Sheldon Oberman

An Inventory of His Papers at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Amanda Linden
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
330 Elizabeth Dafoe Library, Winnipeg, MB. R3T 2N2
(December 2010)

Finding aid encoded by Jeanette Mockford (December 2010)
Finding aid written in English.



Collection Summary

Repository:
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
330 Elizabeth Dafoe Library, Winnipeg, MB. R3T 2N2

Creator:
Sheldon Oberman

Title:
Sheldon Oberman fonds

Dates:
1965-2007

Quantity:
1.18 m of textual material - 19 photographs - 26 illustrations - 1 VHS video cassette - 3 Beta video cassettes - 2 compact discs - 2-5.25" computer diskettes - 2-3.5" computer diskettes - 8 audio cassettes

English

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Biography of Sheldon Oberman

Sheldon Oberman, known as Obie to friends and family, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1949. Oberman grew up as an only child in the immigrant North End, where he lived with his parents above their clothing store on Main Street. After graduating from St. Johns High School, Oberman took a job as a dish washer and cook on the Canadian Pacific Railway Transcontinental. During the early seventies, Oberman continued to travel through Canada, as well as to Europe and the Middle East before returning to Winnipeg. In 1972, Oberman received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Winnipeg and a Certificate of Education from the University of Manitoba in 1974. Between degrees, Oberman married his first wife, Lee Ann Bloc, with whom he had two children, Adam and Mira. By 1975, Oberman was working as an English and Drama teacher at Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate, where he continued to work for the next 30 years. In 1985, Oberman met Lisa Dveris, the woman who was to become his second wife, life partner, and mother to his third child, Jesse. During his early married and working life, Oberman experimented with writing, attending a creative writing program taught by author W.O. Mitchell at the Banff School of Art. Throughout his life, Sheldon drew creative inspiration from interacting with children, as well as reminiscing on his childhood in the North End. Besides touring North America as a professional storyteller as well as writing countless short stories, poems, and articles, Oberman wrote lyrics for children’s entertainer Fred Penner. Five of the albums released by Penner that featured Oberman’s songs received Juno nominations. Especially well-known for his writing of children’s books, Oberman published 12 in his lifetime, including The Always Prayer Shawl, an award winning story about the inevitability of change and the importance of tradition. Oberman received many awards and honours for his writing, including a short-listing in 2000 for the Governor General’s Award for The Shaman’s Nephew, which went on to win the Norma Fleck Award. In the last years of his life, Oberman wrote and published The Island of the Minotaur (2003), a collection of myths about Crete. Oberman’s final project, a collection of Jewish folktales, has been published posthumously. Besides writing, Oberman acted and directed in films and plays throughout his lifetime. In the 1980s, Oberman produced the films Vind Hammen (House of the Wind) and The Amazing Creation of Al Simmons. These two films are distributed by the Winnipeg Film Group. A highly diverse individual, Oberman also received a certificate in hypnosis training and created art installations from objects found at local garage sales. Oberman’s creative spirit knew no bounds. On March 26, 2004, Oberman died of cancer.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The fonds consists of 14 series. They include personal/biographical materials, reviews and publicity, published materials, plays/musicals and songs, film scripts and notes, unpublished materials, correspondence, research materials, business related materials, teaching materials, photographs and other graphic materials, audio cassettes and computer diskettes. The photographs and other graphic materials collection consists of 19 colour photographs and 26 illustrations and video cassettes. The recorded music and interviews collection consists of 2 compact discs, and eight audio cassettes. The electronic collection consists of 4 floppy discs.

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Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged into 14 series.

  • 1. Personal Records
  • 2. Reviews and Publicity
  • 3. Published Material
  • 4. Plays, Musicals, and Songs
  • 5. Film Scripts and Notes
  • 6. Unpublished Materials
  • 7. Correspondence
  • 8. Research Materials
  • 9. Business Materials
  • 10. Teaching Materials
  • 11. Recorded Music and Interviews
  • 12. Photographs and Other Graphic Materials
  • 13. Videocassettes and One Compact Disc
  • 14. Electronic Collection

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Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on access for this material.

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Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on use for this material.

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Custodial History

The fonds was donated to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Lisa Dveris in 2010.

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Other Finding Aids

Mss 328, Pc 293, Tc 151, El 23 (A.10-13)

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Personal Records [ 1965-2007 ]
BoxFolder
11 Passport and Business Card [ca. 1985]
2 Personal School Records 1965-1981
3 University of Winnipeg: Papers and Notes [ca. 1969-1973]
4 University of Winnipeg: Papers and Notes [ca. 1969-1973]
5 University of Winnipeg: Papers and Notes [ca. 1969-1973]
6 University of Winnipeg: Papers and Notes [ca. 1969-1973]
7 University of Jerusalem: Papers and Notes 1972-1973
BoxFolder
21 Personal Correspondence 1970-1996
2 Personal Correspondence: Restricted 1987-1988
3 Personal Greeting Cards 1986-2002
4 Family Miscellaneous 1988-2001
5 "Thank You" Cards and Letters 1994-1998
6 Awards 1980-2007

