Fonds F0136 - Christine van der Mark fonds.

Original Digital object not accessible

Identity area

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Christine van der Mark fonds.


  • 1879-2003 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

4.54 m of textual records and other material.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Christine van der Mark attended Normal School and spent five years teaching in rural Alberta schools. She then completed a B.A. and M.A. at the University of Alberta, studying creative writing under F.M. Salter; in 1946 she submitted her first novel, In Due Season, as her thesis.

In Due Season (1947), which explores the human costs of pioneering in northern Alberta through the 1930s, went on to win the Oxford-Crowell prize for Canadian fiction.

During three years of writing and teaching at the university, she married, and from 1953 to 1964 her husband's work led the family to Montreal, Pakistan, the USA, England, and the Sudan, before they settled in Ottawa. Throughout her many travels, van der Mark continued writing stories, articles, and a short novel with a Pakistani setting, Hassan (1960).

In 1960 she began Honey in the Rock (1966), which focused on a tightly knit community of ‘Brethren in Christ’ in southern Alberta in 1936–7.

The novel was completed in Ottawa and followed by three unpublished works: Where the Long River Flows, a Novel of the Mackenzie; Paul Goss, about a rural teacher in remote northern Alberta; and No Longer Bound, an autobiographical piece.

See ‘Afterword’ by van der Mark's daughter, Dorothy Wise, in the 1966 reprint of In Due Season.

Biographical information is available in The Oxford Companion to Canadian literature, 2nd ed., p. 1152.

Archival history

Collection on permanent loan from C. van der Mark's daughter, Dorothy Wise.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated 2001 and 2019.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence; manuscripts of novels, short stories, poetry and articles; diaries and notebooks; published works; notes from correspondence and university courses; teaching-related material; photographs; and miscellaneous. Includes material relating to C. van der Mark's mother, Mary Van der Mark, also a writer: correspondence; manuscripts of short stories. poetry, articles; published work; and miscellaneous.

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Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

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Language and script notes

Text in English.

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Notes area


Title based on contents of the fonds.


Includes 133 photoprints and 27 photo negatives.


The spelling of van der Mark varies over time and between family members.


All accessions were intellectually combined in 2021.

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