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  • The Boy Scouts and Sam Steele

    Sam Steele met Robert Baden-Powell, the future founder of the Boy Scout movement, when both were fighting the Boer War in South Africa. In the aftermath of the war, Baden-Powell was involved in organizing the South African Constabulary (S.A.C.) to help return and retain order to the country, and he asked Sam Steele if he would […] ... read full post
  • Family Day for the Steele’s

    Thoughts turn to family with the approach of the Family Day holiday in Alberta this Monday, February 15th, and while there was no such official holiday during Sam Steele’s life, family life is a large focus in the Steele papers. The correspondence files include a wealth of letters between Sam and his wife Marie, written […] ... read full post
  • New Archivists Welcomed

    The Bruce Peel Special Collections Library wishes to extend a warm welcome to archivists Lynn McPherson and Bryan Corbett as they continue the archival processing of The Sir Samuel Steele Collection. Lynn McPherson, Project Archivist Bryan Corbett, University Archivist ... read full post
  • Sam and Marie tie the knot

    January seems to be the most important month in Sam Steele’s life. He was born on January 5th (1848), died on January 30 (1919), and was married January 15, 1890. Above is a close-up of a photograph of the newly married couple (previously blogged about here).  In his autobiography, Sam first mentions Marie, whom he […] ... read full post
  • Happy birthday, Sam Steele!

    On this date in 1848, Samuel Benfield Steele was born to Elmes Steele and Anne Macdonald Steele at Purbrooke, Medonte Township, Ontario. Sam was the eldest child of Elmes and his second wife, Anne. Elmes’ first wife, Elizabeth Seeley Coucher, died in the 1840’s after giving birth to six children. Sam Steele’s birth date is […] ... read full post
  • Christmas card, 1906, en français!

    Continuing with the theme of holiday cards, the following is from the Carabiniers Mont-Royal from Montréal. Founded in 1869, the Carabiniers Mont-Royal were originally called the 65e bataillon, and are now known as Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal. The front of the card has a lovely embossed wreath surrounding the emblem of the Carabiniers Mont-Royal and their […] ... read full post
  • Christmas card from daughter to mother

    To get into the holiday spirit, I will be scanning a few Christmas and New Year’s cards from the Steele Collection. Young Flora Steele was around 9 years old when she wrote the following letter to her mother Marie Steele. Obviously for the Steele family Christmas was quite a religious time of the year. Transcription: […] ... read full post
  • Arranging & identifying photographs: cyanotypes

    I recently completed rehousing Sam Steele’s papers and diaries – 149 boxes worth! This is still just a fraction of the collection, considering the papers of his wife, children, and Roger Pocock have yet to be processed. I am currently doing file listings of the boxes and creating a long list of items for our […] ... read full post
  • Calling cards

    One of the delightful treasures of the Sam Steele Collection is the small collection of calling cards and engraved plates. The calling cards span his later professional career and mark his various promotions. Below are a few examples of calling cards Sam or his wife Marie might have used. There are also two engraved plates: […] ... read full post
  • Sam Steele, small screen action hero?

    This morning in the Edmonton Journal a fantastic announcement was made: the life of Sam Steele is going to be made into a 2 hour tv movie! As Paula Simons writes in her article “Proposed TV drama will bring Canadian legend to life,” the film will be shot in Alberta (a place that was close […] ... read full post