Marshall Gauvin fonds
Call Number: Mss 47, Mss 90, Pc 36

Title: Marshall Gauvin fonds.

Dates: 1900-1978.

Extent: 7.1 m of textual records. -- 178 photographs.

Biographical sketch: Marshall J. Gauvin was born near Moncton, New Brunswick in 1881. As a youth, he worked for eleven years for the Canadian National Railways as a carpenter and a cabinet maker. After years of self-education and preparation, he embarked on a career as a freelance public lecturer and educator. He lectured for fourteen years in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis. In 1926, he came to Winnipeg at the invitation of the One Big Union. He founded the local branch of the Winnipeg Rationalist Society and lectured weekly for fourteen years on rationalism and humanism in the Metropolitan, Garrick, and Dominion theatres. He became well known for his anti-religious sentiments and his weekly "anti-sermons" during the 1920s and 1930s. On retiring from the lecture platform in 1940, he worked for the duration of the war at MacDonald Aircraft Ltd. building and repairing planes for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Gauvin also wrote monthly articles for the Truth Seeker magazine until his health failed. Marshall Gauvin passed away on 23 September 1978 in Winnipeg.

Custodial history: The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Madelaine S. Gauvin in 1980.

Scope and content: The fonds consists primarily of the free thought lectures of M.J. Gauvin delivered between 1909 and 1940 and his correspondence. There are also personal and biographical memorabilia and correspondence of the Gauvin-Becker families, as well as articles and news clippings relating to religion and free thought. Gauvin's voluminous library on free thought, religion, and anti-religion was donated to the University of Manitoba Libraries and is catalogued and available for use. The fonds also contains 54 pamphlets and individually catalogued ephemera on ethics, Christianity, and parapsychology (MSS 90) and 178 photographs (PC 36).

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material.

Finding aid: Printed finding aids are available in the Archives reading room and an on-line finding aid is available at the link below:


MSS 47, PC 36.