Twelve Days of Archives

Here we are again with another rendition of everyone’s favourite holiday tradition! That’s right, its the 12 Days of Archives! Sing it loud everyone…

One the first day of Christmas my Archives gave to me…

Twelve Christmas Print Blocks

12 Xmas Print Blocks

Eleven Night Club Matchbooks

11nightclubmatchbooksTen Figure Skaters

a-1011Nine USask Pennants

9usaskpennantsEight Aerial Photos

8aerialphotosSeven Christmas Novels

7christmasnovelsSix Sappho Postcards

6sapphopostcardsFive Shiny Plaques

5shinyplaquesFour Halibut

4halibutThree Hot Drinks

3drinksTwo Beer in Love


and a partridge in a library!1partridgePartridge painting, Copyright Kate Hodgson, 1998

Co-operative books in the University Archives and Special Collections

a-9982022The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives was established on the University of Saskatchewan campus in 1984.  Its stated mandate is to be an “interdisciplinary centre of higher learning that provides people with conceptual and informational tools to understand co-operatives
and to develop them as solutions to economic and social needs.” The current work of the centre is perhaps best captured on their blog, Contemplating Co-ops.

To meet their mandate, the Centre quickly developed a library with a broad range of resources on co-operatives and their operation both in Saskatchewan and around the world. Recently, several of these books were transported to UASC, complimenting co-operative centric archival collections such as the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool fonds, the 25th Theatre a-9982021fonds and more,

Given the province’s history with co-operatives, from the early days of the Wheat Pool, to Tommy Douglas and the CCF, to  the groceries, credit unions, and art and theatre collectives that flourish in the province today, it is not surprising that a school devoted to the study of co-operatives was founded here.

The images shown provide a small sampling of the types of books included in this comprehensive collection, and should provide inspiration for the various ways in which co-operatives can be studied.


Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity

Using the Collections

In Making a Scene: Lesbians and Community Across Canada, 1964-84 (UBC Press 2015) author Liz Millward generously acknowledged the Richards collection at the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan for documenting the participation of lesbians in both social and political groups in the Canadian West.


In the summer of 2015 Shawna Lipton of Washington State University Vancouver travelled to Saskatoon to explore lesbian titles in the Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity. She returned to Saskatoon in September for a public presentation of her findings with Prof. Ann Martin of the U of S English Department. Titled Returning to the Well: Radclyffe Hall and the Marketing of Lesbian Pulp Fiction the presentation examined how the Well of Loneliness and Hall’s iconic lesbian status, affected the content and marketing of preStonewall lesbian fiction. The Library used this opportunity to greatly expand its collection of Hall titles, including sheet music based upon on her early poems

April 2016 brought a visit by Kevin Allen of the Calgary Gay History Project who discovered material about gay organizing in Calgary in the 1970s at the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, particularly dealing with participation in Prairie and National Gay Rights Conferences and the networking of private member gay social clubs that existed in Prairie cities in the 1970s.

Jonathan Petrychn, a doctoral candidate at York University, visited the Provincial and University Archives in June 2016, finding material for his thesis on the history of LGBT film festivals and screenings on the Canadian Prairies.

The Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity

nanandhopePromoting the Collections

The U of S Archives & Special Collections regularly promotes the visibility and use of its sexual and gender diversity collections through in-house exhibitions and descriptive pieces on the unit’s blog.

In each of the past three years the collections have been highlighted with displays at the annual U of S Breaking the Silence conference and through contributions to exhibits presented each February by Out Saskatoon at the Heritage Festival of Saskatoon.

In March 2016 the Library prepared and displayed an exhibit from its extensive collection of vintage lesbian pulp fiction in conjunction with a screening of the classic Canadian documentary Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories O f Lesbian Lives (1992) at the Broadway Theatre. Co-director Lynne Fernie travelled from Toronto to reintroduce the remastered film to a new audience.

