Joseph Henry Ellis:

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

Revisions and Additions by Kathleen Epp, 1992 and John Richthammer, 1996.
University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections
Winnipeg MB

Finding aid encoded by Julianna Trivers (July 2002)
Finding aid written in English.

Revision History

  • July 26, 2005 - MSS 19 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

Collection Summary

University of Manitoba
331 Elizabeth Archives & Special Collections Dafoe Library, Winnipeg MB R3T 2N2

Joseph Henry Ellis

Dr. Joseph Henry Ellis fonds


2.5 m of textual records and other material

MSS 19, PC 19, MC 2


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Biography of Joseph Henry Ellis

Joseph Henry Ellis was born on February 11, 1890 in Coventry, England and emigrated to Canada in 1907. From that year, until 1914, he worked on a farm at Glenboro, Manitoba and at the Brandon Experimental Farm. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from the Manitoba Agricultural College in 1918, and following graduation accepted a position as experimentalist and lecturer in soil management in the field husbandry department. In 1927 he received a Master of Science degree from the University of Minnesota and became the first head of the soils division (later to become the Department of Soil Science), a post he held until 1955.

Throughout this period Professor Ellis lectured and participated in soil surveys to map and classify the soils of Manitoba. Elements of his classification system were later incorporated into the Canadian soil classification system. Many of the published and unpublished reports of these investigations are contained in this collection.

Following his tenure as head of the Department of Soil Science, Professor Ellis acted as a consultant for the Federal Department of Mines and Natural Resources, and the Manitoba Department of Agriculture.

Ellis was married in 1918 to Beatrice Carruthers. They had six children: James Ellis, Hugh Ellis, Majorie Josephine Ellis (1924-1991), Jane McTavish, Constance MacDonald and Elnora Marie Ellis (1928-1954). They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at 952 North Drive in Winnipeg, their home of many years. Dr. Ellis died at the age of 83 on December 6, 1973 at Victoria Hospital and was buried in the family plot at Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg. His widow, Beatrice Carruthers Ellis, survived him until 1987 when she died at the age of 100.

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Scope and Contents of the Papers

The fonds consists of biographical material, correspondence, land inspection reports, special project reports, course materials, awards, surveys, financial records, maps, charts and graphs, and photographs. Many of the published and unpublished reports and mappings related to Ellis' soil investigations into the soils of Manitoba.

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Organization of the Papers

This collection is organized into 4 series.

  • Miscellaneous, 1915-1969
  • Publications, 1919-1960
  • Reports, 1930-1971
  • University of Manitoba - Course Material, n.d.
  • Framed Documents, 1913-1975 and n.d.

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Restrictions on Use

No restrictions have been placed upon the collection. It is available to all those who wish to consult it on the condition that they abide by all copyright laws and regulations as passed by the Parliament of Canada and exercise proper care of all contained therein. Any excerpts or quotations from the Collection must not be used without acknowledgment and source attribution.

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Custodial History

The first accession of the Joseph Henry Ellis fonds was donated by Dr. R.A. Hedlin of the Department of Soil Science in 1980. The second accession was originally donated to the Provincial Archives of Manitoba, but in view of the fact that the University of Manitoba held the majority of the Dr. J.H. Ellis collection, it was transferred to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by J. Ellis in 1992.

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Other Finding Aids

Photograph Collection (PC 19)

Map Collection (MC 2)

