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Sybil Shack fonds: Home

Sybil Shack:

Call Number: Mss 152, Pc 159, Tc 104 (A2002-56, A2004-31)

Title: Sybil Shack fonds.

Dates: 1896-2003.

Extent: 4.33 m of textual records and other material.

Biographical sketch: Sybil Shack was born in Winnipeg on April 1, 1911 in a bedroom behind her maternal grandparents store on Pritchard Avenue. She showed great promise academically and was awarded an Isbister Entrance Scholarship to the University of Manitoba at the age of fourteen. She graduated with a B.A. in 1929 and attended Normal School to become a teacher the following year. Teaching jobs were scarce as the Great Depression took a firm hold of the Canadian economy. For two years, she supported herself writing editorials for Weekly News, the Independent Labour Council newspaper, taking general assignments for the Western Jewish News, marking papers or giving private tutorials. She also found placements as a substitute teacher. Finally, at the point of giving up on her chosen profession, she wrote what she referred to as her desperation letter and secured a job at Foxwarren, Manitoba. After three years in rural Manitoba, she returned to teach in Winnipeg. In 1945, Shack returned to the University of Manitoba, winning the Gold Medal in the Bachelor of Education program. She received an M.Ed. the following year. Between 1950 and 1952, she took post-graduate courses in supervision and administration at the Ontario College of Education. She was principal of several schools starting with Sargeant Park School in 1948 and retired as the principal of Kelvin High in 1976. For thirty years, she was involved in school broadcasts over television and radio with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In 1969, she received an Honorary Doctorate (L.L.D.) from the University of Manitoba. Shack is the author of several books including Armed With a Primer (McClelland & Stewart), The Two-Thirds Minority (The Guidance Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Toronto, 1973), and Saturday's Stepchildren (The Guidance Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Toronto, 1977). In her final years, Dr. Shack worked with Dr. Rosa Bruno-Joffre on early Manitoba education. Shack was a leading proponent of pay equity for female teachers and called for government-supported nurseries to aid working mothers. She is the past president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, was a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre on Aging at the University of Manitoba, and was the only lay-person on the Manitoba Judicial Council. Shack was the recipient of several awards. She received the John M. Brown Award for contribution to education in 1976. She received three awards in 1983: the YMCA's Women of the Year Award for Community Service, a Citizen of the Year Award from the City of Winnipeg Knights, and a Person's Award. In 1984 she became a member of the Order of Canada and Provost of the Buffalo Hunt. In 1987, she was elected a fellow of the Ontario Institute for Secondary Education. She received a Manitoba Human Rights Achievements Award in 1995 and entered the Winnipeg Citizens' Hall of Fame in 1996. Shack died on January 22, 2004.

Custodial history: The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Sybil Shack in six installments between the fall of 2002 and spring 2003 and upon her death in 2004 by Norman Rosenbaum.

Scope and content: The fonds is separated into series. The first series is biographical information and family material datin 1896-2003. It includes diaries and appointment books. The second series is correspondence dating 1930-2003. The third series is book drafts and correspondence with publishers dating 1944-1998. The fourth series is comprised of research material for a book on the 50th anniversary of Jewish Child and Family Services and the History of Education Project dated 1990-2001. The fifth series contains articles, speeches, conference programs and book reviews dated 1930-2001. The sixth series is radio scripts dated 1955-1981. The seventh series is atriotic observances for the Manitoba Department of Education. The eighth series is material from the University of Manitoba dated 1945-2001. The ninth series is material relating to education dated 1915-2002. The tenth series contains research material on aging and senior citizens dated 1969-1994. The eleventh series is research on women. Series twelve contains information on the Canadian Civil Liberties Association dated 1993-2002. Research material on Shack's wide-ranging areas of interest comprises the thirteenth series. Series fourteen contains information on Shack's awards dated 1969-2002. Series fifteen contains biographical information, eulogies and obituaries on Shack's friends dated 1972-1996. Series sixteen contains information on Jewish history dated 1950-1996. Series seventeen contains information about Shack's adoptive brother, John Hirsch, dated 1951-1988. Series eighteen contains literary material by other people sent to Shack dated 1977-2001.Series nineteen is miscellaneous material dated 1917-2001. The final and twentieth series contains oversized material including newspaper clippings, awards, plaques, degrees and a family tree. The 2004 accrual contains three series: biographical information, correspondence, and miscellaneous areas of interest.  The fonds also includes an extensive photograph and tape collection.

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material.

Accruals: No further accruals are expected.

Finding aid: A printed finding aid is available in the Archives reading room and an on-line finding aid is available at the link below:

MSS 152, PC 159, TC 104 (A2002-56, A2004-31).

Digitized Material


Women and Education