Fonds MsC-174 - Doris French Shackleton fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Doris French Shackleton fonds

General material designation

  • Textual records
  • Photographic materials
  • Sound recordings
  • Records in electronic form (born-digital)

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

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Dates of creation area


  • 1931–2001 (Creation)
    Shackleton, Doris French

Physical description area

Physical description

192 cm of textual records
128 photographs
11 audio cassettes
3 computer disks ; 9 x 9 cm

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Doris French Shackleton (nee Doris Cavell Martin) was born in Regina in 1918, and raised in Raymore, Saskatchewan. She got her teacher’s certificate in 1941 from the University of Saskatchewan, and taught school in Saskatchewan before beginning a career as a writer, editor and journalist. In 1945, she moved to Ottawa as correspondent for the Cooperative Press Association.

Shackleton was editor for the Economics and Research Branch of the Department of Labour from 1958 to 1960. She left that position to become a radio commentator for CBC Ottawa, where she worked from 1960-1967. Shackleton was editor for the Canadian Welfare Council from 1967-1970, where she ran the magazine "Canadian Welfare." In 1970, she was appointed press assistant to the NDP federal caucus, for whom she also wrote discussion papers. She twice ran failed campaigns for the federal NDP, once in 1972 in the riding of Ottawa-Carleton, where she lost to John Turner, and once in 1974 in the riding of Ottawa West, where she lost to Lloyd Francis. She was Councillor for the Township of Gloucester, Ontario from 1977 to 1979. Her writing has been published in major Canadian media outlets including the Globe & Mail, Chatelaine, Ottawa Journal, Ottawa Citizen, and Maclean’s. She published under the names Doris French, Doris French Shackleton, and Doris Shackleton.

Shackleton’s published books are: "Ask No Quarter: A Biography of Agnes Macphail," with Margaret Stewart (Longmans, Green, 1959), "Faith, Sweat and Politics: The Early Trade Union Years in Canada" (McClelland and Stewart, 1962), "High Button Bootstraps: Women's Teachers' Federation of Ontario" (Ryerson Press, 1968), "Tommy Douglas" (McClelland and Stewart, 1975; reissued 1983 by Formac), "Powertown: Democracy Discarded" (McClelland and Stewart, 1977), and "Ishbel and the Empire: A Biography of Lady Aberdeen" (Dundurn Press, 1988). She was a member of the Writers Union of Canada, and after moving to British Columbia in the late 1980s, joined the Federation of BC Writers. She was married once to Robert French (in 1941) and once to Philip Shackleton (in 1968), divorced in 1990; had two children, Janet and Colin, and one granddaughter.

Custodial history

Records were in the custody of Doris French Shackleton's granddaughter, Carellin Brooks, prior to their donation to SFU Library Special Collections and Rare Books in 2008.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence, research, notes, written works, newspaper clippings and other records accumulated by Shackleton over her lifetime. These include records relating to her career as a writer, editor and journalist, her political activities, her education, research, travels abroad and those records relating to her professional and personal relationships within organizations and with acquaintances, friends and family members. Records have been arranged into the following seven series: Writing records ([194-]-2001); Research and reference files ([196-]-1985); Education and employment records (1931-[ca. 1992]); Political records (1944-1979); Professional organization records (1983-2001); Personal subject files ([19--]-2001); and Travel souvenirs, notes, and ephemera ([196-?]-1995).

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Arrangement of the files into series, sub-series and sub-sub-series is based on Shackleton's original groupings of materials.

Language of material

  • English

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Restrictions on access

One file containing personal information is restricted in part.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Works in this fonds are under copyright. Researchers are required to secure permission from the copyright holder(s) for uses of this material other than those covered by fair dealing.

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Rules or conventions

Canadian Rules for Archival Description (RAD), 2008 edition



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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created January 15, 2016. (SS) Revised October, 2016 with series- and file-level descriptions. (SS)

Language of description

  • English

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