Melinda McCracken

An Inventory of Melinda McCracken's papers, diaries, correspondence, literary works at the Archives & Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Karyn Riedel Taylor and Lisa Friesen
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Elizabeth Dafoe Library, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 2N2
(2000)

Finding aid encoded by Vladimira Zvonik (2003)
Finding aid written in English.

Revision History

  • July 26, 2005 - MSS 141, PC 147, TC 93 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).


Collection Summary

Repository:
Archives and Special Collections
Elizabeth Dafoe Library, Winnipeg, R3T 2N2

Creator:
Melinda McCracken

Title:
Melinda McCracken fonds

Dates:
1955-1997

Quantity:
2.5m textual records, 18 audio tapes, 1 record, 69 photographs

Identification:
MSS 141, TC 93, PC 147

Language
English.

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Biography of Melinda McCracken

Melinda McCracken was born on June 1st, 1940 in Winnipeg, Manitoba to William Frederick and Edith (nee Cochran). She has one brother, John. McCracken attended Riverview School from 1946-1955 and Churchill High School from which she graduated in 1957. McCracken then entered the University of Manitoba on a music scholarship and she received her B.A. in Honors English in 1961. From 1961 to 1962, she worked on the women's pages of the Winnipeg Free Press. In 1962, McCracken went to Paris to study drawing and painting at the Bynam Shaw School. The following year, she took a silversmithing course at the Hornsey College of Art in London. During the two years that McCracken was in Paris and London she wrote a bi-weekly column for the Winnipeg Free Press. McCracken returned to Canada in 1964 and settled in Montreal. After trying her hand at making jewelry for a living, which proved to be too labour-intensive, she relied on her writing skills to support herself. She began working at Weekend Magazine, a national supplement magazine, as a caption, headline and edited copy writer, with the occasional feature story. From 1967 to 1967, McCracken was a freelance writer. She wrote a weekly column for the Toronto Daily Star called "The Montreal Scene," wrote continuity for a CBC-TV public affairs program called The New Generation. She also wrote articles for The Montrealer, The Winnipeg Free Press, and The Star Weekly. In 1968, McCracken moved to Toronto and began working on the entertainment pages of The Globe and Mail. She was transferred to the copy desk of The Globe Magazine in 1969 where she wrote captions headlines and edited stories. In 1971, McCracken was transferred back to the features department of The Globe and Mail, where she edited columns on the second front, the Parliament page, the Saturday international page, and did some work on the television page. In 1972, McCracken freelanced for Maclean's Magazine. She also wrote short stories for Chatelaine and Miss Chatelaine. As well, she wrote book reviews for The Globe and Mail book pages. One interview that garnered McCracken quite a bit of attention was her profile of Adrienne Clarkson in the September 1972 issue of Maclean's. In 1973, McCracken gave birth to her daughter, Molly. McCracken was given an Ontario Arts Council grant to write a story about growing up in Winnipeg. The completed manuscript, Memories Are Made of This, was published by James Lorimer & Co. in 1975. Also in 1975, McCracken contributed to an anthology of Canadian women. She wrote chapters featuring painter Edith Warkov and McCracken's mother, Edith. The anthology, Her Own Woman, was published by Macmillan. McCracken also contributed a chapter on architect Etienne Gaboury in the anthology, Winnipeg 8: The Icecold Hothouse, published by Queenston House in 1983. McCracken spent the years from 1973 to 1984 as a freelance writer. She moved to Winnipeg in 1976. From 1981 to 1985, McCracken worked as a salesclerk at Classics Books in Winnipeg. In 1984, McCracken returned to school, where she took the Red River Community College Library Technician course. In 1985, McCracken was hired as an Information Writer at Manitoba Energy and Mines. She was employed here until 1989. From 1989 to 1991, McCracken was employed as a Library Technician for the St. Boniface School Division. From 1991 to the present, McCracken has been a freelance writer/researcher. She was the Writer-in-Residence in Carman in 1996. McCracken has also been involved in many literary organizations including: The Writers' Union of Canada- The Status of Women Writers Committee; Re:Visions Women's Film and Video Festival; St. Norbert Arts and Cultural Centre; Payment for Public Use/Book Committee; Manitoba Arts Council; Manitoba Writers' Guild; Manitoba Film Board; Women and Words; and The Canada Council. McCracken's articles have appeared in many Canadian magazines. She has also worked as the Manitoba contributing editor to the NeWest Review.