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Reviews and Publicity [ 1981-2003 ]
BoxFolder
27 Newspapers and Magazine Articles 1981-2003
8 Flyers and Posters 1996-2001
9 Author Profiles and Resumes [199--200-]

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Published Materials 1988-2002
BoxFolder
210 Lion in the Lake 1988-1989
11 This Business with Elijah 1993-1994
BoxFolder
31 The Always Prayer Shawl 1993-1998
2 The White Stone in the Castle Wall 1995-1996
3 By the Hanukkah Light 1998
4 The Wisdom Bird 2000-2001
5 The Shaman's Nephew 1999-2002
6 The Bilingual Alphabet Book, a.k.a. The Lion in the Lake: Draft [198-]
7 Angel With a Full House: Typewritten Draft [198-]
8 The White Stone of Casa Loma, a.k.a. The White Stone in the Castle Wall: Typewritten Drafts 1990-1994
9 The White Stone in the Castle Wall: Draft of Interior Book 1994
10 T.V. Sal and the Game Show From Outer Space: Notes and Typewritten Drafts 1990-1994
11 By the Hanukkah Light: Typewritten Drafts 1996
12 By the Hanukkah Light: Notes and Draft of Interior Book 1996
13 You Can Always Tell Cathy From Caitlin: Typewritten Draft 1996
14 The Gift of the Prayer Shawl: Typewritten Drafts 1995
15 Family Stories - True and False: Typewritten Draft 1996
16 Wandering and Wondering: Typewritten Drafts 1997
17 The Shaman's Nephew: Notes [199-]
18 The Shaman's Nephew: Typewritten Drafts 1999
19 The Shaman's Nephew: Draft of Interior Book 1999
20 The Wisdom Bird: Typewritten Drafts 1999
BoxFolder
41 The Business With Elijah: Notes and Research [ca. 1990]
2 This Business With Elijah: Draft of Titular Short Story [ca. 1991]
3 This Business With Elijah: Typewritten Draft of "The Sale" [ca. 1991]
4 This Business With Elijah: Typewritten Draft of "The Lady of the Bean Poles" [ca. 1991]
5 This Business With Elijah: Typewritten Draft of "Hidden Wishes" [ca. 1991]
6 This Business With Elijah: Typewritten Draft of "Secret Tongues" 1993
7 This Business With Elijah: Typewritten Drafts of "New Boy on the Line" 1991-1993
8 This Business With Elijah: Typewritten Draft of "Pop" [ca. 1991]
9 This Business With Elijah: Typewritten Drafts of "Deaf Messenger" [ca. 1991-1993]
10 This Business With Elijah: Typewritten Drafts of "City Butchers" [ca. 1991]
11 This Business With Elijah: Typewritten Draft of "The Portrait" [ca. 1991]
12 This Business With Elijah: Typewritten Drafts of "The Spin Master" 1991-1993
13 This Business With Elijah: "The Spin Master" Draft of Interior Book 2001
14 This Business With Elijah: Typewritten Draft of "Shadowman" n.d.
15 This Business With Elijah: Typewritten Draft of "The Early Days of Shadowman" [ca. 1991]
16 This Business With Elijah: Draft of Interior Book 1993
BoxFolder
51 Island of the Minotaur: Typewritten Notes [ca. 2000]
2 Published Book: The Always Prayer Shawl, Preliminary Copy 1994
3 Published Book: The White Stone in the Castle Wall, Preliminary Copy 1995
4 Published Book: By the Hanukkah Light, Preliminary Copy 1997
5 Published Book: You Can Always Tell Cathy From Caitlin: Final Copy 1997
6 Book Covers [199-]
7 Published Articles: Miscellaneous 1979-1999
8 Published Articles: "Slice of Life" Column 1996-2001
9 Published Articles: Drafts of "Slice of Life" Column and CBC [199--200-]

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Plays, Musicals, and Songs 1980-1996
BoxFolder
510 The Other Side of the Wall: Typewritten Draft [198-]
11 The First Day of Chanukah: Typewritten Drafts [198-]
12 Insomnia: Typewritten Draft [198-]
13 CBC Radio Drama Script: Typewritten Draft of "City Butchers" [198-]
14 Songs 1980-1992
15 Whether You Like Him or Not: Typewritten Draft [198-]
16 Professor Quaker, The Rainbow Maker: Typewritten Draft [198-]
17 Professor Quaker, The Rainbow Maker: Programs 1981-1985
18 Professor Quaker, The Rainbow Maker: Typewritten Draft with Cover Page, Notes, and Illustrations 1984
19 Dr. Quaker, The Rainbow Maker: Musical Score 1987
BoxFolder
61 The Always Prayer Shawl: Typewritten Drafts [199-]
2 The Always Prayer Shawl: Typewritten Draft #5 1994
3 The Always Prayer Shawl: Bound Script 1995
4 Troubles Just a Bubble: Typewritten Drafts 1995-1996
5 Troubles Just a Bubble: Page Proofs 1996

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Film Scripts and Notes [ 1995-1996 ]
BoxFolder
66 Miscellaneous Film Concepts and Notes n.d.
7 The Amazing Creation of Al Simmons: Mid-Term Report 1995-1996

