Title and statement of responsibility area
David E. Lewis
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- David E. Lewis
Physical description area
2.25 m of textual and graphic materials (16 boxes)
688 photographs: black & white, colour prints.
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Archival description area
Name of creator
David Earle Lewis (1919-1975), short story author and teacher, was born November 15, 1919 in Melvern Square, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia to Earl Gordon Lewis (1893-1964) and Isabel Jean (Laing) Lewis (b.1891). David E. Lewis earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1940 from Acadia University in Wolfville, NS. He worked in the Treasury Branch of the Department of National Defence (Navy) in St. John’s, Newfoundland (1943-1946) before returning to Acadia University to earn his Bachelor of Education in 1950. He received a teaching license for high school in 1951 and was hired by the newly constructed Bridgetown Regional High School in 1954. By 1957 he was living in Montreal, Quebec running his own bookstore, “David Lewis Books”. He returned to Bridgetown, NS and resumed teaching high school Latin and English in 1963, until retirement in 1972. He wrote regular columns for the Bridgetown Monitor newspaper, under titles “Here and There” (1967-1974) and “Bridgetown Scene,” had some short stories published in Maclean’s Magazine (1972), and published a book of humorous short stories titled “A Lover Needs a Guitar” (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1973). David E. Lewis died at home in Bridgetown on October 13, 1975 at age 56.
This material was kept by Gerald “Jerry” Spicer (1935-2005), long-time friend and literary executor to David E. Lewis, who bequeathed them to Andrea Robbins, student researcher, in 2006, who subsequently donated them to Nova Scotia Archives in 2017.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of 146 scrapbook albums (ca1919-1974) assembled by David E. Lewis, containing his personal and business correspondence; clippings of articles written by or about him; book reviews; personal, family and work-related photographs; legal documents such as teaching contracts; and memorabilia including plane tickets and pay stubs from stories sold. These are interspersed among clippings of newspaper and magazine articles, printed jokes, comic nude cartoons, and images of entertainers, selected for their relevance to Lewis’ life experiences and/or emotional state at the time.
Arrangement is roughly chronological, with some albums covering 1 month in a year and others cover a range from the 1940s to 1970s.
Fonds also includes a diary of his trip to McClelland and Stewart publishers in Toronto (1972), a sketchbook of portraits (1948?), a cash book of personal and bookstore expenses in Montreal (1956-1961), a file of teaching aids for high school English Literature (1950s?), and his university degrees (1940, 1951).
Fonds also includes a notebook of proverbs and lists of books read and movies seen (with annotations) belonging to David E. Lewis’ mother Isabelle Jean (Laing) Lewis (1939-1947) and a typescript of a thesis about David E. Lewis written by Andrea Robbins (2000).
Items removed from sticky album pages where possible, placed in file folders in original scrapbook order for preservation.
Lewis’ newspaper columns he wrote were photocopied for preservation.
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Copyright owned by Nova Scotia Archives.
See Nova Scotia Archives’ Services page for information on copying, reproduction, and use of materials.
See also Ernest Buckler fonds, a contemporary of Lewis’, who resided in the same town.
See also A Lover Needs a Guitar: and other stories / by David E. Lewis in Nova Scotia Archives Library (Reference number: PS 8573 E8 L6)
Albums #59, and #76 were not included in the donation.
There are two Album #82s and #114s, and 18 unnumbered albums.