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Winthrop Pickard Bell: Archival fonds

A virtual exhibition that pays tribute to an illustrious alumnus of Mount Allison University.

Fonds and series level description


A fonds level description provides an overview of the totality of the records in an individual’s papers. It identifies the provenance, extent of the records, photographs and objects as well as details that help a researcher determine if the papers will fit with their specific research interest.

 

Title and statement of responsibility area:

Winthrop Pickard Bell fonds

Dates of creation:

1795-1967, predominant 1904-1965

Physical extent:

7 m of textual records, graphic materials, cartographic materials and objects.

Scope and content:

Fonds consists of personal and business correspondence, published and unpublished works, diaries, family genealogy along with Mount Allison University textual materials, and personal photographs. The contents of the fonds offer extensive correspondence with various members of Dr. Bell’s family, his friends and former colleagues, along with business and publishing interests. There is also information about his involvement with Mount Allison University and more specifically about his role as a member of the Board of Regents at the university. This is complemented by documents relating to his education and subsequent teaching career, his time interned at the Ruhleben Prison Camp during World War I near Berlin, Germany, and other textual materials which demonstrate his wide range of interests.

Note area

Source of supplied title proper:

Title based on contents of fonds.

Physical description:

Includes: - 6.6 m of textual records; 1 picture : graphite, gouache, ink, charcoal; 1 painting : watercolour on paper; 2523 photographs; 2592 negatives; 1515 postcards; 3 scrapbooks; 1 diagram : blueprint ; 45 x 66 cm, folded to 23 x 30 cm, 4 cm of cartographic materials ; 1 box of objects (32 pieces of stained glass) : col. ; 7 x 4 cm in a box 6 x 11.5 x 16 cm.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The first accession of this fonds, Accession 6501, was received by the Mount Allison University Archives shortly after Dr. Bell’s death in 1965 from his niece and the executrix of his estate, Mrs. Dorothy Maclaren of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This material was formally donated to Mount Allison University in 1977 by Mrs. Maclaren. Accession 6501 was received in parts between 1965 and 1977 including: March 31, 1976 - from Mrs. Dorothy Maclaren via Dr. Donald Cameron; June 15, 1976 - from Douglas Lochhead via Gordon Treash, Dr. Donald Cameron and the Bell family; July 20, 1976 - from Dr. Donald Cameron; April 1, 1977 - located in items from Dr. Bell’s library in the University Library collections; April 4, 1977 - from Dr. Donald Cameron; November 8, 1977 - from Dr. Donald Cameron via Mrs. Dorothy Maclaren; September 8, 1980 - details of transfer not provided.

Included with Accession 6501 was Dr. Bell’s personal library of published works. The majority of these items have been incorporated into the Mount Allison University Libraries holdings. Many of the volumes were selected to form the foundation of the Winthrop Pickard Bell Collection of Acadiana.

The second accession, Accession 8550, was received by the Mount Allison University Archives from Donald Cameron on March 4, 1985. Correspondence indicates that he had received the contents from Mrs. Dorothy Maclaren.

The third and final accession, Accession 2004.14, was deposited at the Mount Allison University Archives on March 5, 2004 by Dr. Donald Cameron who is a member of the Bell Committee and former university registrar. Correspondence indicates that Dr. Cameron received this material from Mrs. Dorothy Maclaren in May of 1986.

Finding aids:

An item level inventory is available for this fonds at the Mount Allison University Archives.

Restrictions on access:

Portions of the fonds are restricted until January 1, 2012.

Related groups of records in different fonds:

Related records can be found in the following Mount Allison University accessions:

• 5201 - William Morley and Leora Tweedie correspondence from Winthrop Pickard Bell
• 5501 - Letters to Raymond Clare Archibald
• 6401 - Letter from Winthrop Pickard Bell to Ralph Bell
• 7528 - Christmas card from Winthrop Pickard Bell to James Edward Shanklin
• 8307 - Pictures from Douglas Lochhead / Mrs. Margaret Black
• 8315 - Correspondence with R.B. Inch
• 8551 - James I. Maclaren fonds - re: Estate of Winthrop Bell
• 8646 - Christmas card to the Pickard family from Winthrop Bell
• 8664 - Marjorie Young Bell Endowment Fund Committee
• 8701 - Lochhead family fonds
• 8917 - Scraps of the Pickard family history
• 9942 - A Historical Review of the Bell funds

Associated material:

There are also holdings relating to Dr. Bell and his work on The “Foreign Protestants” and the Settlement of Nova Scotia at the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management, Halifax, Nova Scotia [MG 1, vol. 109-124 (use microfilm reels 12675 for vol. 109-111)]. There are further details about Winthrop Pickard Bell located in the Bell family fonds in the same repository.

