Accession MS-2-691.2013-065 - Personal archives of Harry Thurston

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Personal archives of Harry Thurston

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  • Textual record

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1 m of textual records

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Harry Kenneth Thurston was born 3 March 1950 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, to Kenneth Alvin and Elizabeth Madeline (Gillis). He graduated from Acadia University with a BSc in Biology in 1971 and married Catherine Rideout the following year; they have one daughter, Megan Ruth.

An avid naturalist, Thurston's literary work often concerns nature and environmental issues. As a freelance writer, editor, poet and playwright, his work has appeared in magazines, literary periodicals and anthologies, including The Dalhousie Review, Fiddlehead, Reader’s Digest, National Geographic, The Atlantic Anthology: vol. 2 Poetry, and We Belong to the Sea, a Nova Scotia Anthology. He has also been a field correspondent and contributing editor to Equinox (1982-1999); a writer-in-residence at Acadia and St. Mary’s universities; a visiting writer at Mount Allison University; and a teacher in the journalism programme at the University of King’s College. From 1977-1981 he edited and published Germination, a quarterly poetry periodical.

Thurston is the author of books of poetry and prose. He has been awarded various literary awards and honours, including the Sigurd Olsen Nature Writing Award (2005); the Evelyn Richardson memorial Literary Award (1991, 1997, 2004); the City of Dartmouth Book Award (1994); and the Atlantic Bookseller’s Choice Award (1991). His magazine-published works have garnered him the Author’s Award (1982, 1987); the National Magazine Award (1983); and the Canadian Science Writer’s Association Science and Society Award (1986, 1987).

Thurston resides in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Accession contains records that largely document Harry Thurston's journalistic and non-fiction writing during the 1980s. Materials include editorial correspondence, research notes and secondary materials, annotated drafts and printer's proofs, and press releases and reviews for articles published in such magazines as Atlantic Insight, Audubon, Equinox, Harrowsmith and National Geographic. There are similar materials documenting Thurston's work on Tidal Life : A Natural History of the Bay of Fundy, as well as correspondence and administrative records documenting his work with the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia and various professional activities such as attending or organizing workshops and conferences.

Accession also contains a small volume of materials from the late 1970s related to Thurston's activities as a poet, including some correspondence and administrative records related to the poetry journal, Germination, as well as his involvement with the Dirge Poets and their Merry Men, a performance group of poets and musicians.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Prior to this accrual being accessioned the donor added one bankers box of annotated drafts and research notes from his work Tidal Life : A Natural History of the Bay of Fundy, records that he had previously removed from his files. These were inserted during processing, resulting in some rearrangement of the records within that sub-series. Otherwise the records in this accrual reflect the order in which they were received.

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  • English

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Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

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

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Associated materials

See accessions MS-2-691.1995-068, MS-2-691.1996-003, and MS-2-691.2015-034 for other materials donated by Harry Thurston.

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Further accruals are expected.

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