Heather Robertson:

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

Inventory prepared by Tracey Otto
University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(2004)

Finding aid encoded by Heather Beattie (July 2005)
Finding aid written in English.

Revision History

  • July 26, 2005 - MSS 77, PC 7, TC 67 (A.03-90) converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).


Collection Summary

Repository:
University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Creator:
Heather Robertson

Title:
Heather Robertson fonds

Dates:
1942-2004

Quantity:
1.75 m of textual records and other materials

Identification:
MSS 77, PC 7, TC 67 (A.03-90)

English

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Biography of Heather Robertson

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 Ontario regional 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.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

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 audio reels.

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Restrictions on Access

Access restrictions apply

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Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions apply

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Related Materials

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)

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Custodial History

Donated by Heather Robertson in 2003

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Other Finding Aids

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 available on-line and in the Archives' reading room.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

The Road Well Kept: Branksome Hall Celebrates 100 Years [ 1998-2001 ]
BoxFolder
11 Correspondence 1998-2001
2 Manuscript 2001
3 Manuscript 2001

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"Flying Bandit" television screenplay 1980-1982
BoxFolder
14 Screenplay (rough draft) 1980
5 Drafts, notes 1982
6 Screenplay 1982
7 Screenplay 1982
8 Screenplay 1982

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Miscellaneous articles and reviews 1976-1985
BoxFolder
21 Press clippings 1976-1985
2 Articles, book reviews 1971-1978
3 Articles, book reviews 1977-1981
4Saturday Night magazine 1976, 1978, 1980
BoxFolder
31MacLean's articles, correspondence 1973-1975

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"Television" articles 1973
BoxFolder
32 Column, notes 1973
3 Column 1973

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Her Own Words 1973-1975
BoxFolder
34 Miscellaneous articles for MacLean's 1974
5 Miscellaneous articles for MacLean's 1974
6 Miscellaneous articles, notes on Sydney Spivak 1975
BoxFolder
41 Notes, drafts, correspondence 1973-1974
2 Notes, interviews, reviews, correspondence 1975

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Libel Reform 1989-1995
BoxFolder
51 Correspondence and information 1989-1991
2 Correspondence and information 1990-1991
3 Correspondence and information 1991-1992
4 Correspondence and information 1992-1993
5 Correspondence and information 1991-1995
6 Correspondence and information 1991-1995

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Angus Shortt: My Life With Birds 1928-2003
BoxFolder
61 Angus Shortt My Life With Birds correspondence 1928-1937
2 Angus Shortt field book excerpts, correspondence 1928-1937
3 Angus Shortt field book excerpts 1930-1937
4 Angus Shortt correspondence, autobiographical information 1995-2003
5 Research notes 1932-1950, 2000
6 Research notes 1944-1945, 1950, 1979-1986
7 Research notes 1963-2000
BoxFolder
71 Research notes 1969-2001
2 Research notes 1990, 2000
3 Research notes 2000
4 Master file 1939-2001
5 Miscellaneous articles, book reviews 1988-1999
6 Miscellaneous articles, book reviews 1992-1998
BoxFolder
81 Manuscript: intro., chapters 1-3 2001
2 Manuscript: chapters 4-5, sources 2001

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"Natasha in Moscow" article 1983-1989
BoxFolder
83 "Natasha in Moscow" article 1983-1987
4 "Natasha in Moscow" article 1986-1987

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Driving Force: The McLaughlin Family and the Age of the Car 1988-2003
BoxFolder
91 Research materials 1922, 1934

  • McLaughlin reference book, 1922
  • Automobile Route booklet, 1934

2 Research 1992-1995
3 Research 1992-1997
4 Research 1988, 1995-1996
5 Research, articles 1996
6 Research 1994-1998, 2003
BoxFolder
101 Manuscript on two large format floppy disks n.d.
2 Manuscript: introduction, chapter 1 1997
3 Manuscript: chapters 2, 3 1997
4 Manuscript: chapters 4, 5 1997
5 Manuscript: chapters 6, 7 1997
BoxFolder
111 Manuscript: chapters 8, 9 1997
2 Manuscript: chapters 10, 11 1997
3 Manuscript: chapters 12, 13 1997
4 Manuscript: chapters 14, 15 1997

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Writing for Life 1996-1998
BoxFolder
117 Writing for Life 1996-1998

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Artifacts
BoxFolder
12 2 McLaughlin hub caps n.d.

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Oversize Textual Records 1963-64, 1985, 1995
BoxFolder
2 Awards 1985, 1995

  • CNIB Talking Book of the Year 1985
  • National Business Book Award 1995

2 Degrees 1963-1964

  • Batchelor of Arts 1963
  • Masters of Arts 1964

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Graphic Materials
BoxFolder
1

  • Videocassette: Angus and Betsy Shortt interview 12 February 1998
  • black and white negatives, Paul von Baich

BoxFolder
2 Posters (oversized) 1983-1995

  • Reservations are for Indians1970
  • A Terrible Beauty1977
  • The Flying Bandit (2 copies) 1981
  • Willie: A Romance1983
  • Books for the month, featuring Willie: A Romance1983

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Sound recordings
BoxFolder
1

  • 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.

BoxFolder
2 "Tommy Douglas Interviews": 9 x 5" audio reels n.d.
BoxFolder
3

  • Salt of the Earth: 1 x 1/4", 1200 ft. audio reel n.d.
  • Grass Roots, interviews: 5 x 5" audio reels n.d.

BoxFolder
4 audio reel, untitled n.d.
BoxFolder
5 audio reel, untitled n.d.

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