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Doris Hillis fonds
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3.7 m of textual records
0.5 m of published material
136 photographic materials
1 8mm audio reel
1 floppy disk
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Name of creator
Doris Hillis was born at Epsom in Surrey, England. She was educated in England and came to Canada in 1955 where she taught schools in Langenburg and Winnipeg. Doris completed an M.A. at the University of Manitoba, and went on to lecture at the University of British Columbia while continuing studies in literature. In 1960, the family acquired a grain farm near Macklin, Saskatchewan, where Doris spent most of her writing career, and where she and her husband, William, raised their only child, Sandy. In 1967 Doris became involved in Adult Education through the Kerrobert Unit Board, and later was appointed a Trustee of Prairie West Community College for two terms (1975-1981).
Doris began writing in 1977, her primary interest being poetry, although she also produces drama, short stories, non-fiction articles, profiles, children’s literature and book reviews. Her work has been published in literary magazines and broadcast on CBC, and she has received rewards and grants from the Saskatchewan Writers Guild and the Saskatchewan Arts Board. In her major nonfiction works, Voices and Visions (1985) and Plainspeaking (1988), Doris interviews a number of significant Saskatchewan writers, including: Edna Alford, Elizabeth Allen, Lorna Crozier (Uher), Robert Currie, Mick Burrs, Gary Hyland, Lois Simmie, Terrence Heath , John Hicks , Patrick Lane, Ken Mitchell , Brenda Riches , Glen Sorestad , Gertrude Story, Anne Szumagalski , Guy Vanderhaege, Byrna Barclay , Elizabeth Brewster , Sharon Butala , Maria Campbell , David Carpenter, Rex Deverell, Joan Givner , Barbara Sapergia, Andrew Suknaski and Geoffrey Ursell.
Doris has also hosted a number of readings and workshops for elementary, high school, and adult groups and she was a central figure of Macklin’s Literary Club. She is a member of the Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild, the Saskatchewan Playwright’s Centre, the Writer’s Union of Canada, and the League of Canadian Poets.
Doris has also had an interest in puppetry. She was a member of numerous puppetry associations worldwide, including UNIMA and the Ontario Puppetry Association. In an effort to promote the dramatic arts in her home town, Doris established the Macklin Puppeteers, a group of Macklin children who performed for about six years in Macklin, Provost, and the Saskatoon Public Library “Christopher Robin Room”. She passed away on July 26th, 2020.
Scope and content
This collection includes working papers and completed versions of Hillis’ published and unpublished poetry, drama, and fiction, as well as research and correspondence related thereto. The collection includes a range of interviews conducted by Hillis with a number of Saskatchewan authors for her books Voices and Visions and Plainspeaking. This collection also includes chapbooks published by Andrew Suknaski, Lorna Uher, and Mick Burrs.
Further, the collection contains a range of materials gathered by Doris on the subject of puppetry for her work with the Macklin Puppeteers throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. Her personal memoirs are also included, as are materials from her involvement in Saskatchewan’s literary community, including helpful information on the art of writing from her workshops.
Immediate source of acquisition
Doris Hillis’ material were acquired by the University of Saskatchewan Special Collections (now University of Saskatchewan Archives and Special Collections) gradually, from 2006 to 2013. At the time of early processing, the accessions were merged. Original order has been maintained within files, however to improve ease of access, materials have been re-organized according to series. The series have been assigned according to notes left with the donation by Doris Hillis.
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Restrictions on access
This collection has been vetted under Freedom of Information legislation, those files marked as RESTRICTED require vetting prior to release. Note also that copyright on relevant materials is retained by Doris Hillis.