There are documents which relate to Dr. Bell’s education at the Harvard University Archives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and there is correspondence between Dr. Bell and Dr. and Mrs. Nina Richard Courant in the New York University Archives in New York City. There is one letter from Winthrop Bell in the Frank Parker Day fonds at the Dalhousie University Archives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Arrangement:

The arrangement of this fonds was imposed by the archivist based on prior arrangement work conducted by the University Librarian and the Mount Allison University Archives as well as evidence left by Dr. Bell concerning the arrangement of his personal papers.

Retrieval information:

Accessions 6501; 8550; 2004.14

Name authority record:

Accepted usage:

Bell, Winthrop Pickard (1884-1965)

Variant usages:

Bell, Winthrop P.
Bell, Winthrop
Bell, Dr.


SERIES LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS


A. Personal correspondence. – 1911-1967. – 124 cm of textual records

Series consists of one hundred and eighty-two files of correspondence created, received or compiled by Dr. Winthrop Bell. The contents of the series provide evidence of his research interests including work on The “Foreign Protestants” and the Settlement of Nova Scotia as well as the Bell family history, A Genealogical Study. There are letters between Dr. Bell and his wife, Hazel, some fellow classmates, researchers, friends, and relatives. The contents of the series document the broad interests of Dr. Bell which included philosophy, politics, economics, literature, music, and science among many others. The bulk of the correspondence with his wife offers details about the work that Dr. Bell carried out while he was away from home predominately in the aircraft industry during World War II and while conducting research in the 1950s.

Note: Much of the correspondence is written in German with some infrequent translations of certain pieces of correspondence.
Note: Refer to 6501/1, 8550/1, and 2004.14/1.

B. Business and publishing correspondence with related textual materials. – 1923-1962. – 3.5 cm of textual records

Series consists of eighteen files of correspondence, deeds and agreements, financial statements and related financial instruments, insurance documentation, and related materials all created, compiled or received in connection with Dr. Bell’s financial, publishing and business dealings. The contents of the series document Dr. Bell’s interest in economic and political affairs, demonstrates the scope of his knowledge in these areas, and underlines his keen understanding of current issues.

Note: Refer to 6501/2 and 8550/2.

C. Published and unpublished works. – 1934-1961. – 129 cm of textual records

Series consists of Dr. Bell’s published and unpublished works including his best known text The “Foreign Protestants”and the Settlement of Nova Scotia, his private publication A Genealogical Study and a collection of other published and unpublished works. The contents of the series include research notes, correspondence, drafts and proofs along with related materials involved in the process of preparing the items.

Note: Refer to 6501/3 and 8550/3.

D. Mount Allison University involvements and related materials. – 1926-1964. – 32 cm of textual records. – 1 box of objects (32 pieces of stained glass) : col. ; 7 x 4 cm in a box 6 x 11.5 x 16 cm.

Series consists of draft and final reports, agendas, minutes, financial statements, briefs, statutes, an organizational chart, correspondence, programmes, a box of stained glass samples, as well as University and United Church publications. The contents of the series document Dr. Bell’s leadership as the class contact for the Centenary Committee (1939-1940), his interest in the work of the Federated Alumni, and his role as a member of the Board of Regents (1948-1951). The contents also highlight his designation as Marjorie Young Bell’s representative in the creation of the Faculty Fellowships and subsequently the Marjorie Young Bell Fund.

Note: Refer to 6501/4 and 8550/4.

E. Diaries. – 1909-1965. – 70 cm of textual records. – 1 photograph : bxw ; 9 x 6.5 cm

Series consists of fifty-nine bound volumes that Dr. Bell used to record the events and details of each day along with slips of paper with notes, some receipts and newspaper clippings. The contents of the series include information about his financial situation, registers documenting correspondence that he sent out to counterparts, daily observations about his activities, the weather, and what music he listened to. There are also references to the newspaper and magazine subscriptions that he kept and other related textual details and documents.

