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Archival description
University of St. Michael's College, John M. Kelly Library, Special Collections
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Diaries, reading journals and day planners

Series consists of 29 diaries, dated reading journals and day planners created and preserved by Watson during her adult life. These materials contain fragments of her creative writing; drawings in graphite, coloured pencil and ink; reading notes and language exercies; collected ephemera; recordings of her daily activities and financial transactions; and reflections on her experiences, emotions, relationships and surroundings.
In general Watson kept confessional and reflective diaries from 1954/55 to about 1957. When she moved to Toronto in 1956 to persue her doctoral studies, Watson began to keep what can be best described as reading journals, dated notes pertaining to books she was reading interspersed with short diary entries regarding her correspondence, her observations of her surroundings and her academic experiences. After she moved to Edmonton to teach at the University of Alberta, and upon her retirement in Nanaimo, Watson's recorded thoughts become more infrequent. In her later life, Watson appears to have purchased commercial day planners to record her daily activities and financial translations.
It is apparent that Watson kept journals during her early teaching career in Cariboo Country in British Columbia. However, it seems she destroyed these at a later period.

Manuscripts of novels

Sub-series consists of handwritten and typed drafts and manuscripts, metatext and relevant correspondence with editors related to Watson's two published novels, namely "Deep Hollow Creek" and "The Double Hook" and her unfinished unpublished novel "Landscape of the Moon". The files have been arranged by novel and then chronologically.

Outgoing Correspondence

Sub-series consists of handwritten letter drafts and typed copies of Watson's outgoing letters, including letters of recommendation, correspondence with thesis students, letters to friends and family and letters to her husband Wilfred Watson. The sub-series has been arranged alphabetically by primary correspondent, and then chronologically.

Files include:

2006 01 88 Anderson, Paula Grace
2006 01 89 Angus, Anne
2006 01 90 Blott, Anne
2006 01 91 [Bowering], Angela
2006 01 92 Bruce, Elizabeth
2006 01 93 Gershater, [Jeanne]
2006 01 94 Marken, Ronald
2006 01 95 Masten, Cathy
2006 01 96 McLuhan, Elizabeth
2006 01 97 McLuhan, Marshall
2006 01 98 Meeker, Dr. Joseph and Robert J. Thaler
2006 01 99 Mitchell, Norah
2006 01 100 New York Herald-Tribune, The
2006 01 101 Sharpe, David
2006 01 102 Shemeluck, Myrna
2006 01 103 Singleton, Marvin
2006 01 104 Tiessen, Hildegard
2006 01 105 Watson, Wilfred
2006 01 106 [Watt], Sandra
2006 01 107 Unknown recipients

Reading notebooks

Sub- series consists of 40 files containing reading and research notes in notebooks, some of which can be dated. These notebooks relate to Watson's reading notes created in the course of her personal and professional activities as a writer, Ph.D. student and professor of English. These notebooks tend to contain brief page references and quotations from books, journal articles and magazine columns. There appears to be a gap in the record, with little or no material from the 1970s. Some notebooks contain news clippings and ephemera.

Files include:

Box 46

  • 2006 01 729 Notebook regarding Ezra Pound and Confucius [after 1929?]
  • 2006 01 730 Cubism notebook [after 1929?]
  • 2006 01 731 Notebook regarding religion, philosophy and theology [after 1929?]
  • 2006 01 732 Notebook regarding Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche and artists [after 1929?]
  • 2006 01 733 Notebook regarding language and art history [after 1929?]
  • 2006 01 734 Rejected notes for the third part of the Trial of Man notebook [after 1956]
  • 2006 01 735 Notebook regarding Wyndham Lewis [after 1956]
  • 2006 01 736 Notebook regarding W.B. Yeats, Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis [between 1968 and 1974]
  • 2006 01 737 Notebook regarding Wyndham Lewis [between 1958 - 1960]
  • 2006 01 738 Reading notebook regarding Wyndham Lewis correspondence and painting [between 1960 and 1961]
  • 2006 01 739 Reading notebook regarding Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound and modernist journals [1958]
  • 2006 01 740 Reading notebook regarding English literature [1957]
  • 2006 01 741 Reading notebook regarding Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and twentieth century art [after 1959?]

