Colleen Helgason Nelson fonds
Call Number: Mss 151, Pc 158, Tc 103 (A.02-31, A.03-61, A.06-43)

Title: Colleen Helgason Nelson fonds.

Dates: 1932-1996.

Extent: 2.12 m of textual records and other material.

Biographical sketch: Colleen Helgason Nelson was born on September 30, 1932 in Bismarck, North Dakota. She entered the University of Minnesota in 1950, graduating summa with a B.A. in Music (piano) in 1955. The previous year she married Carl Robert Nelson, an architect.  The couple would have seven children together. After spending a year in Rome, where her husband studied as a Fulbright Scholar, Nelson entered graduate school at the University of Illinois in 1957. She graduated in 1961 with an M.Sc.  Her thesis was titled Six Sparrows of the Northern Great Plains: Descriptive Ecology. While a graduate student, she produced an exhibit for the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History in Minneapolis. In 1962, she began research on downy waterfowl at the Delta Waterfowl Research Station at Delta, Manitoba. The following year, she continued her research at the Round Lake Waterfowl Station in Minnesota. The following year, she immigrated to Canada, where her husband took a position with the University of Manitoba. In 1967, she started doing museum and library exhibitions on downy waterfowl at the Museum of Man and Nature and at a studio-laboratory at home. In the next twenty years, she mounted over a dozen exhibitions and wrote several articles on waterfowl. In 1977, she was named a research associate at the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature. In 1981, she was named a research associate of National Museum of National Sciences in Ottawa. In 1993, the results of her thirty years of research were published in Downy Waterfowl of North America by Delta Station Press.

Custodial history: The material was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Colleen Helgason Nelson in 2002, 2003, and 2006.

Scope and content: The fonds is divided into four series. They include biographical information, Nelson's articles, research material for Downy Waterfowl of North America, and Nelson's research index cards.  The photograph collection includes 257 photographs, 2 collages, and 16 negative color separations.  The tape collection consists of 11 audio reels. 

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material.

Accruals: Further accruals 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 151, PC 158, TC 103 (A.02-31, A.03-61, A.06-43).