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Miscellaneous 1915-1969
11 Biographical data on Dr. Joseph Henry Ellis
2 Report of land inspection of Summerberry and Grand Rapids areas
3 Land inspection of the Minago River area
4 Inspections of: east of Lake Manitoba, south-east of Lake Manitoba, south of river at Portage la Prairie, and land adjacent to west shore of Lake Manitoba
5 The Delta Marsh area and the weed problem
6 Using alfalfa to reduce flooding in the Red River Valley
7 Report of the reconnaissance soil survey, municipality of Armstrong, 1939
8 Summary report to Dr. L.B. Thomson on stream bank erosion work in Manitoba
21 Saskatchewan River reclamation project, #1-10 1956, 1965
2 Riesen, H.G. P.F.R.A. projects in Manitoba - Annual Report, 1953-54
3 Gill, C.B. Willows in Manitoba
31 Brodrick F.W. and S.E. Chernick. Preliminary report on the Carrot River survey, 1946
2 Report on Carrot River reclamation project
3 Ellis, J.H. Papers in connection with the Pasquia land settlement project
4 Ellis, J.H. Whither--Why and How--? The Pasquia land settlement project
5 Pasquia area meetings of the co-operative committee on field crop experiments and demonstrations
6 Ellis, J.H. Pasquia land settlement project report #1-4
7 Ellis, J.H. Report of the reconnaissance soil survey of the soils of the Red River Valley in Manitoba
8 Ellis, J.H. Report of the reconnaissance soil survey, Julius area, Manitoba
9 Manitoba Agriculture and prairie farm rehabilitation activities
41 Report on preliminary land inspection, south-eastern Manitoba
2 Tree planting and soil conservation, meteorological research, Pratt motion and other papers, to 1934
3 Report on the economy of south-eastern Manitoba, 1957
4 Preliminary soil survey of the Green Lake Settlement, 1951
5 Preliminary report - Assiniboine River Development, 1945
6 Land use and the federal wheat acreage reduction program
7 Beraking experiment - thesis material, W.A. Ehrlich
8 Ellis, J.H. Southern Manitoba grasslands and forest zones, 1968
9 Ellis, J.H. et al. Progress report of mineral analyses of hay samples made in connection with provincial pasture studies, 1949
10 Progress report of fertilizer trials in the Arborg district, 1934-35
11 Manitoba Crown lands--their acquisition, tenure and utilization
12 Proposed regulations governing the use of Crown grasslands
51 Volume 1 & 2 - experimental data from field 2 & 8, 1915-26
2 Ellis, J.H. Revenue-bearing Crown grasslands in Manitoba, 1962
3 Ellis, J.H. Review of grazing leases on Crown land in Manitoba, 1962
4 Schreiber, K. Manitoba Sugar Co. Ltd.
5 Ellis, J.H. et al. Report of investigations into the occurrence of nitrate in waters used from domestic and stock-watering purposes; and in fodder produced in the Neepawa and adjacent districts, 1951, 1955
6 Statistical methods
7 Jackson, M.L. Soils analysis. chemical and physico-chemical methods
8 M.A.C. balance sheet, 1915
61 M.A.C. Bedford Demonstration Rotation Labour Report, 1914
2 Ellis, J.H. Historical Summary of conference held by Manitoba agronomists
3 Junior co-operative fertilizer experiments, 1929-31
4 Ellis, J.H. Report on south-eastern Manitoba from a land-use standpoint
5 Annual sanitary inspectors' institute proceedings and lectures, March 1952
6 Ellis, J.H. A review of the Manitoba land inspector's association, 1925-72
7 Framingham, Charles F. and James A. MacMillan. The Interlake Fact Digest. 1968
8 Organic Soils of Manitoba
9 Ellis, J.H. et al. Nitrates in water and fodder - Neepawa area
71 Illustrations, south-eastern Manitoba; report, 1959
2 Report to Dr. L.B. Thomson on observations on flooding and erosion problems in the Riding Mountain district of Manitoba
3 Synopsis of land-use and land-use problems in Manitoba, 1957
4 Ellis, J.H. and E.A. Poyser. Report on Hazel Creek and land-use north of Craig Siding, 1960
5 Photographs relating to the Carrot River Settlement project, 1948-49
6 Carrot River reclamation project, 1946, 1949
7 Ellis, J.H. Confidential report on the Porcupine forest reserve in relation to the grazing of livestock, 1963.
8 Ellis, J.H. A study of grazing under permit - Turtle Mountain forest reserve, 1962
81 Ellis, J.H. Land-use problems in the Interlake and Westlake high-lime region in Manitoba
2 Aerial Photography Methods
3 Miscellaneous data on high-lim region
4 Ellis, J.H. Land utilization in Manitoba and the need for a Provincial land-utilization advisory board, 1961
91 Ellis, J.H. et al. Manitoba - lands, land-use, problems, surface waters and conservation
2 Ellis, J.H. The Pasquia land settlement project - outlines, results..., 1956
3 Miscellaneous maps and notes
101 The Mitscherlich method - the determination of the manurial requirements of soils
2 Results obtained in the agricultural research work conducted by the Manitoba Sugar Co. Ltd., 1943
3 New P.F.R.G. set-up, 1938
4 Tree planting machines
5 Bush cutting machines
6 Figures used in report on land-use problems in Interlake and Westlake high-lime regions in Manitoba
111 Addresses - Lectures, papers (6) includes Table of Contents 1929-42
2 Addresses - Reports and papers (24) includes Table of Contents 1943-46
3 Addresses - Reports and papers (12) includes Table of Contents 1949-51
4 Addresses and papers (10) includes Table of Contents 1951-53
5 Addresses - Radio Talks (10) includes Table of Contents 1931-40
6 Addresses - Papers - Miscellaneous 1920-54
121 Correspondence - Miscellaneous 1928-80
2 Correspondence and Papers - Personal 1950-69
3 Field Trips - Itineries, etc. 1954-69