Note: Refer to 6501/5 and 8550/5.
Note: The contents of this series is restricted until January 1, 2012.

F. Letter registers. – 1909-1960. – 10 cm of textual records

Series consists of eight bound volumes providing details of Dr. Bell’s correspondence. The contents of the series provide names, addresses, and dates of both outgoing and incoming correspondence from Dr. Bell’s friends and acquaintances all over the world.

Note: Refer to 6501/6.

G. Address book and duplicate address list. – [ca. 1960]. – 1 cm of textual records

Series consists of an address book and a hand-written duplicate address listing prepared by Dr. Bell. The contents of the series provide names and addresses for family, friends, and acquaintances.

Note: Refer to 8550/6.

H. Cash accounts. – 1919. – 1 cm of textual records

Series consists of a single bound hand-written volume providing details of Dr. Bell’s accounting of personal expenses. The contents of the series provide a break down of expenses by country with special divisions for foreign exchange transactions and telegrams that he sent. The series relates specifically to his post-war activities on the European continent.

Note: Refer to 6501/7.

I. Education. – 1904-1922. – 43 cm of textual records

Series consists of student notebooks, notes, theses, a doctoral dissertation and related textual records as well as diplomas compiled or received while attending various universities in North America and Europe. There are also documents relating to an appeal to the judicial committee re: Dr. Bell’s expulsion from Georg August Universität in Göttingen, Germany. The contents of the series document the professors with whom he studied and the subjects and related course work that he undertook.

Note: Refer to 6501/8 and 8550/7.

J. Ruhleben Prison Camp. – [ca. 1914]-1918. – 29 cm of textual records – 6 postcards ; 9 x 14 cm – 1 photograph : bxw ; 3.5 x 4 cm

Series consists of notebooks, notes on loose leaf paper, correspondence, and related textual materials along with graphic items compiled or received while interned at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, Germany during the fall of 1914 or after January 1915 at the Ruhleben Gefangenenlager [British Civilian Internment Camp] which was established after the outbreak of World War I at a racetrack in Spandau, a suburb of Berlin, Germany.

Note: Refer to 6501/9.
Note: The contents of this series is restricted until January 1, 2012.

K. Post-World War I activities. – 1912-1922. – 9 cm of textual records. – 2 cm of cartographic materials ; 12 maps

Series consists of maps; published intelligence and press reports; correspondence; newspaper and magazine articles and clippings; passports, travel documentation, and receipts. The contents of the series was either created or compiled while Winthrop Pickard Bell was travelling in Europe working for the Reuters News Agency or with British Intelligence.

Note: Refer to 6501/10.
Note: The contents of this series is restricted until January 1, 2012.

L. University teaching career. – 1920-1927. – 37 cm of textual records

Series consists of lecture notes, examinations, tests, exercises, class lists, marking sheets, correspondence, and memorabilia prepared, compiled or received during Dr. Bell’s teaching career at the University of Toronto, Harvard University and Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Note: Refer to 6501/11.

M. Documents relating to the construction of Dr. Winthrop and Mrs. Hazel (Lawrence) Deinstadt Bell’s home ‘Drumnaha’ at Chester, Nova Scotia. – 1920-1952. – 10 cm of textual records

Series consists of architectural sketches, magazines, and promotional materials; building supply catalogues; and correspondence relating to the construction of the Bell’s new home in Chester, Nova Scotia. The contents of the series demonstrate Dr. Bell’s interest in architecture and his attempts to oversee all the details of the construction of his home.

Note: Refer to 6501/12.

N. Nova Scotia Historical Society Presidency. – 1951-1954. – 10 cm of textual records. – 23 postcards ; 14 x 8.5 cm

Series consists of reports, agendas, minutes, lists, notes, meeting announcements, and correspondence. The contents of the series document Dr. Bell’s tenure as President of the Nova Scotia Historical Society as well as the establishment of the genealogical committee.

Note: Refer to 6501/13.

O. Family genealogy. – 1834-1964. – 6 cm of textual records

Series consists of four sub-series of correspondence, early family documents, transcriptions of family information and related textual and research materials. The contents of the series document Dr. Bell’s research on the principal family lines of Allison, Bell and Pickard along with information on related families including: Goodfellow, Lagarce, Longfellow, Morton and Whidden.