Box 47

  • 2006 01 742 Reading notebook [1968-1969]
  • 2006 01 743 Kepes Structure in Art and Science reading notebook [after 1968]
  • 2006 01 744 Notebook regarding Ezra Pound [late 1960's or early 1970's]
  • 2006 01 745 Notebook regarding Wyndham Lewis [after 1960?]
  • 2006 01 746 Notebook regarding Plato, James Joyce, Henry Moore and art [1958]
  • 2006 01 747 Notebook regarding Wyndham Lewis [ca. 1961]
  • 2006 01 748 Notebook regarding Malcolm Lowry and Ezra Pound [after 1961?]
  • 2006 01 749 Notebooks regarding The Decline of the West [ca. 1962?]
  • 2006 01 750 Notebook regarding socialism [after 1962?]
  • 2006 01 751 Notebook regarding English and French literature [after 1963?]
  • 2006 01 752 The Diary of Anias Nin notebook [ca. 1966?]
  • 2006 01 753 Notebook [after 1966]
  • 2006 01 754 Notebook regarding organic chemistry [ca. 1967?]
  • 2006 01 755 Notebook regarding Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, W.B. Yeats and T.S. Eliot [ca. 1968?]
  • 2006 01 756 Notebook regarding Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, W.B. Yeats and Irish literature [ca. 1968]

Box 48

  • 2006 01 757 Notebook regarding Marshall McLuhan and Bertrand Russell [ca. 1969?]
  • 2006 01 758 Notebook regarding the city in literature anthology project [between 1968 - 1970?]
  • 2006 01 759 Notebook regarding Wyndham Lewis and film [ca. 1969]
  • 2006 01 760 Notebook regarding Wyndam Lewis, Marshall McLuhan, psychology and art [ca. 1981?]
  • 2006 01 761 Notebook regarding Marshall McLuhan and Maurice Blanchard [after 1981?]
  • 2006 01 762 Notebook regarding Marshall McLuhan [ca. 1982]
  • 2006 01 763 Notebook regarding Marshall McLuhan [ca. 1982]
  • 2006 01 764 Notebook regarding Gertrude Stein, literature and art [after 1982]
  • 2006 01 765 Notebook regarding Marshall McLuhan, Roland Barthes, John Cage [between 1983 and 1985]
  • 2006 01 766 Notebook regarding language, film and philosophy [ca. 1984]
  • 2006 01 767 Notebook regarding Marshall McLuhan and Wyndham Lewis [ca. 1985]
  • 2006 01 768 Notebook regarding Marshall McLuhan, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and the concept of space [ca. 1986]

Income tax returns and records

Sub-series consists of three files containing income tax returns, payments and assessments submitted and received by Sheila Watson.

Files includes :

  • 2006 01 858 Income tax returns receipts and records 1968 - 1979
  • 2006 01 859 Income tax returns and receipts and records 1980 - 1989
  • 2006 01 860 (1) Income tax returns, receipts and records 1990 - 1997
  • 2006 01 860 (2) Income tax returns, receipts and records, 1990 - 1997

Notes on [Boleuphoke?]

File consists of a three pages of handwritten notes regarding a philosopher [Boleuphoke?] and his support of natural religion.

A.l.s. from Émile Zola to Édouard Fournier

  1. A.l.s. from Émile Zola to Édouard Fournier (1819-1880), [Paris], 20 November 1865, 3 p. – on letterhead «Librairie de L. Hachette et Cie, Boulevard Saint-Germain, 77», crossed out.
    Zola writes to Fournier, a journalist who wrote for a number of Paris newspapers, to request that Fournier read and comment on Zola’s new (and his first) novel, La Confession de Claude in Fourier’s upcoming literary column in La Patrie.
    In this letter, Zola’s keen sense of how to create publicity for his works is already evident, since he tells Fournier that he will not be upset if Fournier gives an honest opinion of his work. “It goes without saying, writes Zola, that I prefer a frank evaluation to a couple of indulgent lines.”
    Published in Correspondance, vol. 1, p. 422-423 (letter 129).
    This is a very significant letter, not only because of its content but also because letters from this period (the 1860’s) are relatively rare.

