Nan Shipley fonds
Call Number: Mss 21, Pc 21 (A.79-14, A.05-82)

Title: Nan Shipley fonds.

Dates: 1940-1990.

Extent: 2.66 m of textual records. -- 533 photographs.

Biographical sketch: Nancy Evelyn Shipley (nee Somerville) was born in Glasgow, Scotland on November 6, 1902. In the 1920s, she moved to Winnipeg and married George Shipley. Nan Shipley published fourteen books and numerous short stories and articles. Her first book, Anna and the Indians (1955), has been reprinted many times. Among her better known publications are Frances and the Crees (1957), The Railway Builders (1965), The James Evan Story (1966), and Churchill: Canada’s Northern Gateway (1974). As a big supporter of Aboriginal and Metis culture, she organized Manitoba’s first Indian handicrafts sales centre (1959) and focused her writing on Indian and Metis women. In 1965, Shipley was elected Woman of the Year by the Women’s Advertising and Sales Club of Winnipeg. She also hosted a weekly television program (1974-1975) at CKND Winnipeg. Nan Shipley passed away on January 23, 1990.

Custodial history: In 1970, Nan Shipley donated most of her papers and manuscripts to the University of Southern Mississippi. The Archives of Manitoba retains her published and unpublished manuscript collections. The first accession (A.79-14) of this fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Nan Shipley in 1979. The second accession (A.05-82) was donated by her niece, Judith I. Leyshon in 2005.

Scope and content: The first accession (A.79-14) includes lecture notes, manuscripts and published articles, radio and television scripts, maps, photographs, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and scrapbooks. In addition, there are three boxes of Indian legends recorded in the scrapbooks of Alex Grisdale of the Scanterbury Indian Reservation and transcribed by Nan Shipley. The map collection is noteworthy for its maps of the old Indian trails which crossed the prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. The photograph collection provides a pictorial record of hydro and railroad developments in northern Manitoba and of the growth and demise of northern towns and settlements. Among the portraits are native peoples and early missionaries and settlers.

The second accession (A.05-82) consists of Nan Shipley’s unpublished autobiography titled Most of it was fun, an unpublished manuscript titled Women of Fort Albany, correspondence, and numerous short stories and articles.

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material. 

Finding aid: A printed finding aid for the 1979 accession is available in the Archives reading room and on-line finding aids are available at the links below:

MSS 21, PC 21 (A.79-14)

MSS 21 (A.05-82).

Digitized Material

Nan Shipley fonds