An exhibition of classic LGBT themed movie posters was also provided to the Saskatoon Public Library in conjunction with its spring series of LGBT documentaries Queer as Film

From October 2013 to summer 2016 the Saskatoon office of the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan welcomed visitors and researchers with a large exhibition on Saskatchewan LGBT history in its corridor display cases. The exhibit was curated by Joe Wickenhauser with material drawn principally from the Archives’ Neil Richards fonds.

To keep track of the Neil Richards Collection as it is being shared with audiences all over Saskatoon, follow us on twitter @sask_uasc or Facebook.

The following is an ever-growing list of the Neil Richards Collection for Sexual and Gender Diversity’s online presence:

The Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity

img588Building the Collections

The Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity has continued to expand rapidly through in-kind gifts, purchases and the occasional commission.

In 2014 Special Collections was able to commission Cathryn Miller to produce a book artwork commemorating Joe Wickenhauser’s 2013 project Greystone Secrets: A Queerstorical Campus Walking Tour. The final product delighted everyone and provided the library with another major work by Saskatchewan’s most accomplished book artist. For more information see Miller’s description

In 2016 the Library was able to purchase two early titles of great historical interest. The first is the two volume 2nd edition (1821) of Johann Winckelmann’s (1717-1768) Monumenti Antichi Inediti, a collection of over 240 copper engravings of Greek and Roman sculptureWinckelmann is considered the founder of the discipline of art history and the leading catalyst for the neoclassical style. His ‘homosexual’ affairs were widely known to his contemporaries (including Goethe) and it is generally agreed that his aesthetic ideals were strongly influenced by the homoeroticism he saw in classical art. To mark its recent accession of its 5,000th title, the Library purchased a rare 1871 edition of Joseph and his Friend: a Story of Pennsylvania by American novelist Bayard Taylor (1825-1878). Taylor’s work has been described as “ America’s first homosexual novel” for its defence of those “who cannot shape themselves according to the common-place pattern of society.”

The Library’s most important recent gift is an enormous collection of books, magazines, papers and ephemera from the estate of local activist Gens Hellquist (1946-2013). Hellquist was one of the original organizers of Saskatoon’s gay community in the early 1970s and played a founding and leadership role in many of its organizations until his death. It is hoped this valuable collection can be made be available for research in 2017.

Hundreds of popular and academic titles have been acquired through the interest and generosity of The Rainbow Link,  a Toronto based organization which gathers and redistributes books of LGBT interest to community organizations and libraries across Canada, especially  to those not located in the biggest cities.

Neil Richards has continued donations to the collection, including additions to previous gifts of vintage physique magazines, sheet music associated with early cross-dressed entertainment, and magazine issues from the 1950s and 1960s featuring articles on homosexuality. Bruce Hugh Russell continued his generosity with the gift of many volumes dealing with Christianity and homosexuality. Several donors, including the USSU Pride Centre and Ron Jaremko, have provided many older issues of lesbian and gay lifestyle magazines, from the US, France, Australia and Russia.

baker004Among the U of S Archives most recent accessions is a large collection of movie posters and other ephemera that document the film industry’s long and rather tangled relationship to homosexuality and to LGBT audiences. The collection includes examples from over 150 LGBT themed films spanning the period 1961 to the present. The earliest example is a rare poster for Victim , a 1961 British suspense film dealing with the blackmail of homosexual men. It is credited with being the first English language feature to use the word homosexual and was an important early step towards the decriminalization of homosexual acts in England and Wales in 1967.

The collection is unusual in containing posters not only from Hollywood productions but also a large number from Canadian and European producers. An initial exhibition from the collection was presented in conjunction with Queer as Film ,the Saskatoon Public Library’s spring 2016 series of LGBT documentaries.

Moon Hoax: Collection Highlights (Kennedy fonds)

Our archive largely collects the papers and materials of the University of Saskatchewan’s researchers and professors and because of this we come to possess materials on topics that may surprise you. One such fascinating example is John Edward Kennedy’s papers on the Great Moon Hoax of 1835. This collection of papers includes research materials and photocopied and typed copies of the original articles.

