Collection C0049 - Sheilagh S. Jameson and Nola B. Erickson Chautauqua collection

Identity area

Reference code



Sheilagh S. Jameson and Nola B. Erickson Chautauqua collection


  • 1909-1989 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1.7 m of textual records. -- 768 photographs. -- 5 audio reels. -- 1 audio cassette

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The material in this collection was compiled during the writing of the book, Chautauqua in Canada / Sheilagh S. Jameson in collaboration with Nola B. Erickson. - Calgary : Glenbow-Alberta Institute, 1979. Chautauqua, which had its origins at Lake Chautauqua, New York, USA in 1874, was a travelling institution which brought noted lecturers, musicians and live theatre to small towns. It stayed in each town from four to six days, staging events in large tents. By 1907 the Chautauqua circuit had moved into the American west, and in 1917 John M. Erickson and Nola B. Critz brought the first Chautauqua to Canada. John Michael Erickson, 1882-1963, was born in Wisconsin, USA, and Nola B. Critz, 1891-1981, was born in Missouri, USA. They married in 1917, and had two children, Virginia (Fledderjohn) and Gordon J. They continued to manage the Canadian Chautauqua circuit from the Calgary headquarters until 1935, when the final show was held. They then returned to the USA and settled in Glendale, California, where John returned to his legal profession. Nola hoped to write a book about Chautauqua, but due to her poor health, Sheilagh S. Jameson, Glenbow's Chief Archivist, offered to undertake the project. During the project Nola provided personal papers she and her husband had retained. As well, both Nola and Sheilagh contacted many former Chautauquans, which resulted in the donation of programs, photos and reminiscences of over 50 individuals. Several additions have been made to the collection since the book's publication.


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Scope and content

The collection consists of the Ericksons' correspondence, articles, newsclippings, scrapbooks, photographs and other Chautauqua-related records (1909-1981); recorded interviews with the Ericksons (1960, 1974, 1979); correspondence, programs, photographs, etc. of former Chautauquans (1916-1986); letters of reminiscences written to Nola and Sheilagh (1977-1978); Sheilagh's reference files (predominantly photocopies); drafts of the book; and post-publication publicity and reviews (1979-1989).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

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Script of material

Language and script notes

The material is in English.

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Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

The manuscript for Chautauqua in Canada is in the Sheilagh Jameson fonds at Glenbow.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on provenance and contents of records.


The M's should be amalgamated with M 4739.


NA 3769 are copies of PA 2995, and NA 4949 are copies of PA 2851.


The book manuscript and other Chautauqua records in the Jameson fonds are in M 8119, files 43, 243.


RECORDS FROM THE FOLLOWING FORMER CHAUTAUQUANS ARE ALSO IN THIS COLLECTION. SEE INVENTORY FOR DETAILS: Mrs. Cliff Anderson, Grace Matheson Anderson, Ona C. Bishop, Genevieve Brock Brownell, Edna Butt, Marian Johnson Castle, Mrs. Gordon Cole, Mabel Crosland, Cassie L. Davis, Lucille Elmore, Ralph Martin Erwin, Jessie Finlay, Florence Tory Frederickson, Melissa Sinclair Freeman, Annie French, Lulu Croll Hartsook, Warren D. "Bob" Hanscom, Dr. Fred Heal, Evelyn Meyer Kerr, J.S. Konecny, Sheila Koshmen, Anna Hebel Lawson, Alfred D. Longman, Marjorie Winspear McEaney, Ethel McIntosh, Jessie Mackintosh, Clarence Nash, Hazel McDonald Parkinson, Edward Peterson, P. Winnie Rowles, Ada Gray Sparling, Mrs. Chris Stark, Lethe Coleman Tatge, Gladys Henry Thorlakson, Ronald Tuckwell, Avis Gray Walton, Roman Wengel, Florence Tutt Willoughby, and Vera Gray Willson.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Tuesday, November 06, 2018




Accession area