Fonds MS-52 - Ella May Walker fonds

High Level Bridge Under Construction Ella May Walker Wesleyan Mission - Edmonton Muchias' House Hardisty Tree Hardisty Tree Friends McPhaden, J.R. Plumley, Mrs. W.G.H. Mrs. Harrison Young
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Ella May Walker fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material - photograph
  • Graphic material - artwork
  • Object

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

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Physical description area

Physical description

12 cm of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Ella May Jacoby was born in Windom, Minnesota in 1892. She moved with her family to Dundurn SK when she was ten. She studied art at the Chicago Art Institute and attended the Northwestern University School of Music. She met her husband, Osmond James Walker, while the two were students at the University of Saskatchewan. They were married in 1918, lived briefly in Montreal, where her husband earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry at McGill University, and moved to Edmonton in 1920, where he joined the staff of the University of Alberta.
Ella May Walker was an accomplished author, musician, and artist. She wrote a novel entitled 'Fortress North', which dealt with the early history of the Edmonton settlement. She also wrote a regular column for the Edmonton Journal. Ms. Walker was also prominent in the local art, theatrical, and musical communities. She was one of the first members of the City of Edmonton Archives and Landmarks Committee.

Custodial history

Wilfrid Walker is the son of Ella May Walker.
Richard Secord, Eleanor Silver (Dowding) Keeping, and C.E. Holder acquired her paintings through sale or gift.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence and interviews relating to the research for her historical novel, 'Fortress North'. It also includes a manuscript for the book and her ink and watercolour illustrations for each chapter, a series of historical paintings of Edmonton and area, records relating to her work for the City of Edmonton Archives and Landmarks Committee, and miscellaneous correspondence, sketches, and notes.
The photographs include various Edmonton scenes, the Walker family and friends as well as photographs of her paintings and woodcut prints of images used for her book.
The artwork includes her original paintings and two sculptures.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

This fonds was donated to the City of Edmonton Archives by Wilfrid Walker in 1960. Items have also been donated by Richard York Secord in 1984, Dr. Eleanor Silver (Dowding) Keeping in 1985 and Irma Young in 2011. One item was purchased from C.E. Holder in 1977.


The material was arranged by the archivist by type of record
The photographs were assigned item numbers with the prefix EA-10 or EA-134.
The artwork was assigned item numbers with the prefix EAA-1

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright may apply.
Reproduction restrictions may apply.

Finding aids

Finding aid available online.
Photographs have been described at the item level and are available in the Reference Room.

Associated materials

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Accession numbers: B60-79, A71-47, A75-5, A77-98, A84-6, A85-153, A2011-113

Physical description

Includes 14 photographs, 33 paintings and 2 objects.

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City of Edmonton Archives

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Rules for Archival Description (RAD)
Archives Society of Alberta Subject Terms



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Physical storage

  • Box: MS Room
  • Box: Library
  • Shelf: North B Hanging
  • Map cabinet: Alcove
  • Shelf: McCauley Room