Fonds MG 169 - Don Kerr fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Don Kerr fonds

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Reference code

MG 169

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1898-2017 (inclusive), 1965-2017 (predominant) (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

57 m of textual records, 956 photographs, 651 negatives, 15 35mm slides, 2 3 1/2” diskettes, 6 CD-Rs, 23 cassette tapes, ephemera

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Donald Cameron Kerr was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1936 and educated at St. Joseph’s School, Nutana Collegiate and the University of Saskatchewan where he received an Honours B.A. in English in 1958. He earned an M.A. in English at the University of Toronto in 1960. Kerr taught at the U of S from 1960 to 1962 and, after two years in London, U.K., from 1964 until his retirement, as professor emeritus, after a 42-year career. During his tenure at Saskatchewan, Kerr was promoted from instructor to lecturer (1965), assistant professor (1966), associate professor (1976) and professor (1983). In addition to serving as acting chair of the department of English in 1985-1986, Kerr served on a number of departmental, college and university committees.

In addition to his university work, Kerr served on numerous boards, including the World University Service, the Saskatoon Public Library, the Meewasin Valley Authority, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, and SaskFilm. He served as both board member and editor for Coteau Books and NeWest Press, and was the first chair of Saskatoon’s Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee.

Kerr's literary career as a poet, historian, playwright and editor included publication of several books of poetry; plays produced including at 25th Street Theatre, Greystone Theatre, Roxy Theatre and Persephone Theatre; and books relating to Saskatchewan history and politics. These literary and academic pursuits often overlapped, such as with his historical plays Two-Gun Cohen and Lanc (for which Kerr interviewed veterans of World War Two Lancaster Bomber crews).

He was awarded the Order of Merit in 2007 for his service to the province, and later served as Saskatchewan’s poet laureate (2011-2012). He also received the Saskatoon Musicians Association’s Kenny Shields Award for contributions to the professional arts in 2018.

He met Mildred McNamee at St. Thomas More in 1956; they were married in 1961 and they had three sons, David, Robert and William. Don Kerr died 8 December 2020 in Saskatoon.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds reflects Kerr's vocational and avocational interests. His academic activities include not only his own writing in a variety of genres but also his editing, assessment and review of the contributions of others to prose, poetry, drama and film. His service to the community external to the University is primarily evident in the political, arts and heritage fields.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


There is some duplication of parts of individual works within the Drama, Poetry and Prose series which reflect Kerr's tendency to use ideas, phrases, etc in more than one genre.
This fonds has been organized into twelve series:
I. Personal
II. Art
III. Drama
IV. Editing
V. Film
VI. Heritage
VII. History
VIII. Poetry
IX. Prose
X. Politics
XI. Publishing
XII. University

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Restrictions on access

Files marked as restricted must be reviewed by archivist prior to release.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication, and/or reproduction of records are subject to the terms and conditions of the Copyright Act.

Finding aids

Finding aid available: by series and file titles with descriptions.

Associated materials


No further accruals are expected.

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