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Audio-Visual Records.
Series · 1930 - 1991
Part of Wilfred Watson Fonds

The material in Series 8 includes the audio-visual material Wilfred Watson collected. It is a small series, consisting of 11 tape cassettes, 5 reel-to-reel tapes, 4 videotape recordings, and 334 photographic items. The material is in very good physical condition.

The audio-visual material, although not extensive, helps to present a fuller picture of Wilfred Watson. The photographs include photographs of Watson's immediate family including his parents, sister Jean, and other family members. There are two lovely portraits of a young Sheila Watson, and several formal portraits of Wilfred Watson taken while he was in his 30s and 40s. There are also some lovely photographs, many taken by Jorge Frascara, of Wilfred at his home in Nanaimo, B.C. Several of Frascara's photographs were mounted in a special album and titled "Cowback and so Much More". A friend, Pauline Boote, took some wonderful photographs of the 'heads' Watson created from painting on driftwood. As well, there are snapshots of friends (and their children) included with correspondence, and a large number of 'play' photographs (play production prints and proofs). The sound recordings are limited, and some of the material remains unidentified. The tapes, both sound and video, relate almost totally to Wilfred Watson's work and includes sound tracks and recordings of plays or Watson-related material readings.

The series title is based on the contents of records.

Correspondence.
Series · 1945 - 1998
Part of Wilfred Watson Fonds

The correspondence described in this series consists of letters, cards, and notes with occasional enclosures that include newsclippings, academic papers, poems, and drawings. Photographs enclosed with the letters were noted and removed to be stored separately for better conservation. The letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent and chronologically within each file. The correspondence is in excellent physical condition.

Wilfred and Sheila Watson were apart for two extended periods: during the public school term in 1951-1952 when Sheila Watson was teaching high school at Powell River, and Wilfred Watson was teaching in the English Department at the University of Alberta (Calgary), and again during the spring of 1956 to the spring of 1961 (with periods together over Christmas and in the summers), when Sheila Watson was studying for her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto and Wilfred Watson was teaching at the University of Alberta (Edmonton). They wrote regularly, sometimes more often than once a day. Sheila Watson destroyed most of her letters to Wilfred Watson some years ago; some 350 remain and are in this series. There are over 950 letters from Wilfred Watson to Sheila Watson which survive and are in this series. They are always substantial in the details of daily teaching and living, but, more importantly, and most of the time, about the ongoing intellectual life and activities of both the correspondents. These are the years when Sheila Watson undertook important work on Wyndham Lewis, wrote most of her short stories, and made the final alterations to The Double Hook to meet the publication suggestions of McClelland and Stewart. They are years in which Wilfred Watson had become known for Friday's Child, and just completed his unpublished novel, Under the Rabbit's Paw, was engaging in the long labour to compolete his first, hihghly innovative and successful play, Cockcrow and the Gulls, was completing and seeing performed short works such as The Whatnot, was writing short stories and many poems, and was beginning work on The Trial of Corporal Adam. The letters provide a record, and a dazzingly written one, of all this activity as wall as the exchange of ideas between two people who both thought intensely, creatively, and playfully.

The series title is based on the contents of records.