Memorable Manitobans: Nancy Evelyn Sommerville “Nan” Shipley (1902-1990)
Born at Glasgow, Scotland on 6 November 1902, she came to Canada at an early age. On 4 November 1925, she married Harold George Shipley (1900-1994) at Winnipeg. They had a daughter before divorcing in 1966.
For many years a student of Canadian and Manitoba history, in 1957 she published the book Frances and the Crees about Frances Elizabeth Eleanor Stevens. In the years thereafter she published several more books, some of them children’s stories, some historical studies, and a biography (The James Evans Story, 1966). Much of her writing focussed on Aboriginal and Métis women. In 1959 she organized Manitoba’s first Indigenous handicrafts sales centre, and she was elected Woman of the Year in Manitoba by the Women’s Sales and Advertising Council in 1965. She received a Manitoba Golden Boy Award in 1966 and was awarded a Manitoba Centennial Medal by the Manitoba Historical Society in 1970.
She died at the St. Boniface Hospital on 23 January 1990. Some of her files, manuscripts, and photographs are deposited in the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections. Others are at the Archives of Manitoba and still others are at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Her articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:
Some of her writing works included:
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“10 honored with Golden Boy awards,” Winnipeg Tribune, 7 November 1966.
“15 divorce decrees now final,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 December 1966, page 2.
“Prolific local writer Shipley dies at age 87 after long career,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 January 1990, page 35.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 January 1990, page 40.
Obituary [Harold George Shipley], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 May 1994, page 49.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 10 December 2022