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Call Number: Mss 21, Pc 21 (A.79-14, A.05-82)

Title: Nan Shipley fonds.

Dates: 1940-1990.

Extent: 2.66 m of textual records and 533 photographs.

Biographical sketch: Nancy Evelyn Shipley (nee Somerville) was born in Glasgow, Scotland on November 6, 1902. In 1920’s she moved to Winnipeg and married George Shipley. Nan Shipley published fourteen books and numerous short stories and articles. Her first book Anna and the Indians (1955) had been reprinted many times. Among her better known publications are Frances and the Crees (1957); The Railway Builders (1965); The James Evan Story (1966); and Churchill: Canada’s Northern Gateway (1974). As a big supporter of Aboriginal and Metis culture, she organized Manitoba’s first Indian handicrafts sales centre (1959) and focused her writing on Indian and Metis women. In 1965 Shipley was elected Woman of the Year by the Women’s Advertising and Sales Club of Winnipeg. She also hosted weekly television program (1974-75) at CKND Winnipeg. Nan Shipley passed away on January 23, 1990.

In 1970 she donated most of her papers and manuscripts to the University of Southern Mississippi. There are also her published and unpublished manuscript collections at the Provincial Archives, Manitoba and two accessions (A.79-14; A.05-82) at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.

Custodial history: The accession (A.79-14) was donated to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Mrs. Nan Shipley in 1979. The second accession (A.05-82) was donated by Glynn Leyshon in 2005.

Scope and content: The accession (A.79-14) includes lecture notes, manuscripts and published articles, radio and television scripts, maps, photographs, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and scrapbooks. In addition there are three boxes of Indian legends recorded in the scrapbooks of Alex Grisdale of the Scanterbury Indian Reservation and transcribed by Mrs. Shipley. The map collection is noteworthy for its maps of the old Indian trails which crossed the prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. The photograph collection provides a pictorial record of hydro and railroad developments in northern Manitoba and of the growth and demise of northern towns and settlements. Among the portraits are native peoples and early missionaries and settlers.

The accession (A.05-82) consists of Nan Shipley’s unpublished autobiography Most of it was fun; unpublished manuscript Women of Fort Albany; and numerous short stories and articles.

Restrictions: No restrictions on access.

Finding aids available: