Fonds - George Swinton fonds

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George Swinton fonds

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  • 1899-1984, predominant 1957-1984 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

5.5m : textual records
7000 : Photographic images
31 : audio recordings

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Biographical history

It appears that George Swinton occasionally made use of the tape recorder as a memory aid, especially on his first trip to the Canadian Arctic in 1957, as well as making recordings for possible broadcast. Swinton's 1957 trip was made possible through the sponsorship of the Hudson's Bay Company, for whom he was commissioned to write a report on the economic and artistic viability of Inuit art. During this trip Swinton conducted a number of recorded research interviews with Hudson's Bay Company post managers, missionaries and Inuit carvers in the Povungnituk area and it appears that it was while on this trip that most of the recordings described here were made. Other recordings include copies of interviews George Swinton gave for radio programs and recordings of George Swinton reading from his manuscripts for Sculpture of the Eskimo.

Custodial history

The materials described here were acquired from George Swinton by the The Winnipeg Art Gallery Library and Archives in several accruals between 1977 and 1985.

Scope and content

Materials described here date predominantly from 1957 to 1984 with some collected reference materials dating from ca.1900. Items include correspondence and other collected documents pertaining to George Swinton's activities as an author and educator as well as a collector and scholar of Inuit art.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Although the original order of these materials was likely disturbed subsequent to their accession, an attempt has been made to preserve original order as found during this arrangement and description project. The order of these materials as discovered was idiosyncratic and folder labels often did not accurately reflect folder contents. Items pertaining to one project or subject were scattered through several folders and are found in different series. Series headings were supplied but were also idiosyncratic and items may be included in one series which would seem to fit more appropriately in another. File level description aids navigation through the record.

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No restrictions on access.

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No reproduction without prior approval of the copyright holder.

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File level description; some item and box lists.

Associated materials

Related material: Twelve metres of published and bound secondary materials including books, periodicals and scholarly journals, government publications, and popular market magazines were also acquired with the materials described here. These items form part of the collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery's Clara Lander Library. They were maintained as a distinct accrual and can be identified.

Associated material: Large accruals of George Swinton's papers have also been accessioned by the Archives of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the University of Manitoba Archives.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.


Items described here also include approximately 4300 photographs, 40 transparencies, 12 contact sheets, and approximately 2700 negatives. The donation also includes approximately 800 minutes of audio recordings.

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  • English

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