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Scope and Contents of the Papers

The fonds consists of six series. The first series is Correspondence. This is further separated into professional and personal. The professional correspondence generally deals with the publication of McCracken's work, job applications, and grant information. There are also letters from several notable people including: Margaret Laurence, Eric Wilson, Timothy Findley, Peter C. Newman, Brian Mulroney, and David Suzuki. The personal correspondence includes letters from her father, brother and mother, and her friends: Sarah Yates-Howorth, David, Heather Robertson (see MSS 77), Joy Tataryn, and Myfwany Philips. As well, there is extensive correspondence with poet Coney Burns during the 1970s and 1980s, including samples of his poetry. The second series involves McCracken's Literary Career. It is divided into research, drafts, and published materials. There are newspaper clippings and book reviews regarding her literary work. As well, there is a small section of published work by other authors. The third series regards the years that McCracken worked at Manitoba Energy and Mines. This includes performance appraisals from 1986 and 1988, as well as speeches and other material that she produced during her years there. The fourth series has material from various Organizations that she was or is involved with. This organizations include The Writers' Union of Canada, Re:Visions, St. Norbert Arts and Cultural Centre, the Payment for Public Use/Book Committee, The Status of Women Writers Committee, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Manitoba Writers' Guild, Women and Words, the Manitoba Film Board, and The Canada Council. The fifth series contains material from McCracken's Academic Career. This includes a University of Manitoba transcript, English notes from Red River Community College, and material from Writers Who Teach Writing Roundtable 1997, and Artists in the School 1997. The final series is Miscellaneous. This includes ephemera from 1969, including tickets to see a newly formed band, Led Zepplin, as well as a receipt from a John Lennon/Yoko Ono concert in Toronto. There are also several folders of personal writings that include information on love, pregnancy, adoption, unemployment, and her college course, as well as other notes. These personal writings are considered confidential. There is also a Photograph Collection (PC 147) consisting of 69 photographs, and a Tape Collection (TC 93) consisting of 18 audio tapes and 1 record.

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Organization of the Papers

This collection is organized into seven series.

  • 1. Correspondence
  • 2. Literary Career
  • 3. Manitoba Energy and Mines
  • 4. Organizations
  • 5. Academic Career
  • 6. Miscellaneous
  • 7. Original Letters
  • PC 147 - Photographs
  • TC 93 - Audio Tapes

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Restrictions on Access

There are several folders of personal writing that is confidential and is not available to researchers. As well, several original letters from such notables as Peter C. Newman, Eric Wilson, Timothy Findley, and Brian Mulroney are damaged by water and mold and are not available to researchers. These letters are, however, photocopied and these copies are available in the main correspondence series.

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Restriction on Use

Melinda McCracken's personal journals and unpublished manuscripts "Gene" and "Blue Madonna" will remain closed until 2018.

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Custodial History

The fonds were donated to the Department of Archives & Special Collections in 1998 by Melinda McCracken.

