Joe Fisher fonds

Call Number: Mss 148, Pc 154, Tc 101, El 1 (A.01-38)

Title: Joe Fisher fonds.

Dates: 1947-2001.

Extent: 8 m of textual records and other material.

Biographical sketch: Andrew Joseph Hilton Fisher, the eldest of four children, was born June 18, 1947 in Bristol, England. Choosing a career in journalism, he was hired as a junior reporter at the Staffordshire Advertiser and Chronicle in 1965. At the age of twenty-two, he was promoted and had the distinction of being the youngest news editor in England. In August 1971, Fisher immigrated to Toronto where he joined The Mirror newspaper as its police reporter. In 1972, Fisher was employed as a reporter and feature writer for the Toronto Sun. His assignments ranged from undercover investigations of Toronto's massage parlours to the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' conference in Ottawa. He became a general reporter for the Toronto Sun in November 1974 and started a column on the labour scene. He also covered many important out-of-town assignments, including the 1976 Montreal Olympics, the Canadian Labour Congress annual convention in Quebec City, and Montreal's Club Gargantua massacre in which thirteen people died. His first novel, Skin Dive (originally titled Soft Words in Zooland) was published in 1977.

The end of Fisher's journalistic career coincided with his interest in the paranormal, upon which he wrote several books including Predictions (1980), The Case For Reincarnation (1984), Life Between Life with Dr. Joel Whitton (1986), Hungry Ghosts: An Investigation Into Chanelling and the Spirit World, (1990), Cotopaxi Visions, (1992), and The Case For Reincarnation (1992). Fisher also wrote Game Wardens in 1992, a book commissioned and published by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. He supplemented his income writing freelance articles, particularly for travel magazines and the Sunday Sun, magazine of the Toronto Sun. A collection of Fisher's poetry also appeared in an issue of Queen's Quarterly. Over one million of his books have been sold in twenty-two languages. In addition to his writings, he regularly gave workshops and seminars based on his explorations into the supernatural, gave lectures, and appeared on a number of television shows. He hosted Geographical Journal on CBC Newsworld in 1997. He married Emily Zarb on June 15, 1991. The couple divorced in 1999. Fisher died on May 9, 2001 near Fergus, Ontario.

Custodial history: The records were donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in 2001 from Heidi Sanders, a friend of Joe Fisher. They had been stored in the basement of her home. Before being moved to Sander's home, the records were stored in Fisher's home in boxes and file cabinets.

Scope and content: The Joe Fisher fonds consists of fourteen series: biographical, administrative, correspondence, research, writing, publications, artefacts, large format, images, large format graphics, reel-to-reel, audiocassettes, videocassettes, and electronic records. Personal records and books that have been inscribed to Joe Fisher comprise the biographical series. (Refer to the finding aid for a list of the books that were not kept). Proposals, contracts, book promotions, book reviews, financial, and other general and public life records form the administrative series. While the personal correspondence of Fisher is located in the biographical series, the correspondence series contains all other correspondence, including letters to readers, agents, publishers, and research inquiries. The general research in the research series is largely separated by book, while the notes and interviews are separated as they were found in the collection. The records in the writing series are categorized according to the form of the records: journals, manuscripts, editorial notes and drafts, poetry, and manuscript proofs. Publications are grouped in three main categories: newspaper articles, magazine articles, and books. The newspaper articles and books are sorted chronologically and the magazine articles alphabetically. The artefacts series consists of 5 plaques and a seal from Fisher's business, Bardo Publications Inc. The large format records, large format photographs, reel-to-reel, audiocassettes, and videocassettes series are stored according to their original order. The images series is separated by format: slides, negatives, and photographs. These latter series include 1313 photographs, of which 873 are colour and 440 are black and white, 261 negative sheets, 217 colour slides, 37 videocassettes, 11 audio cassettes, and 10 reel-to-reel audio tapes.

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material . Some photographs and other publications in this fonds may pose copyright issues which would require permission for reproduction. Any requests for reproductions should be made to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.

Accruals: No further accruals to this fonds are expected.

Finding aid: A printed finding aid is available in the Archives reading room and an on-line finding aid is available at the link below:

MSS 148, PC 154, TC 101, EL 1 (A.01-38).