- Simon Simonarson was among the early Icelanders who immigrated in the 1870s to the original Icelandic settlement in Kinmount, Ontario. Along with other pioneering settlers, he worked as a labourer clearing the land before moving to New Iceland in the Gimli area around 1875. In Gimli he was a homesteader and a farmer until leaving New Iceland for Winnipeg. The digitized material from the Simon Simonarson fonds consists of his diaries from 1904-1914. They were written in Icelandic twenty-three years after the fact and described Simonarson's decision to emigrate from Iceland to Canada. The diaries describe the first year at Kinmount, experiences with the first settlers in New Iceland, his decision to leave New Iceland for Winnipeg, his life in Winnipeg after 1881, and genealogies of Simonarson and his wife Valdis Gudmundsclottis. Also included is a copy of W. Kristjanson's translation into English of an excerpt from the diaries and a description of Icelandic pioneers of 1874 from the reminiscences of Simonarson.
Archives & Special Collections
Archives & Special Collections is a department of the Libraries and is located in Room 330 on the third floor of the Elizabeth Dafoe Library. Since its establishment in 1978, the Archives' mission has been to acquire, catalogue and preserve university records and special research collections which further the educational aims of the University of Manitoba, and to promote and provide wide access to them. The Archives' wide-ranging collection mandate includes the acquisition of the records of the University of Manitoba, Canadian Prairie Literary Manuscripts, the Archives of the Agricultural Experience and rare books in the areas of western Canadiana, early Arctic exploration, early Native language syllabics, spiritualism, church history and philosophy, and agriculture among others.