Note: Refer to 8550/8.
Note: See also series C for further details re: Bell’s published family history, A Genealogical Study.

P. Music, dance and dramatic programs, playbills, articles and related textual materials. – 1922-1963. – 37 cm of textual records

Series consists of music, dance and dramatic programs, playbills, and related textual materials collected or compiled by Dr. Bell. The contents of the series principally document the time period while Dr. Bell was teaching at Harvard University and include evidence of performances that took place on campus. The series demonstrates that he was an avid supporter of the performing arts.

Note: Refer to 6501/14.

Q. Textual materials in Dr. Bell’s personal library that were compiled, received or found along with related documentary information. – 1827-1964. – 101 cm of textual records

Series consists of books and booklets, pamphlets, clippings and related textual materials that Dr. Bell either received from the authors or compiled on his own. There are also examples of items subsequently located in books donated to Mount Allison University from his personal collection. This is complemented by related documentary information that details the portions of Dr. Bell’s personal library that were incorporated into the Mount Allison University Library collections. The contents of the series evidence his wide literary interests, his connection with many of the authors of the published works, some of his research areas, and demonstrate his facility with both the English and German languages.

Note: Refer to 6501/15.

R. Newspaper and magazine articles. – 1913-1966. – 4.5 cm of textual records

Series consists of newspaper and magazine clippings taken from both North American and European publications along with some complete copies of some of the issues that were of particular interest to Dr. Bell. The contents of the series demonstrate Dr. Bell’s varied interests and in some cases include articles concerning individuals with whom Dr. Bell corresponded.

Note: Refer to 6501/16.

S. Photographs. – [186-?]-1964. – 12 albums, 2621 photographs, 2548 negatives (14 boxes), 8 envelopes, 3 postcards, 1 business card, 1 picture : graphite, gouache, ink, charcoal ; 20 x 25 cm

Series consists of photographs and pictures that were received from correspondents or created and compiled by Dr. Winthrop Bell, including many images of his own family. The contents of the series give visual evidence of the people with whom Dr. Bell faithfully corresponded and provide details about their homes, travels, descendants and daily lives. The contents of the series include images of Dr. Bell’s parents, brother, two uncles, and an aunt. There are also scenery and group photos from Europe (predominantly Germany during his time at Göttingen University) and extensive photographic images from his time working in the Canadian wilderness and of scenic areas in his native Nova Scotia.

Note: Refer to 6501/17, 8550/9, and 2004.14.
Note: See also Series T for further photographs. Access to the negatives is restricted due to the current physical condition of the items.

T. Postcards. – [ca. 1918]-1951. – 1515 postcards, 227 photographs : bxw, col. ; 61 cm of graphic materials

Series consists of postcards along with some related brochures, tickets, art cards and photographs compiled or received principally while Dr. Bell was traveling or working in Europe. The contents of the series provide evidence of his time in the Ruhleben Prison camp and the post-World War I period, demonstrate his interest in architectural and visual arts legacies, and help to outline the places of interest that he and his wife visited on their trips to the European continent.

Note: Refer to 6501/18.
Note: See also Series S and U for further postcards.

U. Scrapbooks. – 1895-1929. – 3 albums (204 photographs and reproduced images, 652 postcards, 2 maps, 2 entrance tickets, 6 tourist publications) : bxw, some sepia tones, and col. ; 29 x 38 x 10 or smaller

Series consists of three bound scrapbooks that were either received or compiled by Dr. Winthrop Bell. The contents of the series provide images from the North Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean and Latin America along with related travel documentation and maps. It is believed that the earliest example was prepared by Dr. Bell’s mother or another relative while the later examples are both presumed to have been compiled by Dr. Bell.

Note: Refer to 6501/19.

V. Miscellaneous items. – 9 volumes of textual materials, 7 envelopes , 142 leaves ; 26 x 45 cm. – 1 painting : watercolour on paper : col. ; 35.5 x 25.5 cm. – 1 diagram : blueprint ; 45 x 66 cm, folded to 23 x 30 cm.

Series consists of textual materials, a painting, and a blueprint diagram. The contents of the series document various types of correspondence that Dr. Bell compiled and objects he received.

Note: Refer to 6501/20.