In August 1835, a New York newspaper called The Sun ran a series of six articles describing in detail the new and groundbreaking observations of the moon, made astronomer Sir John Hershel. The first article which was published on August 25th described the new and powerful telescope that Herschel had created, “24 feet in diameter”.1 Tantalizing mentions of what Herschel then saw with the use of his telescope were hinted at, but not revealed to readers in this first installment.

The second article, printed on the 26th, begins to describe the wonderful discoveries Hershel has made – plant and animal life! They describe dark red flowers, trees, a lake, and other stunning geographic features. They then spot “herds of brown quadrupeds, having all the external characteristics of the bison, but more diminutive”.2 They also describe seeing a blue goat-like creature, with a single horn, as well as varieties of birds and fish.

On August 27th they speak more on the geology and fauna of the moon, and describe in detail the charming lunar biped beaver. From the article:

… resembles the beaver of the earth in every other respect than in its destitution of a tail, and its invariable habit of walking upon only two feet. It carries its young in its arms like a human being, and moves with an easy gliding motion. Its huts are constructed better and higher than those of many tribes of human savages, and from the appearance of smoke in nearly all of them, there is no doubt of its being acquainted with the use of fire.3

August 28th is the pièce de ré·sis·tance of this set of astronomical discoveries, in which they describe human-like creatures who “averaged four feet in height, were covered, except on the face, with short and glossy copper-colored hair, and had wings composed of a thin membrane, without hair, lying snugly upon their backs, from the top of their shoulders to the calves of their legs.”4 They name this species Vespertilio-Homo.

Moon HoaxDay five describes a mysterious temple, “built of polished sapphire, or of some resplendent blue stone”.5 The article ends with these cliff-hanging bits of speculation, sure to draw in readers for the finale:

Had the devotees of these temples gone the way of all living, or were the latter merely historical monuments? What did the ingenious builders mean by the globe surrounded by flames? Did they by this record any past calamity of their world, or predict any future one of ours?6

The last article describes a higher order of Vespertilio-Homo, which “were of larger stature than the former specimens, less dark in color, and in every respect an improved variety of the race.” They are described as “eminently happy and polite” and the journalist describes “their happy hours in collecting various fruits in the woods, in eating, flying, bathing, and loitering about on the summits of precipices”.7

As you may have guessed from the title of this blog (oops, spoilers) that of course none of this was true. Sir John Hershel was a real astronomer, but he did not create a new and intensely powerful telescope that allowed him to view life on the moon, and in fact knew nothing of these articles until after they were published. It is widely assumed that the author of the Moon Hoax was the new editor of The Sun, Richard Adams Locke. At first Locke denied that it was a hoax, then denied he wrote the hoax, after the hoax was confirmed. He eventually confessed, but said that he had intended it as satire, not a hoax. Other possible authors have been also been theorized though Locke remains the most likely candidate. (He did confess – sort of – eventually!)

The fact that it is referred to as a hoax suggested that people fell for it – and by many accounts they did. Edgar Allen Poe is quoted as having said “not one person in ten discredited it”.8 It was reprinted in newspapers across the country, and thus the hoax was spread and believed to varying extents, across the country. It was the War of the Worlds of it day – though with less panic.

This is a fascinating piece of history, of a time before journalistic standards had become a thing, and we see the early ancestor of those supermarket tabloids which announce to the world, “Bat Boy Found in West Virginia Cave!”9


The Sun: Aug 25th, 1835. J.E. Kennedy fonds (University of Saskatchewan, University Archives and Special Collections)
The Sun: Aug 26th, 1835., ibid.
The Sun: Aug 27th, 1835., ibid.
The Sun: Aug 28th, 1835., ibid.
The Sun: Aug 29th, 1835., ibid.
6  ibid.
The Sun: Aug 30th, 1835., ibid.
8  Boese, Alex. “The Great Moon Hoax“. Hoax Museum. c. 2015.
9  “Bat Boy Found in West Virginia Cave!” by Bill Creighton, Weekly World News, June 23, 1992, pp 46–47. Reprinted July 16, 1999, pp. 46–47. Reprinted June 20, 2005 pp. 58–59

Also check out the Missed in History podcasts on the topic if you are interesting in hearing more about the moon hoax.

