Heather Robertson:

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

Inventory prepared by Heather Beattie
University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(July 2005)

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.05-17) 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:
1981-2004

Quantity:
0.6 m of textual records and other materials

Identification:
MSS 77, PC 7, TC 67 (A.05-17)

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 Meeting Death and Magical, Mysterious Lake of the Woods as well as 20 years worth of Robertson's correspondence with friend and coauthor Melinda McCracken. It also includes 103 photographs, 12 audio cassettes and 1 videocassette.

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Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged in two series: the first contains materials related to Robertson's book Meeting Death , the second contains materials related to Magical, Mysterious Lake of the Woods .

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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.03-90); Unprocessed records (A.00-19)

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Custodial History

Donated by Heather Robertson in 2005

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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.03-90) are available on-line and in the Archives' reading room.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Meeting Death [ 1995-2007 ]
BoxFolder
11 Correspondence 1995-1999
2 Correspondence 2000-2007
3 Research materials 1997-2001
4 Graphic materials [199-?]
5 Reviews and publicity 2000-2001
6 Early draft with editor's notes, chapters 2-5 2000
7 Early draft with editor's notes, chapters 6-10 2000
8 Early draft with editor's notes, chapters 11-15 2000
9 Early draft with editor's notes, chapters 16-20 2000
BoxFolder
21 Early draft with editor's notes, chapters 21-25 2000
2 Early draft with editor's notes, chapters 26-27 2000
3 Revised draft, chapters 1-5 2000
4 Revised draft, chapters 6-10 2000
5 Revised draft, chapters 11-15 2000
6 Revised draft, chapters 16-20 2000
7 Revised draft, chapters 21-27 2000
BoxFolder
31 Final edited draft, chapters 1-5 2000
2 Final edited draft, chapters 6-10 2000
3 Final edited draft, chapters 11-15 2000
4 Final edited draft, chapters 16-20 2000
5 Final edited draft, chapters 21-25 2000
6 Final edited draft, chapters 26-27 2000
7 Copy of Meeting Death 2000

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Lake of the Woods 1981-2004
BoxFolder
41 Correspondence with Melinda McCracken 1981-1990
2 Correspondence with Melinda McCracken 1991-2000
3 Correspondence 2001-2004
4 Research materials 1995-2003
5 Research notes 2001-2003
6 Reviews and publicity 2003-2004
7 Awards 2004

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Meeting Death [199-]-1999
BoxFolder
11 Photographs from Hospice Uganda 1999

35 photographs

2 Photographs by Heather Robertson [199-]

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Lake of the Woods [199-]-2003
BoxFolder
13 Photographs by Heather Robertson and Melinda McCracken [199-]
4 Photographs of Heather Robertson and Melinda McCracken 2001
5 Photographs by Heather Robertson 2001
6 Photographs of Heather Robertson for book cover 2003
7 Photographs from book signings 2003

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Meeting Death 1995-2001
BoxFolder
1 audio cassettes 1996-1999

  • Larry Librach #1, c. 1996
  • Larry Librach #2, c. 1996
  • Larry Librach #3, c. 1996
  • Alex Mackenzie, 1997
  • Terry Penner, c.1997
  • Steve and Maggie, c. 1997
  • Patricia Burden, n.d.
  • Robyn Posen Young #1, 1998
  • Robyn Posen Young #2, #3, 1998
  • Marcia Levetown, 1999
  • Anne Merriman, 1999
  • Sarah Suleiman, 1999

videocassette, Robertson's television interviews about Meeting Death 2000

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Lake of the Woods 1999
BoxFolder
1 audio cassette, Touchtone , a radio play by Melinda McCracken 1999

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