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Other Finding Aids

A.02-43

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Biographical Information
BoxFolder
11 Biographical Information

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Correspondence
BoxFolder
Professional Correspondence
BoxFolder
12 Re: publishing, 1968-1970
3 Re: publishing, 1975-1988
4 James Lorimer re: publishing, 1980-1985
5 Re: publishing, 1981-1988
6 Re: publishing, 1989-1992
7 Re: publishing, 1990-1994
8 Job Search, 1988
BoxFolder
21 Job Applications, 1984, 1988-1989
2 Job Applications, 1988-1989
3 Job Applications, 1989
4 Grant Information, 1988-1989
5 Literary Correspondence, c1990s
6 Re: pesticides
7 Contemporary Dancers, 1988-1989
8 Environmental Concerns, c1987-1989
9 Fan Mail, 1970-1975
10 With Margaret Laurence, 1971, 1964, 1969
11 With Eric Wilson, 1988
12 With Timothy Findley
BoxFolder
31 Re: W.H. Auden, Coney Burns, 1971, 1981
2 Letter from The Beatles c/o Apple Revords, 1969
3 With Peter C. Newman, 1981
4 With Brian Mulroney, 1985
5 With David Suzuki
BoxFolder
Personal Correspondence
BoxFolder
36 With Father (W. McCracken) and Brother (John)
7 Mother to Molly (daughter)
8 Correspondence 1970, 1985-1989
9 Correspondence 1990-1992
10 From Sarah Yates-Howorth
11 From David ?, 1987-1990
12 From Heather Robertson, 1989-1991
13 From Joy Tataryn, 1989-1992
14 From Myfwany Phillips, 1988-1992
15 From Coney Burns, c1970-1989
16 From Coney Burns, c1970-1982
17 Coney Burns, samples of poetry, 1970-1971

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Literary Career
BoxFolder
Research
BoxFolder
41 Memories Are Made of This
2 Memories Are Made of This
3 Rachel Browne, c 1994
4 Rachel Browne
5 Magnus Eliasson
BoxFolder
51 Magnus Eliasson
2 Cowboy Capitalism (male dominance)
3 Miscellaneous
4 Etienne Gaboury
5 David Willaims
6 Singles Bars
7 Winnipeg Homes
8 Sanjit Roy
9 Dr. Roberts re: Gertrude Richardson, 1991
10 Middlechurch Home of Winnipeg
BoxFolder
61 Lloyd Axworthy (with correspondence), 1981
2 Mennonite Central Committee, Val Orikow, Sensory Deprivation Testing, 1981
3 Border Crossings 1989; Dateline: Arts, Turnstone Press; Quil & Quire
4 Cosmetics Department, The Bay; environmental issues; Pony Corral
5 Racism
6 Television ideas
7 Video Pool Inc.
8 Carman: Writer-in-Residence
9 William A. Pritchard
10 Mall Video, 1995
11 Manitoba Literary Scene
12 Re: LSD, c 1965
BoxFolder
Drafts
BoxFolder
71 Interview with Adrienne Clarkson, 1972
2 Miscellaneous
3 Miscellaneous, c1969
4 Short stories, 1970s
5 Short stories, 1970s, 1981
6 Papergirl (with correspondence)
7 Short stories, 1971, 1972
8 Miscellaneous, 1990s
9 Books and Babies: Towards a Lighted Tunnel, 1993
10 Galleys: Memories Are Made of This, James Lorimer & Co., 1975
11 Weekend Magazine
BoxFolder
81 The Ethnic Press in Winnipeg
2 Articles and poems
3 Notes for Autobiographical novel
4 Time to Respect Earth's Ecosystems (T.R.E.E.)
5 Robomom; How to Appear Sane While Cracking Up, c1990s
6 The Dining Room; The Bottom Line; Papergirl; A Man in the Wrong Place; From Grapefriut to Meatballs
7 The Sanforized Head or Son of the Black Widow
8 Profile article (with correspondence)
9 Sex and Socialism, The Glass Ceiling
BoxFolder
91 Contemporary Dancers - partial
2 Contemporary Dancers
3 Contemporary Dancers
4 Gene: A Love Story for the Nuclear Age

closed until 2018

BoxFolder
101 Gene: A Love Story for the Nuclear Age

closed until 2018

2 C.C.F. Magnus, c1996
3 C.C.F. Magnus, c1996
4 Film Drama: "The Time of the Fish"
5 Plays
6 Plays: "Pisces Ascendant"
7 Plays: "The Surrender"
BoxFolder
111 Poetry
2 Poetry, c 1990s
3 Poetry, c 1991
4 Book Review: Bone Bird by Darlene Barrie Quaife, 1989
5 Book reviews
6 Newest Review, 1994
7-8 Gene: A Love Story for the Nuclear Age

