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Memorable Manitobans: Preparing a Biography

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Selection Criteria | Components of a Biography | Style Conventions

Selection Criteria

The Memorable Manitobans collection has been compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society to raise awareness of noteworthy Manitobans of the past. To be considered for inclusion in the collection, the following criteria will apply:

1. THE PERSON MUST BE DECEASED. Very rare exceptions are made for living people who, at the determination of the Manitoba Historical Society, have made important contributions to Manitoba life.

2. The person must have been noteworthy in any of several respects:

a) Held office as leader of a provincial, national, or international organization, or

b) Held office as leader of a municipal government, or members of a provincial or national government, or

c) Been recognized publicly for community service at the provincial, national, or international level, or

d) Made noteworthy and publicly recognized contributions on behalf of a particular group of people, or

e) Made noteworthy and publicly recognized contributions to the development or enhancement of a particular field, discipline, or industry in Manitoba, or

f) Made publicly recognized contributions to the advancement of public knowledge through some facet of sciences and engineering, arts, or humanities, or

g) Other aspects not identified above, but for which a case can be made that a person has brought distinction and honour upon themselves and/or the community by virtue of their actions.

3. For those whose achievements pertain to their employment, there should be a demonstrated, distinguished record of accomplishment beyond the basic expectation of that employment.

4. In rare cases, people with generally unremarkable or dishonourable histories may be considered for inclusion in Memorable Manitobans if some facet of their past warrants preservation as a lesson to future generations.

5. Ultimately, selection of persons for inclusion in Memorable Manitobans will be at the sole discretion of the Manitoba Historical Society.

If you wish to propose the addition of a person to the Memorable Manitobans collection, please contact us at biographies@mhs.mb.ca.

Components of a Typical Biography

Biographies in the Memorable Manitobans collection reflect the public availability of information about a particular person so will vary in length from a single short paragraph to several lengthy ones. Details that are commonly included in a biography are as follows:

  • Birth date and place
  • Names of parents
  • Educational details (schools attended, subjects of specialization, degrees received)
  • Career highlights (dates and places of employment, offices held, notable achievements)
  • Hobbies and interests, charitable activities, etc.
  • Awards and public recognitions
  • Death date and place
  • Location of burial (if applicable)
  • Portrait photo

Details that are typically not included in a biography:

  • Names of living descendants
  • Routine aspects of daily life
  • Cause of death

Style Conventions

A

Abbreviations of provinces, states, countries – do not abbreviate
Abbreviations general – avoid, except in the case of standard usage, such as Mr. and Mrs., Dr., etc.
Acronyms – use whole title initially, acronym in subsequent references; no periods after letters in acronyms; e.g., RCAF

B

Burialwas buried in the [name of cemetery]

C

Centre – instead of center
Commas in a series – use Oxford comma (follows the second-last item in a list of three or more)
Commas in place names – place comma between name of town and name of province/ state/county and country; e.g., He was born at Leslie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland to John Doe and Mary Smith
Commas in general – use liberally for purposes of clarity

D

Dashes – en-dash with space on either side in phrases and sentences
Dates – Example: 18 April 1927; or in June 1949
Decimals – numerals: for example, 1.3

E

 

F

Foreign words – italicized (unless common in the English vocabulary); e.g., The restaurant specialized in perohy and golubsti.
Fractions – write as full words; e.g., one-third, half-section of land

G

 

H

 

I

Initials in people’s names – use periods; e.g., John A. Smith, D. H. Lawrence; where applicable, use a space between each initial in a person’s name

J

 

K

 

L

Adding suffixes to words ending with vowel and letter L – British: double the L, as in councillor, travelled, snorkelling, etc.

M

Money – numerals: for example, $12

N

Numbers – below 13: written as word; 100 and higher: digits
Numbers over 999 – commas: for example, 3,000; 5,200,000
Numbers of routes – Highway 75; Road 8 North
Age – digits for 10 and up, e.g., He was 11 years old; under ten, use whole word: at the age of nine

O

 

P

Percentages – digits, e.g., 10%, not ten per cent

Q

Double quotation marks – when using a passage quoted directly from another source
Single quotation marks – only when using a quote within a quote

R

 

S

S in suffixes – single in focused, busing, etc.
Sentence spacing – one space between sentences, not two; single-spaced lines
Spelling – use British/Canadian; e.g., centre, honour, neighbour, etc.
Storytelling, storyteller – no hyphens

T

Titles of books, films – italicized
Titles of army ranks – capitalized
Titles of jobs/roles/departments – capitalized; e.g., Chairperson of the Board, Professor Emeritus. Department of Classics
Title as part of name – capitalized; e.g., Prime Minister Johnson, Lieutenant Mary Smith

U

US, USA, BC, etc. – no periods

V

 

WXYZ

Wars – First World War (not World War I), Vietnam War, War in Afghanistan, etc.
Years – in digits, e.g., 1970; era or decade – 1970s, or the 1990s (no apostrophes)

Page revised: 23 August 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z


Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at biographies@mhs.mb.ca

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