Fonds MsC-49 - Robert Jackson fonds

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Robert Jackson fonds

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  • Textual records
  • Photographic materials

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  • 1933-2000 (Creation)
    Jackson, Robert

Physical description area

Physical description

90 cm of textual records and other material

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Robert "Bob" Jackson was born March 18, 1914 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The first of four children, he left home at age 13 to work. In the 1930s Jackson helped organize men in government-run labour camps for the On to Ottawa Trek of 1935. Jackson and Agnes "Aggie" Martin married in December 1938 and the couple had three children: Roberta Carol (born 1939), Kenneth William (born 1942), and Larry Steven (born 1948). Jackson served in the Canadian Navy during the World War Two and worked for decades in wood mills in Vancouver. He was a member of the Communist Party and of the Industrial Wood and Allied Workers of Canada until he supported a failed attempt to split that union in 1948. Jackson and his wife enjoyed travel after their children were grown, journeying to Europe, the U.S.S.R., and Cuba. In 1972 Agnes Jackson was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and Bob Jackson cared for her in their home, which was by then located in Powell River, B.C., for many years. Jackson devoted much of his time later in life to educating younger Canadians about labour history based on his first-hand experiences. Jackson was a socialist and an advocate of workers' rights and he supported these causes until his death from cancer June 27, 2000, just two months after his wife's passing.

Custodial history

Acquired by Simon Fraser University Special Collections and Rare Books Division from Roberta, Kenneth, and Larry Jackson in 2002

Scope and content

Fonds consists primarily of records related to Robert Jackson's political interests and activities. Included are many original and reproduced documents from labour events in the 1930s, particularly the On to Ottawa trek but including information on other labour-related events and figures, including the Spanish Civil War and the unionism in primary resource industries. The fonds also includes many records gathered by Jackson in the 1980s and 1990s in his work commemorating the On to Ottawa trek and participating in labour-related events. It contains newsletters, bulletins and other publications, newspaper clippings, essays, and articles, correspondence, recollections and testimonials, obituaries, notes from speaking engagements, leaflets, posters, press releases, petitions, minutes, financial records, project proposals, a script, work documents, certificates, legal documents, photographs, and other records related to Jackson's political life. The file level arrangement of this fonds is based on an arrangement established in 2001 by David Yorke who undertook to order Jackson's paper by subject. The order in which Jackson kept his records is unknown. The fonds is arranged in four series: On to Ottawa Trek (1934-2000); Labour history subject files (1933-2000); Memorials (1985-2000); and Photographs ([193-?]-2000).

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Series descriptions and file list are available. A preliminary inventory prepared by David Yorke in 2001 explains the arrangement of the fonds.

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Created May 16, 2014, LZ

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  • English

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