A New Album of Quebec Views – 1900

Souvenir View Albums, such as this 1900 selection of images representing the province of Quebec, were a popular item throughout the latter decades of the nineteenth and early years of the twentieth century. They were produced by stationers, booksellers, and railways to capture the imagination of those traveling to various locales, or to act as souvenirs and were often given as gifts. This particular album was produced by C. E. Holiwell, the stationer to the Governor General of Canada and the Army and Navy Stationer of Quebec.  The books, which feature photographs or  photo-mechanically reproduced drawings based on photographs frequently sport elaborately gilded and eye-catching covers. The post-card sized images are showcased on a long accordion folded sheet, producing an interesting wallet-like effect (though for viewing convenience, the following gallery shows images separately or page-by-page).

Source: Canadian Souvenir View Albums :

Other resources on gender, sex, and sexuality at UASC

This blog quite frequently highlights holdings from the Neil Richards Collection for Sexual and Gender Diversity as prime examples of intriguing materials collected for the study of sexuality and gender issues. However, the University Archives and Special Collections’ holdings on these topics do not end there.  A number of fonds include materials which would be useful to those pursuing a study of gender and or sexuality from a local perspective.

One of these is the Sexual Health Awareness Center, at one point an office within Student Health Services. The archives holds nine boxes transferred from the Sexual Health Awareness center in 2007. These boxes contain publications on topics ranging from teaching children about sex, to contraception, to sexual violence, disease, women’s rights, and same-sex relationships. What is interesting about a collection like this is the way it encapsulates rapidly changing notions about sex and sexuality during a specific period (in this case, the 1970’s into the 1990’s).  While the materials are generally too outdated to be used within Student Health Services today, they still serve an important purpose in historically framing the discussion of sex and gender on campus. Along these lines also are materials held in the USSU Student Help Centre fonds and the Student Representative Council.

Booklet from the Sexual Awareness Center, 1972
Book from the Sexual Awareness Center, 1983











For anyone interested in studying the impact of HIV/AIDS in the province, University of Saskatchewan University Archives and Special Collections has papers from both the Saskatchewan AIDS Network (est. 1995) and AIDS Saskatoon   (est. 1986). These two organizations played (and in the case of AIDS Saskatoon continue to play) an important role in spreading education about HIV/AIDS within Saskatchewan. Organizations like these have facilitated the creation and maintenance of community partnerships and support networks which serve those living with HIV/AIDS. These two collections supply 6 meters of material relating to the early impact of HIV and AIDS on a local level.

From the Sexual Awareness Center, The Wyeth Baby Book, ca. 1992

With specific reference to LGBTQ issues, the University Archives and Special Collections has gathered the papers of a number of early participants in the gay rights movement in Saskatchewan including Gens Hellquist, Don Cochrane, Donald McNamee, Peter Millard, and Neil Richards. Also noteworthy are the USSU LGBTA Centre holdings which include posters and pamphlets, and materials from the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition (est. 2002) which was a National organization based out of Saskatoon,  devoted to improving the health care and status of LGBTQ individuals. A more lighthearted look at the province through a queer lens can be found in exploring the Cross-dressing in Saskatchewan collection and the Greystone Secrets fonds.

Women’s issues are also a highlight of UASC’s holdings. For the visually inclined, there is a large collection of women’s and feminist posters acquired from the Avenue Community Centre, and a number of fascinating portraits of Canadian women in the John Reeves collection. The Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective fonds contains both visual and textual materials highlighting women of significance. Extensive materials on women’s rights and gender issues can be found in the USSU’s Women’s Centre fonds as well. For more individualized perspectives on women’s rights and forward-thinking local women of the past, the Charlotte Caron, Marie Dunn, S. A. Gingell, Gwenna Moss, M. H. Pattillo, Nan McKay, and Jean Murray papers provide a plethora of material.