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Unpublished Materials [ 1983-2002 ]
BoxFolder
68 Unpublished Poetry: Typewritten Drafts 1983-2001
9 Unpublished Short Stories: Typewritten Drafts [ca. 1985-2000]
10 Unpublished Short Stories: Typewritten Drafts 1995-2002
11 Unpublished Short Stories: Typewritten Drafts with Multiple Copies [198--199-]
12 Unpublished Short Stories: Typewritten Drafts with Multiple Copies 1996-2001
BoxFolder
71 Alphabet Book: Notes and Draft with Illustrations [198-]
2 Pet Names: Proposal and Draft [198-]
3 Temporary Difficulties: Typewritten Drafts [199-]
4 Wannee, King of the Grass: Typewritten Drafts 1990-1992
5 The Boy with Seven Names: Typewritten Drafts [ca. 1991]
6 Ian's Song, a.k.a. Billy's Friend: Typewritten Drafts 1992-1996
7 Zaida Remembers Hannukah: Notes and Typewritten Drafts 1993-1994
8 Sunday Morning: Typewritten Drafts 1994-1995
9 The Princess in the Cave: Typewritten Drafts [ca. 1994]
10 Bedtime Stories: Typewritten Drafts [ca. 1995]
11 Yankele, The Holy Thief of the Ba'al Shem Tov: Typewritten Drafts 1997-1999
12 How a Writer Gets Ideas: Typewritten Drafts 1999-2000
13 The Moon in Quotations: Typewritten Drafts [200-]
14 If You Try: Typewritten Drafts [ca. 2001]

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Correspondence 1969-2002
BoxFolder
715 Personal Correspondence 1969-2002
16 Miscellaneous Correspondence 1984-2001
BoxFolder
81 Editor Correspondence 1990-2001
2 Thank You and Awards Correspondence 1991-2001
3 Correspondence: The Shaman's Nephew 1990-1998
4 Correspondence: TV Sal 1991-1993
5 Correspondence: The Always Prayer Shawl 1991-1996
6 Correspondence: The White Stone in the Castle Wall 1991-1995
7 Correspondence: Wannee, King of the Grass 1992
8 Correspondence: This Business With Elijah 1993

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Research Materials 1994-2000
BoxFolder
89 The Shaman's Nephew: Notes and Interviews 1994
10 Miscellaneous Research [ca. 1999]
11 Cretan Stories: Research and Correspondence 2000

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Business Materials 1977-2000
BoxFolder
812 Copyright 1977
13 Festival Passes [199--2000]
14 Funding 1993
15 Itineraries 1994-1999
16 Invitations 2000

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Teaching Materials 1987-1997
BoxFolder
818 Presentations, Speeches, and Interviews 1988-1997
19 Workshops, Public Talks, and Storytelling [199-]
20 Guides to Short Stories [ca. 1993-1994]

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Recorded Music and Interviews [198--1999]
BoxFolder
1 One Tape Cassette: Side A: An Interview with Sheldon Oberman on "This Business with Elijah". Side B: Interview for Community Arts [ca. 1991]
One Tape Cassette: Side A: "Tangles". Side B: McNally Award "Two Spirits Had Come Dancing" [ca. 1994]
One Tape Cassette: Side A: Kids Songs by Sheldon Oberman, Fred Penner or Eric Nagler. Side B: Cafe Song, Song of Riel, 2 versions n.d.
One Tape Cassette: Side A & B: Kid's Songs by Sheldon Oberman 1988
One Tape Cassette: Side A & B: "Quaker" n.d.
One Tape Cassette: Side A & B: The Always Prayer Shawl on CBC Local n.d.
One Tape Cassette: Side A & B: The Ruth Jacobs Show with guest Sheldon Oberman 1994
One Tape Cassette: Side A: Sheldon Oberman interview on CBC Rankin Inlet. Side B: KISFM Radio interview with Howard Mansheim 1989
One Compact Disc: "In Their Own Words? Readings By Manitoba Writers" 1999

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Photographs and Other Graphic Materials 198--1996
BoxFolder
11 Miscellaneous Photographs n.d.-1996
2 Promotional Shots n.d.
3 Miscellaneous Storytelling n.d.
4 Oberman Children Illustrations 198--1996
5 The White Stone in the Castle Wall Illustrations [ca. 1994]
6 Craig Terlson Illustrations of TV Sal [199-]

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Videocassettes and One Compact Disc 198--2007
BoxFolder
1 One Compact Disc: The Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Book Award: Quest for the Best 2007 2007
One Beta Videocassette: Al Simmons by Sheldon Oberman and Merit Jensen n.d.
One Beta Videocassette: The Amazing Creation of Al Simmons n.d.
One Beta Videocassette: "What's Happening?" Director Sheldon Oberman n.d.
One VHS Videocassette: "House of the Wind" and "The Amazing Creation of Al Simmons" n.d.

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Electronic Collection 1988-1994
BoxFolder
1 Two 5.25" Computer Diskettes: June - December 1988 1988
Two 3.5" Computer Diskettes: "Business" and "Eli Stories Complete" 1994

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