closed until 2018

BoxFolder
121-2 Gene: A Love Story for the Nuclear Age

closed until 2018

3-4 Romantics/Deception Bay/Blue Madonna, 1984

closed until 2018

BoxFolder
131 Deception Bay, 1984
2 Blue Madonna, 1984

closed until 2018

3 Groundwork, 1972
BoxFolder
141-2 Groundwork, 1972
BoxFolder
Published Material
BoxFolder
151 Newsclippings- Winnipeg Free Press, 1963-1981
2 Globe & Mail Weekend Magazine, 1965-1966
3 Globe & Mail, 1968-1969
4 Globe & Mail, 1969
5 Globe & Mail; Rolling Stone, 1969-1970
6 Newsclipping, c1969-1970
7 Chatelaine; Miss Chatelaine, 1970-1975
8 Maclean's, 1972-1973
9 Canadian Composer; Touch; Winnipeg Magazine; Alumni Journal; Arts Manitoba; United Church Observer; [ 1969-86 ]
10 Book Reviews, c 1975
11 Eve on Winnipeg, 1976-1977
12 Sagino, 1978
13 Quill & Quire 1981,1992
BoxFolder
161 Border Crossings; Dateline: Arts; Interchange; Zygote, 1989-1994
2 Briarpatch; Canadian Dimension; Canadian Forum; Resources for Feminist Research; Dance Collection Danse; Contemporary Verse, 1990-1994
3 Newest Review, 1992-1994
4-5 Newspaper clippings
BoxFolder
Published - Other Authors
BoxFolder
166 Sandra Birdsell Manuscript, 1986
7 Westrword V. - Student readings, 1989
8 Periodicals - (f)Lip, 1988-1990

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Manitoba Energy and Mines
BoxFolder
169 Performance Appraisals, 1986
10 Performance Appraisals, 1986, 1988
BoxFolder
171 Speeches Produced
2 Material Produced, 1988

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Organizations
BoxFolder
173 The Writers' Union of Canada- The Status of Women Writers Committee, 1990-1996
4-5 The Writers' Union of Canada
6 The Writers' Union of Canada re: Pornography
7 Re: Visions, 1995
BoxFolder
181 St. Norbert Arts and Cultural Centre
2 Payment for Public Use/Book Committee
3 Manitoba Arts Council, 1980s-1990s
4 Manitoba Writers' Guild, c1990s
5 Carman Writer-in-Residence, 1996
6 Manitoba Film Board, 1982-1985
7 Manitoba Writers' Guild-Mentor Program, 1991
8 Women and Words, 1983, 1989
9 The Canada Council, 1981-1985
10 Manitoba Arts Council, 1982-1985
11 Recycling Council, 1989

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Academic Career
BoxFolder
1812 Transcript - University of Manitoba: English notes, Red River Community College
13 Writers Who Teach Writing Roundtable, 1997
14 Artists in the School, 1997

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Miscellaneous
BoxFolder
1815 Ephemera, c1969
BoxFolder
191 Personal Writings: re: Pregnancy, 1973

confidential

2 Personal Writings: re: Love, Pregnancy, Adoption

confidential

3 Personal Writings: re: Unemployment

confidential

4 Personal Writings: College Course, 1984

confidential

5 Personal Writings - Miscellaneous

confidential

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Original Letters
BoxFolder
201 Brian Mulroney, 1985

Damaged by mold and water. Photocopies are in the main collection

2 Peter C. Newman, 1981

Damaged by mold and water. Photocopies are in the main collection

3 Eric Wilson, 1988

Damaged by mold and water. Photocopies are in the main collection

4 Timothy Findley, 1985

Damaged by mold and water. Photocopies are in the main collection

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