Jean Donald Gow fonds

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Jean Donald Gow fonds

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Accession 2002-045/001-016

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  • 1911-2001 (Creation)
    Gow, Jean Donald, 1903-

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Physical description

  • 3.3 m of textual records
  • 35 cm of graphic material
  • 37 sound recordings

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Biographical history

Jean Middleton Gow, née Donald, writer, illustrator and journalist, was born in 1903 at Hampshire, England. She was educated at London's Royal Drawing Academy, obtaining a teacher-artist certificate. In 1910 she immigrated with her family to Victoria, B.C. In her early career she was an artist and exhibited widely in B.C. 1929 she married Lieutenant Commander F.R. (Peter) Gow in England, where they remained until 1935. They were then stationed in Halifax until 1938, and later Esquimalt, Ottawa, and Halifax again during the Second World War. In 1940, Gow wrote the book Quebec Patchwork, a tourist guide and historical narrative, under the name "J. M. Donald ". When her husband died at sea in 1942 she turned to volunteer activities such as organizing the "Naval Reading Service", which sent reading material to naval personnel on ships. After the war she was a librarian with the Department of National Defence, then became a self-supporting illustrator and writer. She began a career as a researcher for the CBC in 1951 (retiring in 1968), researching and writing for radio and television, including children's shows, documentaries, and public affairs. As well in the 1950s she began 40 years of research on her major work, a biography of Edward, Duke of Kent, which was never published. She also authored Design of Days in 1988, and in 1999 she published the book, Alongside the Navy, 1910-1950 which relates her experiences as a navy wife living in Halifax, Esquimalt, and Ottawa.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of records documenting Gow's life as a navy wife and her extensive research for an unpublished biography of Edward, Duke of Kent. Consists of two series: Alongside the Navy, 1910-1950 research files and Edward, Duke of Kent research files.

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Donated by Jean Donald Gow in 2002.


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Related records of Jean Donald Gow are located in the National Archives and Library of Canada, consisting of the following series of textual records: subject files, 1957-1967; printed material, 1916-1965; scrapbooks, n.d., 1916-1965, and photographs of the monarchy in Canada and scenic photos of Canada, [ca. 1900-1957]; sound recordings of interviews recorded by Jean Gow for CBC radio on the Canadian Army Medical Corps and Grey Owl, 1963-1964.

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Women of Nova Scotia

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