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Philip H. Godsell fonds

1820-1961, predominant 1919-1961

Physical Description:
5.25 m of textual records. -- 2934 photographs. -- 1 film reel. -- 1 audio disc. -- 1 microfilm reel

Philip Henry Godsell, 1889-1961, was born in Wolverhampton, England. He joined the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and arrived at York Factory, Manitoba in 1906. He worked for the HBC until 1929, during which time he worked in the Keewatin, Lake Superior, Mackenzie River and Western Arctic districts. He worked as an auditor in Winnipeg, 1929-1936, then full time as a writer and journalist, 1936-1941. He was an auditor for the government during the Second World War, and later for Canadian Pacific Airlines. He joined the Glenbow Foundation in 1956 as a historical researcher. For much of his life he was a prolific writer, and he produced many books, short stories, radio broadcasts and articles, predominantly about his experiences as a fur trader and Arctic traveller, and about Indians, Inuit, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and pioneering. His published books include Arctic Trader, Red Hunters of the Snows, and They Got Their Man. His outdoor, adventure and detective short stories were published in a wide variety of journals and newspapers. In 1920 he married Jean Walker, 1896- , who also an author.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of correspondence related to the HBC (1919-1931), his literary and broadcasting activities (1932-1961), and his Glenbow Foundation work (1956-1961); manuscripts of his published and unpublished books, short stories, radio broadcasts, articles and reports; scrapbooks of reviews and newsclippings; and extensive photographs and slides of northern Indians and Inuit, plains Indians, HBC posts, the 1920 HBC Red River Pageant, fur trade, northern transportation, and the Godsell family. Includes a recorded CFAC broadcast of Godsell's "Christmas on the Frozen Frontier" (1957), and a film fragment of an Indian camp (ca. 1930).
RECORDS RELATED TO THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS ARE ALSO IN THIS FONDS. SEE INVENTORY FOR DETAILS: Alaska Highway, Aklavik (NWT), James Anderson, John Bearspaw (Stoney), Frederick Burt-Johns, Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, Mrs. Gerald Card, Cpl. Clay, Con Farrell, Poole Field, Colin Fraser, William Haney, Frank Hartley, W. Herman, Wop May, Col. J.D. Moodie, Frank Moran, musk ox, Nahanni, polar bears, Beryl Rowland, St. Laurent (Saskatchewan), Isaac O.Stringer, Samuel A. Tomlinson, and Yukon Territory.

Source of Acquisition:
Gift of Philip H. Godsell and his estate, 1956-1978, Ralph Robinson, 1979, and Doug Coats, 2009.

The material is in English.

Originals and Reproductions:
"Christmas on the Frozen Frontier" is also available on an audio reel.

No restrictions on access.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
M-427, M-428, M-429, M-430, M-431, M-432, M-433, M-3957, M-4500, M-8872, PA-2614, PB-644, PD-20, PD-91, PD-368, NA-725, NA-1146, NA-2563, NA-4201, NB-40, S-41, S-67, F-45, RBD-1, RET-34, Microfilm-Godsell

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