Fonds MS-2-580 - Robert A. Logan fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Robert A. Logan fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record
  • Textual record (microform)

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • Bulk, 1907-1995 (Creation)
  • 1892-1995, bulk 1907-1995 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

4.2 m of textual records

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Robert Archibald Logan was born on in Middle Musquodoboit, N.S. on August 17, 1892. Born to small land-owning farmers, he helped his mother on the farm whilst attending school. On his graduation, he attended the Technical University of Nova Scotia to become a Dominion Land Surveyor. When war broke out in 1914, he learned to fly an airplane at his own expense, and became the first Canadian civilian pilot to earn a commission in the British Royal Flying Corps. During the war he distinguished himself as a pilot and navigator, and was involved in training other pilots. On Apr. 8, 1917, he was shot down behind enemy lines by an aerial attack led by Baron von Richtoven. He and his observer survived the crash and spent the rest of World War I in 6 different German POW camps, including Schweidnitz. He began to study languages during his internment, which began an interest that continued for the rest of his life.

When the War ended, Logan participated in a Canadian government expedition by boat into the Arctic, and helped to establish the first air landing fields in the far north, including on Ellesmere Island. He also became involved in the new field of aerial surveying, which led him to south-central Africa for two years. Upon his return to the USA, he was employed by Pan-American Airways, where he investigated potential landing sites for the airline through travels that took him from Alaska to Argentina, and was Operations Manager for Pan-Am in Argentina and Brazil.

In 1933, he participated in the "Jelling" North Atlantic voyage with the Lindberghs, which investigated fueling and landing sites for Pan-Am’s cross-Atlantic routes. He also began and managed a gold mining operation in Nova Scotia during this time. He was then hired by the Irish national airline Aer Lingus Teoranta, and was its general manager until World War II necessitated the shutdown of its operations.

During WWII, Logan worked for the RCAF as a Command Navigation Officer in Nova Scotia, and Lt. Colonel and Director of Intelligence in Ottawa until the USA entered the War. In 1941, he participated in a secret Arctic expedition to Greenland and Iceland with the US military for the establishment of northern military airbases. After that, he continued work with the American military, and was sent on an another special mission to the South Pacific in 1943 with Rear Admiral Richard Byrd (who he knew from their mutual association with the Explorer’s Club in New York), again to research potential airfield and fuelling sites for the US military. Due to a leg injury during this expedition, he was given a medical retirement discharge, and retired as a Colonel.

After Logan retired from the military, he devoted most of his time to writing. His research and writing spanned a great deal of topics, such as genealogy, history, astrology, philosophy, mineralogy, writing systems, and fiction. He also compiled and published a two-volume Cree-English dictionary, and had it distributed to many academic libraries across N. America at his own expense.

Logan remained active in these pursuits well into the later years of his life, and his achievements have been noted by organizations like the International Biographical Associations of the UK and the USA, and the Explorer’s Club. He died shortly after his 100th birthday in 1992, in Duluth, Minnesota.

Custodial history

Fonds was acquired by the Dalhousie Archives through gifts authorized by Robert A. Logan and Maria Vodden (his assistant), between the years 1987-1994.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of materials related to Logan’s career (1912-1985), fiction and philosophy manuscripts (1925-1983), published articles (1922-1969), his wide-ranging correspondence (1942-1991), his studies concerning Cree and other languages (1932-1969), autobiographical and biographical works (1929-1982), genealogical studies of his family and others (1955-1984), certificates he received throughout his life (1906-1992), the indices he created for his documents (1949-1986), , his diaries (1930-1980), the journals, fieldbooks, and logbooks he wrote (1907-1960), images he took or collected (1909-1992), and other miscellaneous materials(1934-1983). All textual materials relate to his life, his far-reaching research studies, or his writings.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


The Robert A. Logan fonds were accepted in a state of varying organisation. Photographs, logbooks/journals, and certificates were separate from other material within the fonds, and that order has been maintained. Much of the textual material was housed within numbered binders and scrapbooks, and that material’s order and numbering system has been maintained. All other materials have had a broadly-topical physical organisation imposed by one of the archive’s custodians. The materials were accepted in 3 accessions, with the majority arriving in 1991 and 1994. Textual materials from binders are noted with "L# binder number/accession date" For example, L# 3/91 indicates binder # 3 from 1991 accession. Textual materials from his scrapbooks are noted "L# scrapbook number/S". All remaining unnumbered and foldered materials are resident in the 1994 accession, and have been given the appellation MF (Miscellaneous Files).

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these records.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Records do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collection Reading Room.

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

The Saskatchewan Archives Board has records created by Robert A. Logan. Other Robert A. Logan records are located at Library and Archives Canada, the National Defence Headquarters Directorate of History and Heritage, and the United Church of Canada Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario Conference Archives. Artifacts donated to Dalhousie University Archives were transferred to Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Accession area