Pocket-sized handbook from the Sexual Awareness Center, Sexual Etiquette 101, 1995

These materials represent only a small portion of those available for primary and secondary resource study of gender and sexual diversity from a local perspective. There is always more to be discovered, and always new materials coming in. If you would like to access any of these materials, please contact or phone (306) 966-6029 with details on your research project to receive full finding aids and research advice.

New materials in UASC!


It’s that time of year again : when exhausted archivists, archival technicians and assistants emerge from a chaotic maelstrom of processing work — finely polished finding aid clutched firmly in hand and a trail of beautifully organized boxes left in their wake.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to this year’s newest additions. May the collections intrigue and excite you as much as they have done us.

MG 543 – Carlyle Allison fonds

Carlyle Allison was a journalist, and close friend and advisor of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. Born in Staynor, Ontario in 1907, his family moved to Winnipeg when he was a child. He attended the University of Manitoba (B.A., 1926). His journalism career started immediately after graduation: starting as a reporter and editor with the Winnipeg Tribune, 1926-1928; and reporter, bureau chief and editor with the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, 1928-1935. After a brief stint with the Montreal Gazette, he returned to the Winnipeg Tribune, progressing through the ranks as managing editor (1944), editor (1946), and editor-in-chief (1951). In 1958, he was appointed by Prime Minister Diefenbaker as a full-time (and founding) member of the Board of Broadcast Governors, the precursor to the CRTC. He served as Vice-Chairman between December 1960 and 1965, but his term was not renewed by the new Liberal government. Subsequently he worked for CJAY-TV in Winnipeg, until his retirement in 1971. He died in February 1972.

The collection consists primarily of correspondence, photographs and memorabilia documenting Allison’s friendship and political association with John Diefenbaker – starting with Allison’s advice to Diefenbaker about his leadership convention in 1948. In addition to correspondence, there are a few detailed notes documenting conversations between Allison and Diefenbaker, including a 19-page document entitled “Notes on the Election of the Diefenbaker Government” (1957), which also covers the appointment of Diefenbaker’s first cabinet.

MG 163 – David C. Carpenter fonds

The most recent set of materials from one of Saskatchewan’s most well-known authors includes correspondence with a number of other notable names in Saskatchewan’s writing scene. Samples of Carpenter’s own writing and opinion pieces are present.  Notably, materials collected in the writing of Carpenter’s acclaimed book The Education of Augie Merasty including correspondence with the 86 year old residential school survivor are contained within this accrual.  Carpenter has also donated extensive research materials on the literary history of the province, including interviews with several authors. Personal ephemera, as well as material from various writing events are also included.

MG 390 – Dave Glaze fonds

Born in New Westminster, British Columbia, Dave Glaze grew up in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan. He earned a BA (1968) and B.Ed (1983) from the University of Saskatchewan. He worked for twenty-five years as an elementary teacher, librarian and education consultant. Specializing in juvenile fiction, his books Pelly, Who took Henry and Mr. Z?, Waiting for Pelly, The Light-Fingered Gang, The Last Flight of the Birdman and Danger in Dead Man’s Mine were all published by Coteau Books. Glaze also served on the editorial boards of Green Teacher, Briarpatch and NeWest Review magazines. Thousands of Canadian children have attended his book readings. The material in this fonds deal with Glaze’s life including school and extracurricular interests as a youth and later as a journalist, fiction writer, editor and educator.

MG 354 – B. A. Holmlund fonds

Blaine Adrian Holmlund began working at the age of 12 as a hired farm laborer in 1942. From these humble beginnings, he went on to work with the CPR, and eventually get his degree in Engineering in 1955. After convocation, Blaine worked variously with Shell Oil, Atomic Energy of Canada, and Sask Power. In 1958 he joined the faculty of the University of Saskatchewan, where he remained for the rest of his career, coming to fill the position of Acting President of the University in 1989. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1998, and spent his retirement volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, helping to initiate partnerships with employment programs and to establish  the Re-Store. This fonds reflects Holmlund’s interest in the philosophy of education, his varied career at the University of Saskatchewan, and his concern for an equitable society. It is particularly valuable as a source for university history, specifically for the period of Leo Kristjanson’s tenure; and for issues surrounding health delivery, education, and the College of Medicine; the development of computer / IT services on campus; and First Nations educational opportunities. As a reflection of planning at a post-secondary U-15 institution, this fonds is particularly strong, notably for the materials surrounding the Issues and Options project.

