An Inventory of Her Papers at the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections
Table of Contents
Heather Robertson was born in Winnipeg in 1942. She received a B.A. (Honours) in English from the University of Manitoba in 1962. Robertson displayed a penchant for invoking controversy during her term as Editor of the University's student newspaper, The Manitoban . A column criticizing Bison football resulted in her being hung in effigy. She was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and studied Victorian Literature at Columbia University in New York,where she received an M.A. in English.
Returning to Winnipeg, Robertson began a journalism career at the Winnipeg Free Press . She was quickly hired away by the Winnipeg Tribune , where she worked for two years. Robertson received $3000 to pursue her research on Aboriginal Peoples. The resulting volumnious study became the foundation for her first book, Reservations are for Indians , published in1970. Three years later she wrote Grass Roots , with Salt of the Earth appearing the following year. In 1975 Robertson profiled Barbara Frum and Judy Lamarsh in the book Her Own Women . Two years later she wrote A Terrible Beauty: The Art of Canada at War . In 1981, she chronicled the life of the infamous Winnpeg bank robber, Ken Leishman, in the screenplay The Flying Bandit .
Robertson's literary career took a new direction in 1983 with the publishing of Willie, A Romance . The book marked the author's initial attempt at fiction, and she garnered a best first novel award, Books in Canada. The intimate look at the life of Prime Minister Mackenzie King was further developed in Lily, A Rhapsody in Red , published in 1986, and Igor , published in 1989. Robertson has published a number of other works of non-fiction. A Gentleman Adventurer: The Arctic Diaries of R.H.G. Bonnycastle , appeared in 1985. The bestseller More Than a Rose was released in 1991, followed by On The Hill (1992). Robertson also wrote Meeting Death (2000), The Road Well Kept: Branksome Hall Celebrates 100 Years (2001) and Driving Force: The McLaughlin Family and the Age of the Car (2003). In 2003, Robertson edited the autobiography of Angus Shortt, entitled My Life With Birds . Robertson's most recent book, which she co-wrote with Melinda McCracken, is Magical, Mysterious Lake of the Woods (2003). It received the Fred Landon award for the best work on Ontarioregional history in 2004.
Like most Canadian writers, Robertson has held a host of other jobs to supplement her literary career. She has worked for the CBC and writtne columns for Macleans , Chatelaine , Saturday Night , Canadian Forum , and Equinox . Robertson resides in Toronto.
The collection contains manuscripts, correspondence and research materials relating to the books The Road Well Kept: Branksome Hall Celebrates 100 Years , Driving Force, My Life With Birds and several of Robertson's other projects between 1971 and 2001. It also includes 11 audio cassettes and 17 audioreels.
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Copyright restrictions apply
MSS 77, PC 7, TC 67 (A.79-16, A.79-26, A.80-18, A.84-39, A.85-21, A.88-29, A.91-03, A.92-02, A.92-45, A.93-17, A.95-29, A.96-07); MSS 77, PC 7,TC 67 (A.05-17); Unprocessed records (A.00-19)
Donated by Heather Robertson in 2003
Electronic and printed finding aids for MSS 77, PC 7, TC 67 (A.79-16, A.79-26, A.80-18, A.84-39, A.85-21, A.88-29, A.91-03, A.92-02, A.92-45, A.93-17, A.95-29, A.96-07) and MSS 77, PC 7, TC 67 (A.05-17) are availableon-line and in the Archives' reading room.
- McLaughlin reference book, 1922
- Automobile Route booklet, 1934
- CNIB Talking Book of the Year 1985
- National Business Book Award 1995
- Batchelor of Arts 1963
- Masters of Arts 1964
- Videocassette: Angus and Betsy Shortt interview 12 February 1998
- black and white negatives, Paul von Baich
- Reservations are for Indians1970
- A Terrible Beauty1977
- The Flying Bandit (2 copies) 1981
- Willie: A Romance1983
- Books for the month, featuring Willie: A Romance1983
- The Oshawa Kid, R.S. McLaughlin interview, NFB: 4 audio cassettes n.d.
- Discovery of Strangers, Rudy Weibe: 2 audio cassettes n.d.
- David Hatch: 1 audio cassette n.d.
- Angus Shortt: 2 audio cassettes n.d.
- Driving Force, Isabel McLaughlin and Margaret Nelson: 2 audio cassettes n.d.
- Salt of the Earth: 1 x 1/4", 1200 ft. audio reel n.d.
- Grass Roots, interviews: 5 x 5" audio reels n.d.