Harry Bruce fonds

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Harry Bruce fonds

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  • Textual record

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Reference code

MS-2-548, Box 1-10

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Physical description

1.1 m of textual records

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Name of creator

Biographical history

William Harry Bruce (1934 - ) is a prominent Canadian reporter, editor, educator and sometime radio announcer. He has devoted most of his energy to writing. His works include A Basket of Apples: Recollections of Historic Nova Scotia (1982), Each Moment as It Flies (1984), The Short Happy Walks of Max MacPherson (1968), Nova Scotia (1975), Lifeline: The Story of the Atlantic Ferries and Coastal Boats (1977), R.A.: The Story of R. A. Jodrey, Entrepreneur (1979), The Gulf of St. Lawrence (1984), Movin’ East: The Further Writings of Harry Bruce (1985) and The Man and the Empire: Frank Sobey (1985). More recently, he has written Down Home: Notes of a Maritime Son (1988), Maud: The Life of L. M. Montgomery (1992), An Illustrated History of Nova Scotia (1997) and Never Content: How Mavericks and Outsiders Made a Surprise Winner of Maritime Life (2002).

Harry Bruce was born in Toronto, Ontario, on the 8th of July, 1934. He is the son of the novelist and poet Charles Tory Bruce and Agnes (King) Bruce. In 1955, he graduated from Mount Allison University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with a B.A. in English Literature. The following year, he received a prestigious scholarship and attended classes at London’s famed School of Economics and Politics. Still later (1969-1970), he went on to Massey College at the University of Toronto.

Bruce started his career as a reporter and journalist. Between 1955 and 1959, Bruce was a member of the staff at The Ottawa Journal, in which he served as parliamentary correspondent. He then became a reporter at The Globe and Mail (1959-1961), and then an Assistant editor of Maclean’s Magazine (1961-1964). In 1964, he was appointed the managing editor of Saturday Night, but served only one year. In 1965, he was a founding editor of The Canadian Magazine (1965-1966). After this, he steered away from editing and became a featured columnist for such papers as The Star Weekly (1967-1968), The Toronto Daily Star (1968-1969) and Maclean’s (1970-1971). Switching to editing again, in 1971, he became the executive editor for Nova Scotia Power Company, Limited. He then hosted CBC Radio’s Gazette in 1972. Between 1973 and 1979, Bruce worked primarily as a freelance writer. Harry Bruce has, at various times in his career, been a member of the Association of Canadian Radio and Television Artists, the Halifax Press, the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia and the Dalhousie University Faculty.

Bruce has earned many awards in the course of his career. He was honoured with the ACTRA “Nellie” Award for best radio drama for Word from an Ambassador of Dreams in 1977. He was the winner of the first Evelyn Richardson Memorial Literary Award for best non-fiction book by a Nova-Scotian writer for “Lifeline” in 1978. In 1981, he received the Brascan Award for Culture at the National Magazine Awards. In 1983 and again in 1984, he won the top prize at the Atlantic Journalism Awards for writing. In 1983, he was again honoured at the National Magazine Awards, receiving the Toronto-Dominion Bank Award for Humour. In 1985, he was awarded an honourary doctorate in Civil Law from the University of King’s College in Halifax. In 1991, he received another Doctorate (LL.D.) from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Harry Bruce married Penny Meadows in 1955. The couple have two sons, Alexander and Max and one daughter, Annabel. Bruce enjoys sailing, walking, fly-fishing and swimming.

Custodial history

The Harry Bruce Fonds were directly donated to the Dalhousie University Archives by the creator of the material between November, 1985 and January 1986 (Accessions 79-85 and 86-85).

Scope and content

The fonds contains both business and personal correspondence; materials related to awards received and events attended; and research notes, correspondence, interview notes, manuscripts, typescripts, and reviews of his published writings.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Location of originals

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Restrictions on access

All records are open.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

Detailed inventory available on-site.

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No further accruals are expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Harry Bruce fonds, MS-2-548, Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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This fonds description comes from the Dalhousie University Archives Catalog. The complete, original description is available there.

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