MG 183 – Mac & Beth Hone fonds

This accrual expands on the already fascinating array of personal and art or art-related materials donated to the archives in the past. The materials added this year provide additional materials relating to the Hone’s family, friends, and also expands the collection of their artwork held by the Archives, including materials used in process (sketches, printing blocks, etc) as well as completed pieces.

MG 282 – David Kaplan fonds

David Leon Kaplan was born in Chicago on Dec. 12, 1923 and grew up in a musical family. His father, Joshua Samuel played euphonium in a Russian army band and later in Chicago brass bands. His mother, Nettie (née Lurie), born in Lithuania, was a student of the piano. David served with the US Army Sothern Command Variety Ensemble from 1942 until 1946 under Major Wayne King, known as the Waltz King of America. Kaplan credited his wartime service for exposing him to new musicians and new musical styles, including jazz. Over the next number of years he earned a series of degrees – Bachelor of Music from Roosevelt University (1948), Master of Music from Oberlin College (1950) and a PhD in Music from the University of Indiana (1958). He taught music in Chicago, rural Illinois and West Texas State University before moving to Saskatoon in 1960 and a two-year term position at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Education. He remained at the U of S for the rest of his career and served as Department of Music head from 1966 to 1982, introducing several new programs. He taught courses in music history, theory and world music until his retirement in 1991. In addition to his academic career, Dr. Kaplan was very active in the music and social life of his newly adopted community. He conducted the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (SSO) from 1963 to 1969 and again from 1970 to 1971. He also composed music for plays and musical productions, adjudicated at music festivals, gave public lectures and wrote about the clarinet and music education. A number of organizations benefited from Dr. Kaplan’s involvement, including the Canadian Music Council, the Canadian Music Centre, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Nutana Rotary Club and the Saskatoon Multicultural Council. He was founding chair of the Saskatchewan Music Council in 1967. He co-founded the Saskatoon Festival of Faith bringing together people of different faiths, including aboriginals, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and others, to express their spiritual traditions through speech, music and dance. He was the festival’s music director from 1985 to 1989 and wrote five choral works on multicultural themes. An impromptu jam session at a bar mitzvah at the Congregation Agudas Israel synagogue led Kaplan to found Zmarim: the Saskatoon Klezmer Band. He went on to write more than 200 arrangements for the ensemble.  The inaugural Saskatoon Klezmer Music Festival was held in November, 2007. He was also an avid collector of musical instruments and donated his personal collection of almost 200 instruments to the University of Saskatchewan in early 2013. Kaplan received numerous honours, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and induction into the Order of Canada. In 2009, he was named ambassador of the Canadian Music Centre in recognition of his life’s work. Kaplan Green, in Arbor Creek, a residential neighbourhood in northeast Saskatoon, was named in his honour. He died in Saskatoon on April 6, 2015. This fond documents the life and career of David Kaplan. It contains material related to his family, academic and teaching career and community involvement.

MG 169: Donald Cameron Kerr fonds

Donald Cameron Kerr was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1936 and educated at St. Joseph’s School, Nutana Collegiate and the University of Saskatchewan where he received an Honours B.A. in English in 1958. He earned an M.A. in English at the University of Toronto in 1960. During his tenure at Saskatchewan, Kerr has been promoted from instructor to lecturer (1965), assistant professor (1966), associate professor (1976) and professor (1983). In addition to serving as acting chair of the department of English in 1985-86, Kerr has served on a number of departmental, college and university committees.

