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Sybil Shack fonds,

MSS 152, TC 104, PC 159, A.02-56, A.04-31


4.325m of textual records and other material

Sybil Shack was born in Winnipeg on 1 April 1911 in a bedroom behind her maternal grandparents store on Pritchard Avenue. She showed great promise academically and was awarded an Isbister Entrance Scholarship to the University of Manitoba at the age of fourteen. She graduated with a B.A. in 1929 and attended Normal School to become a teacher the following year. Teaching jobs were scarce as the Great Depression took a firm hold of the Canadian economy. For two years she supported herself writing editorials for Weekly News the Independent Labour Council newspaper, taking general assignments for the Western Jewish News marking papers or giving private tutorials. She also found placements as a substitute teacher. Finally at the point of giving up on her chosen profession, she wrote what she refers to as her desperation letter and secured a job at Foxwarren, Manitoba. After three years in rural Manitoba she returned to teach in Winnipeg. In 1945 Shack returned to the University of Manitoba winning the Gold Medal in the Bachelor of Education program. She received a MEd the following year. Between 1950-1952, she took post-graduate courses in supervision and administration at the Ontario College of Education. She was principal of several schools starting with Sargeant Park School in 1948 and retired as the principal of Kelvin High in 1976. For thirty years she was involved in school broadcasts over television and radio with the C.B.C. In 1969 she received an Honorary Doctorate (LLD) from the University of Manitoba. Shack is the author several books including: Armed with a primer published by McClelland & Stewart. The two-thirds minority was published by the Guidance Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Toronto in 1973. Four years later the same publisher printed Saturday's Stepchildren. In recent years Dr. Shack has worked with Dr. Rosa Bruno-Joffre on early Manitoba education. Shack was a leading proponent of pay equity for female teachers and called for government-supported nurseries to aid working mothers. She is the past president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, was a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre on Aging at the University of Manitoba and was the only lay person on the Manitoba Judicial Council. Shack has been the recipient of several awards. She received the John M. Brown Award for contribution to education in 1976. She received three awards in 1983, the YMCA's Women of the Year Award for Community Service, a Citizen of the Year Award from the City of Winnipeg-Knights and a Person's Award. In 1984 she was became a member of the Order of Canada and Provost of the Buffalo Hunt. In 1987 she was elected a fellow of the Ontario Institute for Secondary Education. She received a Manitoba Human Rights Achievements Award in 1995 and entered the Winnipeg Citizens' Hall of Fame in 1996. Shack died on January 22, 2004.

The material was donated by Sybil Shack to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in six installments between the fall of 2002 and spring 2003 and upon her death in 2004.

The fonds is separated into series. The first series is biographical information and family material from1896-2003. It includes diaries and appointment books. The second series is correspondence from 1930-2003. The third series is book drafts and correspondence with publishers from 1944-1998. The fourth series is comprised of research material for a book on the 50th anniversary of Jewish Child & Family Services and the History of Education Project 1990-2001. The fifth series contains articles, speeches, conference programs & book reviews 1930-2001.The sixth series is radio scripts 1955-1981. The seventh series is Patriotic Observances for Manitoba Department of Education. The eighth series is material from the University of Manitoba from 1945-2001. The ninth series is material relating to education 1915-2002. The tenth series contains research material on Aging & Senior Citizens 1969-1994. The eleventh series is research on women. Series twelve contains information on the Canadian Civil Liberties Association 1993-2002. Research material on Shack's wide-ranging areas of interest comprises the thirteen series. Series 14 contains information on Shack's Awards 1969-2002. Series 15 contains biographical information, eulogies & obituaries on Shack's friends 1972-1996. Series 16 contains information on Jewish history 1950-1996. Series 17 contains information about Shack's adoptive brother John Hirsch 1951-1988. Series 18 contains literary material by other people sent to Shack 1977-2001.Series nineteen is miscellaneous material 1917-2001. The final series twenty contains oversize material including newspaper clippings, awards, plaques, degrees and a family tree. The 2004 accrual contains three series biographical information, correspondence & miscellaneous areas of interset.

The fonds is available for research

No further accruals are expected

Finding aid available