Files 1-4

These files consist of records that document the various sources from which letters and documents were donated for the project. File #2 contains donation agreements for private French donors. The dates of these forms range from 1974 to 1988. File #3 contains an inventory of French libraries and journals that were visited throughout the course of the project. File #4 is a collection of references cards that outline the different public and private institutions that donated documents or letters to the project. These cards outline the name of the institution or figure, location, and a listing of the letters donated to the project.

2. "Le cri primal"

Item consists of 1 audio cassette featuring a talk given by Jean Vanier at a Covenant Retreat (Retraite de l'Alliance) in March 1986.

Weekly calendars

Sub-series consists of Nouwen’s weekly appointment calendars from 1975 to 1996. Most contain ephemeral material (including personal notes, reminders, invitations and miscellaneous information) which has been removed and placed in separate envelopes.

Page 1 of Album 3

File consists of page 1 of Album 3. There are five photographs on the page [P6400, P6401, P6402, P6403, P6404, P6405]. Henri Nouwen is seen with friends, including Trudi Habes, Dick and Doak van Dalen and Seward and Helen Hiltner at a celebration in his honour in November 1970; and away on retreat with Newman Chaplains in June, 1972 in Dayton, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan.

The annotations on the back of the photos read:

P6400 (unknown hand): Left to right Trudi Habes, Harri, (hidden) - Dave, Dick van Dalen, Doak van Dalen (back to camera) Nov 1970

P6401 (unknown hand): November 26, 1970 - The Cake H.[S?]. Harri Nouwen

P6402 (unknown hand): Trudi Habes, Seward, Harri November 70

P6403: Nov. 26, 1970 Seward, Helen, Harri

P6404 (Nouwen): Retraite [dajvan?] Newman chaplains bij Dayton Ohio

P6405 (Nouwen): Detroit Retreat for Newman Champlains Sacred Heart Seminary June 1972

Page 1 of Album 11

File consists of page 1 of Album 11. There are six photographs on the page [P7776, P7777, P7778, P7779, P7780, P7781]. Taken in Greece, Henri Nouwen is seen with friend visiting various ruins, including the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion and the Erechtheum in Athens.

Photographs of Selma-Montgomery march and personal photographs of Nouwen's

File consists of seventy-four slides of Martin Luther King Jr.'s civil rights march (attended by Nouwen), which began in Selma, AL, on March 21, 1965, and arrived in Montgomery, AL, on March 25, 1965. File also contains seven slides taken by or featuring Nouwen, including one slide featuring Nouwen in military uniform, one slide of the original Menninger Clinic, one slide taken by Nouwen during a trip, and four slides from a University of Notre Dame football game.

Covenant Retreat 1981

File consists of 23 audio cassettes featuring talks given at a Covenant Retreat held from April 5-11, 1981. The talks are in French and English.

1. "A travers la plessure du coeur"

Item consists of 1 audio cassette featuring a Covenant Retreat (Retraite de l'Alliance) in April 1984, with talks by Pere M.D. Philippe, O.P. The title of the retreat was, "L'Alliance et le mystere de la croix."

Ephemera and memorabilia collected in Paris

Sub-series consists of one file of maps, newspaper clippings, guidebooks, theatre programmes, tickets, and governmental documents collected and preserved by Watson from her year spent with her husband in Paris.

A merry Christmas

Item consists of 1 embossed picture postcard with a divided back with a Christmas greeting and holly. The postcard has 1 series of 1902 Franklin one cent stamp.

Journals and notebooks

Series consists of two diaries kept by Wilfred Watson during his writing career and includes a diary created by Watson after 1958, and a second diary kept between 1984 and 1993.

Sketches and artwork

File consists of seventeen drawings and doodles by Wilfred Watson, predominantly of abstract female figures. The majority of these drawings are most likely from the period when Watson was living in Nanaimo, B.C.

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