Fonds MS-2-650 - Budge Wilson fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Budge Wilson fonds

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  • Graphic material
  • Sound recording
  • Textual record
  • Moving images

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1948-2018 (Creation)
    Wilson, Budge (Marjorie)

Physical description area

Physical description

12.2 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Budge Wilson is best known as an author of children's books. She was born in 1927 to Mr. Justice Maynard Brown and Helen MacGregor Archibald in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She graduated from Dalhousie with a BA in philosophy and psychology before completing a Diploma in Education in 1953. From 1949-1951 she pursued graduate studies in English at the University of Toronto. In 1953 she married her Dalhousie sweetheart, Alan Wilson, with whom she had two daughters: Glynis Marie and Andrea Kathryn. The couple lived for 33 years in Peterborough, Ontario, where Alan was a professor at Trent University. When he retired in 1989 the Wilsons returned to Nova Scotia’s South Shore.

From 1951-1952 Wilson taught English and art at the Halifax Ladies’ College (now Armbrae Academy); from 1953-1957 she worked at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Child Study doing filing, then editing and art work. She was also employed at the Toronto Public Library in 1954 and at Acadia University nursery school from 1956-1957. In 1968 she returned to teaching with the Peterborough County Board of Education and joined the Young Women’s Association as a fitness instructor.

Budge Wilson's first book appeared in 1984 and she has since published 33 more, with 27 foreign editions in 14 languages, some of which have been adapted for radio and television. Her short stories have also been published in anthologies, Braille, and as audio books. She gives regular readings, talks and workshops in libraries, schools and universities throughout Canada.

Her work has drawn both popular and critical acclaim. She has received 19 "Our Choice" awards from the Canadian Children's Book Centre; the City of Dartmouth Book Award; the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Award; the Marianna Dempster Award; the Ann Connor Brimer Award; and the Lilla Stirling Award. Her book, The Leaving, was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, Canada-Caribbean Region, and was also featured on the American Library Association's 1994 list of "The 75 best children's books of the last 25 years." Wilson was awarded the Halifax Mayor’s Award for Cultural Achievement in Literature in 2003 and she received the Order of Canada in 2004. In 2008 she won the Dalhousie University Alumni Achievement Award and received honorary doctorates from Dalhousie University in 2010 and Mount Saint Vincent University in 2012. Wilson was made a member of the Order of Nova Scotia in 2011.

Custodial history

Materials were donated by Budge Wilson in twenty-nine accessions from 1993 to 2018. Prior to that, the materials were in the custody of Budge Wilson. The 1994-031 and 1994-020 accessions were assessed and listed together and not distinguishable at the time of processing; these accessions are both identified as "MS-2-650.1994-020" in the fonds. Donations prior to 1994 are not distinguished within the physical records or the case file and are simply identified as "MS-2-650."

Scope and content

Fonds consists of manuscripts and proofs of Budge Wilson's books and short stories; correspondence with publishers, students, and teachers; publicity material; photocopies and clippings of reviews, profiles, and notices regarding awards and appearances; diaries; recorded radio interviews; and an assortment of other documents created and collected by the author throughout her writing career. The fonds also contains materials relating to the adaptation of Wilson's novel "Before Green Gables" into a Japanese animated television series.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Materials are arranged into eleven series, which are listed alphabetically: Adaptation of Before Green Gables for television; Articles by Budge Wilson; Audio and video recordings of interviews and readings; Awards and honours; Books and short story anthologies by Budge Wilson; Correspondence; Personal material; Presentations at workshops, conferences, and other appearances; Reviews and promotional material; School visits; and Short stories by Budge Wilson. See each series description for each series's organization.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script note

This material is mainly in English, with some Japanese, French, and Danish.

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Diaries and calendars closed until 2030.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

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Further accruals are expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Budge Wilson fonds, MS-2-650.[accession number], Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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Compilation of individual finding aids completed April 2019.

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