This accrual contains materials related to Kerr’s personal life, including his love of art and drama; his work as an editor with NeWest publishers and the Saskatoon History Review; his interest in heritage societies and imperatives, including Doors Open, the Heritage Canada Foundation, and the Heritage Property Review Board. The accrual also contains extensive materials on some of his historical research projects, including a history of Saskatchewan libraries and a Nutana School history. Finally, the accrual showcases a variety of Kerr’s own poetry and prose dating from his earliest days writing to present.

MG 547 – Jack Lydiard Photograph Album

John Munro (“Jack”) Lydiard attended the University of Saskatchewan between 1926 and 1930, earning a BSc in 1930. During his college years, Jack was an avid photographer, and was dedicated to student athletics. As a math teacher at Bedford Road Collegiate in Saskatoon he also took on coaching duties for the (then) Bedford Road Redmen football team (now the Bedford Road Redhawks). In 1948 he became the founding president of the Saskatoon High Schools Athletics Association, and in 1949 he brokered an arrangement with the Saskatoon Hilltops Football Club to create the Saskatoon Track and Field Club. He later moved to Vancouver where he wrote the Grade 13 math textbook that was used throughout BC, beginning in 1965. In retirement he travelled throughout South America, Africa and Asia. Jack died on 2 May 1981.

This album contains images of University students involved in various activities; interiors of residence rooms; the university campus; and Saskatoon, taken between 1926 and 1930. The majority of images were taken by Jack Lydiard; most of the individuals are identified.

MG 106 – Allison Mitcham fonds

An addition to a pre-existing fonds, this accrual continues the extensive and unique family documentation that is such a hallmark of the Mitcham holdings. Elizabeth Allison Mitcham (nee Brown) was born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, on 9 June 1932. Her public and high school education was taken at schools across Canada: Saskatchewan, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta. She earned her first degree from the University of Saskatchewan (BA 1952) and there also began her teaching career. Mitcham continued her education at the University of New Brunswick, earning both her MA (1954) and PhD (1972). She taught at Mount Allison University, prior to accepting a position as professor of English and Comparative Canadian Literature at the University of Moncton in 1968. In 1978. When Mitcham was made full professor, she was one of the few women in North America at that time to have achieved that academic rank. Mitcham was a prolific author, having written over 30 fiction and non-fiction books and children’s literature, as well as scores of poems and articles. She received an honorary degree from the University of Moncton and was named professor emerita upon her retirement in 1989.

During the period covered by this accrual, several major events occurred. Peter Mitcham, Allison’s husband, died on 30 November 2010, shortly after his 84th birthday; and she eventually moved out of The Pond Shore, the family home. Material relating to Peter’s work as an illustrator is particularly well documented in this accrual. Similarly, materials relating to Mitcham’s work as an author continue with this accrual, including some (as yet) unpublished manuscripts and stories.

MG 223 : R.H. D. Phillips fonds

This accrual expands on previous holdings relating to Robert Howard Daniel (“Bob”) Phillips, who spent most of his career as a journalist and editor/publisher with the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool’s Western Producer. He also served as a research analyst for the Wheat Pool for many years This fonds contains materials created or collected by RHD Phillips, particularly during his tenure with the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. In particular, it contains extensive materials documenting the work of the Research Division. Additionally there is documentation relating to the running and operations of the Western Producer, Modern Press, and Western Producer Publishing.

MG 212 – Nik Semenoff fonds

Another addition to pre-existing materials donated by the eminent printmaker and innovator. This accrual contains samples of Semenoff’s artwork and designs for prints, jewelry and sculpture; material from his work with electronics; professional correspondence; text on various printmaking processes, and personal material. A number of candid photographs of projects Semenoff worked on, or of Semenoff and his peers are also included.

MG 554 – Westcott-Hurley Collection

Robert Hurley trained as an apprentice printer-compositor before serving in the Suffolk Regiment (1917-1920). In 1923, Hurley immigrated to Canada and moved to Saskatoon in 1930. Finding himself unemployed at the age of forty during the Depression, Hurley learned to paint with berry juices and a toothbrush. Largely self-taught with only a few classes from Ernie Linder, he quickly became well known in Saskatchewan and other parts of Canada for his treatment of the prairie landscape. Jim Westcott met Robert Hurley sometime around 1949 and they remained friends till Hurley’s death in 1980. Westcott was active in promoting and selling Robert Hurley’s artwork. This collection contains materials created by Robert Hurley, and sent to (or, in the case of some paintings, purchased from Hurley by) Jim Westcott over the course of their friendship, including four watercolour paintings by Robert Hurley, a pencil sketch, and correspondence.

