 1901

Return to Top