Graham Lawson Shanks fonds
Call Number: Mss 6, Pc 4 (A.81-16)

Title: Graham Lawson Shanks fonds

Dates: 1908-1976.

Extent: 2.48 m of textual records. -- 14 photographs. -- 350 glass slides.

Biographical sketch: Graham Lawson Shanks was born on November 15, 1889 in Pettapiece, Manitoba. Shanks and his wife, Mildred, had one son named John Edward. In 1909, Shanks enrolled in the Manitoba Agricultural College (which would later be amalgamated into the University of Manitoba in 1929) and three years later, in 1912, graduated as a member of the first graduating class of three in Agricultural Engineering. After graduating, Shanks held a position as an instructor of farm mechanics at the School of Agriculture in Vermillion, Alberta. In 1917, he accepted an appointment at the Manitoba Agricultural College as a lecturer in Agricultural Engineering. A year later, he did service in the First World War with the Royal Flying Corps as a Cadet where he returned from duty on December 1918. In 1921, at the age of 32, he then went on to accept a position as Head of the Agricultural Engineering section where he continued to work until his retirement in 1955. In 1930, Shanks would go on to receive an M.S. at Iowa State College. His position was secure until 1933, when the Department of Agriculture closed its doors due to the Great Depression. During that time, Shanks remained on staff as a member of the Department of Civil Engineering but once the Department of Agricultural Engineering was re-established in 1947, Shanks reclaimed his title as Head of the department. In addition to teaching, Shanks also held many memberships in societies. He was a member of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, the Engineering Institute of Canada, and the Agricultural Institute of Canada. On December 15, 1951, Shanks took a leave of absence to serve as an adviser in farm mechanization to the government of Pakistan under the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations until December 15, 1952. G.L. Shanks also made many more contributions to agriculture by heading investigations into farm affairs and farm machinery problems in Manitoba that contributed to the formation of business and government policy. On June 15, 1983, Shanks passed away at the age of 93.

Custodial history: The photographs were donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in 1981 by F.F. Parkinson. The print material and glass slides were donated by Don Meadows of the Faculty of Agriculture in 1981. The diaries were donated prior to 1978.

Scope and content: The fonds consists of twenty four diaries written by G.L. Shanks and a collection of photographs pertaining to Professor Shanks' essay, "Philip Grove - His Ability to Describe the Rural Scene."  The fonds also includes Shanks' glass slides and printed material.

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material.

Finding aid: Printed finding aids for the diaries and photographs are available in the Archives reading room and on-line finding aids are available at the links below:

MSS 6, PC 4 - Diaries, photographs

MSS 6 (A.81-16) - Glass slides and print material

MSS 6 (A.81-16) - Print material listed by theme.

We greatly acknowledge the financial support of the Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism and the Heritage Grants Advisory Council in the creation of this finding aid.