MG 216 RG Williamson fonds

This accrual contains material created or collected by Dr. Williamson and wife Karla (executive head of the Arctic Institute of North America, and Inuk educator). Although primarily documenting Dr. Williamson’s work for and with the Inuit of northern Canada, this fonds includes material relating to all circumpolar countries, other aboriginal groups in Canada, international affairs, and a very broad range of topics as they relate to the north, including art and culture, physical geography, sport, environment, botany, zoology, economics, defence, etc.   It includes his personal and professional correspondence, research data, articles and scholarly writing, as well as a substantial collection of reference publications. A large portion of the material (both written and recorded) is in Inuk, or Greenlandic languages.

MG 559 – Norman Zepp and Judith Varga Collection

A stunning contribution to the University and the University library, this collection primarily reflects Zepp’s interest in Inuit art and artists. It includes interviews with artists, images taken over the course of several years of the northern landscape, community and individuals. Importantly, Zepp and Varga spent time at fishing and hunting camps or in the homes of artists, and the resulting material reflects that friendship and intimate relationship. Material created or acquired during Zepp’s career as a curator is also evident, including a significant photo resource of Inuit art from major collections. The reference library is an uniquely complete set of articles and major works relating to Inuit art in Canada. Additionally, the collection includes material relating to a number of other artists, predominantly from Saskatchewan, whose work Zepp admired (in many instances, Zepp organized the first major exhibition of their work).


Freedom to Read Week 2016


The end of February heralds the return of Freedom to Read Week, which runs Feb 21-27. This week is meant to inspire Canadians to think critically about their intellectual freedom, and to educate the public about books being challenged and banned. There are many books that are still challenged and pulled from the shelves of schools and library’s every year and which impacts the rights of Canadians.

To celebrate Freedom to Read Week we have decided to highlight two often challenged children’s books from our Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity.

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah H. Brannen

UncleBobbysWeddingUncle Bobby’s Wedding  was banned due to its depiction of two men getting married but the reasons cited were “unsuited to age group”1 and as “advocate[ing] an illegal activity”.2

The story features a young Guinea Pig named Chloe who fears that her favourite Uncle won’t have time for her anymore after he gets married. But once she gets to know her uncle’s Fiancé better she becomes excited to have two uncles instead of one.  It is a charming book with beautiful illustrations which tells the story about a young girl who worries about losing the affection of her Uncle when he gets married – and it just so happens that he is marrying another man. In the most recent challenge to this book that could be found we are happy to report that the book remained on the shelves.

Asha’s Mums by Rosamund Elwin and Michele Paulse

AshasMumsThe story in Asha’s Mums revolves around a young girl (Asha) who needs her permission form filled in by her parents so that she can go on the class field trip to the Science Centre. When her form comes back with two moms listed, Asha’s teacher insists that her form isn’t filled out correctly, and she will not be able to go on the field trip until it is. The rest of the story shows the other student’s disbelief turn to acceptance and even the teacher admits there is nothing wrong with it if “they’re nice to you and you like them” (Elwin & Paulse, 15). This book was banned from public schools in Surrey, B.C. in 1997 due to its “promotion of homosexual lifestyles”.3 A lawsuit was launched against the school board and in 2002 the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the school board’s decision on the basis that public schools are required to be “secular, pluralistic, and respectful of diversity”.4

1Uncle Bobby’s Wedding.” Favorite Banned Books. Accessed February 16 2016.
2Challenge to UNCLE BOBBY’S WEDDING Rejected in Missouri.CBLDF. Accessed February 16 2016.
3Challenged Books and Magazines List.Freedom to Read Week. Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council. 28. Accessed February 16 2016.