Stories From Banting’s Basement: Week 13

Hello again! One of my tasks this week was to work on the William Banting Fonds, and I am happy to announce it has been organized by a fellow intern, documented in the database, and safely place in storage. An itemized finding aid has also been created for future researchers. All that’s left to do is preventative conservation.  

The William Banting Fonds is a collection of archival material consisting of books, photographs, newspaper clippings, and letters relating to Frederick Banting, Marion Robertson and William Banting. This was an extensive collection, one of 111.5cm of contextual records.  

My task with this collection was to make sure that the finding aid matched what was in each box and to re-organize if necessary. While doing this, I came across some interesting items.  

Perhaps my favourite item was a bible from 1856 with birth records in the final pages of the book. Often when I work with objects of this age, I think of what was going on at the time, and what has yet to happen. For example, when this bible was created in 1856, Canada had yet to become a country. That wouldn’t occur for another 11 years. Or to think that in the United States, the American Civil War had yet to happen, but was soon to come. The Civil War would start in about 5 years after the publication of this bible.  

2022.07.09.01, The William Banting Fonds
2022.07.09.01, The William Banting Fonds
2022.07.09.01, The William Banting Fonds

I also found it intriguing to go through the letters between Marion Robertson and Bill Banting. These letters, although at times felt too personal for me to be reading, demonstrated the strong relationship that Marion and Bill had. They would often send multiple letters in a single day. Perhaps Bill picked this up from his father who also kept in touch with his mother often, even throughout his time in WW1.  

2022.07.03.01, The William Banting Fonds
2022.07.03.01, The William Banting Fonds

Another interesting item I came across was a document titled “Fiesta in the Andes”. This was a script written by Bill Banting, and is quite fascinating because it has handwritten corrections presumably made by Bill. It also speaks to Bill Banting’s adult life separate from his father where he was involved in nature films.

2022.07.05.01, The William Banting Fonds

As you can see this collection is full of so many compelling materials!

See you next week for the final “Stories From Banting’s Basement” post!   

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