- Bertram Brooker was born in Surrey, England in 1888. He immigrated to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba with his parents in 1905. At age seventeen he worked in the kitchens and in the timekeeper's office of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. Later he managed a movie theatre in Neepawa and did newspaper work in Portage and Winnipeg. In 1921 he moved to Toronto to assume a career in advertising and freelance journalism. Brooker began writing his first novel at the age of nine, and as early as 1910 he was writing and directing several of his own plays. His literary achievements include Think of the Earth (1936), Tangled Miracle (1936) and The Robber (1949). He won the first Governor General's Award for fiction in 1936. Although he was the author of nine books as well as texts on advertising and writing, Brooker is perhaps best known as an artist. He began painting in the 1920s and formed close ties with LeMoine Fitzgerald and most of the members of the Group of Seven. Apparently influenced by Fitzgerald and Lawren Harris, he became a pioneer in abstract painting.
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.