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Publications 1919-1960
124 Farm Forestry and Tree Culture 1945
5 The Land For Thine Inheritance 1941-47
6 List of Publications, Reports, Experiments and Thesis 1919-1955
7 The Soils of Manitoba 1938
8 Reconnaissance Soil Survey - R.M. of Armstrong 1939
9 Reconnaissance Soil Survey - S.W. Manitoba 1940
10 Reconnaissance Soil Survey - S. Central Manitoba 1943
131 Reconnaissance Soil Reports (3) 1956, 1957, 1960
2 Miscellaneous - Agriculture and Soils 1924-48

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Reports 1930-1971
133 Soil Drifting in South Western Manitoba 1936
4 Soil Erosion in Western Canada 1954
5 Soils and Fertilizers for Durum Wheat [ca.1934]
6 Soil Ratings - Manitoba Soil Associations 1960
7 Soil Survey - General 1930-44
8 Soil Survey Manual - Manitoba 1944
141 Soil Survey - Reconnaissance 1931
2 Zonal Soils of Manitoba 1947
3 Soil Conditions and Land Use 1939
4 Scientific Club of Winnipeg - Miscellaneous papers 1905-55
5 Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba - Miscellaneous papers 1944-63
6 Note book - Soil and Crop Management Experiments n.d.
7 Soils (Miscellaneous) papers published (5) 1932-55
8 P.F.R.A. Notes and publications 1936-44
151 Reports - Soil conservation 1933-45
2 Reports/Papers - Soil Conservation 1946-54
3 Soils Session notes - Lands Branch Inspectors Conference 1961
4 Treatise - Birth of Agronomic Research at M.A.C. (Original and printed copy) 1971

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University of Manitoba - Course Material n.d.
161 What - Where - Why and How
2 Land. Land Use. Land - Use Problems - Surface Waters and Conservation
3 Land - Use Problems in the Interlake and Westlake Land - Use Problems in the Interlake and Westlake
171 Morphology - Properties and Classification of Soils
2 Soils of Western Canada - Utilization, Problems and Management
3 Evolution, Development and Activities of the Ministry of Agriculture in Manitoba (Book 1)
181 Evolution, Development and Activities of the Ministry of Agriculture in Manitoba (Book 2 & 3)

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Framed Documents 1913-1975
19 Framed Documents


- Joseph Henry Ellis 1890-1973


- Diploma - School of Scientific Farming of Western Canada 1913

- Diploma - Manitoba Agriculture College 1916

- Baccalaureatum Scientiae in Agricultura 1918

- Master of Science Minnesota 1927

- Doctor of Science 1969


- Fellow - The Appraisal Institute of Canada 1941

- Fellow - Agricultural Institute of Canada 1950

- Charter Member - The Manitoba Institute of Agrologists 1951. Note: 1973 sticker

- Canadian Society of Soil Science Special Award 1959

- Fellow - Canadian Society of Soil Science 1963

- The Order of the Crocus 1967

- Honorary Life Membership in the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists 1969

- Naming J.H. Ellis Building 1975

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