Edmund J. Berry fonds

Call Number: Mss Sc 137, Pc 44

Title: Edmund J. Berry fonds.

Dates: 1958-1959.

Extent: 0.03 m of textual records. -- 24 photographs.

Biographical sketch: Edmund J. Berry was born in Aberdeenshire in 1911. He received his earliest education in Scotland before immigrating to Canada with his parents. Berry attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, where he received a B.A. Honours degree in Classics in 1936 and an M.A. in 1937. In 1940 he completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Greek at the University of Chicago and accepted an appointment to the Classics department at the University of Manitoba. He became department head in 1956, a position he held for 17 years, and retired in 1980. After retirement Berry was appointed Professor Emeritus of the University of Manitoba. Professor Berry published Emerson's Plutarch in 1961 and numerous articles over the course of his academic career.

Like many academics in 1958, Berry became interested in what became known as the Crowe case and its testing of the boundaries of academic freedom in Canadian universities and colleges. In March of 1958 United College (now a part of the University of Winnipeg) Principal Wilfred C. Lockhart anonymously received an opened letter written by tenured History Professor Harry S. Crowe, then on academic leave at Queens University, that was intended for United College German professor William (Viljo) Packer. In the letter, the content of which was never made public, Crowe apparently made disparaging remarks about the academic environment of United College. Lockhart was offended by the letter and sent correspondence to Crowe that if he in fact viewed the college in such a negative way, he should seek employment elsewhere and would be given a year to seek employment. Crowe refused to resign and thus began a process of acrimonious negotiation between Crowe and the administration. Universities across the country closely followed the Crowe case. Eventually Crowe was allowed to stay at United College, but opted to move to a new job as research director for the Canadian Brotherhood of Railway, Transport and General Workers. He returned to academia at York University in 1966.

Custodial history: The fonds was donated by Edmund J. Berry to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections on September 3, 1993. This fonds was originally titled "Harry S. Crowe," but was changed to its present title in March 2002 due to its provenance.

Scope and content: The fonds consists of two folders relating to the Harry S. Crowe incident at United College in 1958-1959. Folder 1 contains a bound document believed to be compiled by Berry after the release of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) report on the Crowe case. This 65-page document includes copies of letters and memorandums written by United College professors Crowe, McNaught, Reid, Stingle, and administrators such as A.E. Macleod and Principal Lockhart. It also includes copies of published interviews involving Crowe, McNaught, Lockhart, A.E. Macleod and others. The second folder consists of various documents used to compile the first folder. Most documents are copies or transcripts of newspaper reports, but there are several original documents created by McNaught and Crowe.  The photograph collections consists of 24 photographs pertaining to the University of Manitoba's selection of a coat of arms.  Dr. Berry was a member of this selection committee.

Source of supplied title: Title based on provenance of the fonds.

Restrictions: There are no restricitons on acess to this material.

Finding aid: Finding aid is currently unavailable.