Prairie Literary Manuscripts
University of Manitoba acquired its first and most important literary
manuscript collection in the early 1960s when the papers of the
famed Canadian prairie writer Frederick Philip Grove were offered
by his widow Catherine Wiens Grove (Mss 2, Finding
As fully documented in the D. O. Spettigue Research Collection (Mss
57, acquired in 1986 & 1995), "FPG" was born Felix
Paul Greve, a minor German author & highly prolific translator
who faked his own suicide in 1909 to start a new life in America.
Before he appeared as Grove in Manitoba in 1912, he had abandoned
his first wife Else near Sparta, Kentucky. She became well-known
as Baroness von Freytag-Loringhoven (FrL) in New York dada circles
surrounding Man Ray & Marcel Duchamp at the same time Grove
emerged as a Canadian author from Rapid City, MB, in 1922.
Apart from the Spettigue Collection, Grove's papers are further
supplemented by the Margaret Stobie (Mss 13) and the Divay (Mss12)
research collections. An FPG
(Greve/Grove) & FrL Endowment was established in 1996, and
a website devoted to these collections
has been in existence since then.
Since the 1960s, the Libraries have obtained the papers many more
authors, poets, novelists, critics and journalists including Ralph
Connor (i.e., C. W. Gordon), Dorothy
Avison and John
Newlove. Archives & Special Collections also houses the
business records of the following prairie literary presses: Turnstone
Press of Winnipeg, Thistledown
Press of Saskatoon, and NeWest
Press of Edmonton.
Considering the number and completeness of the collections pledged
and available, the Department now ranks as a leading research centre
for the study of western Canadian literature.