Fonds MG 1, vol. 2248-2351 - Helen Fraser MacRae fonds

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Helen Fraser MacRae fonds

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  • Variations in title: Previously known as the Maritime Missionaries to Korea collection.

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MG 1, vol. 2248-2351

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6.2 m of textual records and other material

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Administrative history

Helen Fraser MacRae, daughter of Reverend Duncan Murdoch and Edith (Sutherland) MacRae, was born in Hamhaung, Korea, where her parents served as missionaries. She had two siblings, Pearl and Allister. Helen MacRae completed her early education in Korea and at the Canadian Academy in Kobe, Japan. She graduated from Dalhousie University with a BA in 1933 and a B.Ed. in 1934. She was a teacher in Baddeck for several years, where she met and married Gordon H. Parker. Her second husband was Dr. Alexander Lee whom she married ca. 1975. MacRae taught in Nova Scotia schools for over thirty years and retired to begin a research project on Canadian missionaries in Korea. Her book A Tiger on Dragon Mountain, published in 1993, was the result of several years of research in Canada and abroad. MacRae was the recipient of the Canadian Centennial Medal in 1967 and the Republic of Korea National Decoration of Honour in 1987. She died at Newcombville on 27 January 2001, the wife of A. James Haslam.

Custodial history

Missionaries' records were assembled by Helen Fraser MacRae during the 1970s. The papers of William Rufus Foote and his wife Edith were donated to MacRae by their son, Reverend Charles H. Foote of Tangier, N.S. and their daughter, Beatrice McIsaac of Bridgetown, N.S. Robert Grierson's material was donated by his wife, Mary Grierson of Toronto, Ont. These records were placed with Duncan and Edith MacRae's records and donated to Nova Scotia Archives in 1984 by Helen Fraser MacRae, in addition to her own research material. Additional records relating to William Rufus Foote were donated to NSARM by his relative Elizabeth Ritcey, Digby, N.S. in 1989.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records compiled and created by MacRae through her research on Canadian Presbyterian/United Church missionaries, and the mission in Korea. The majority of the fonds contains correspondence, diaries, books, periodicals, articles, notebooks, sermons, lectures, accounts, minutes, reports, ephemera, and photographs of missionaries posted in northern Korea from 1898 to the 1960s, including Nova Scotians Duncan and Edith MacRae, William Rufus and Edith Foote, Robert Grierson, the Robb family, Florence J. Murray, and Luther Lisgar Young. Also includes family photographs and correspondence with relatives and acquaintances at home providing details of life in Nova Scotia during this period. Fonds also contains MacRae's research notes, photocopies of British Foreign Office and Colonial Office documents, questionnaires, and sound recordings of interviews.

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Material is in English and Korean.

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File and partial item lists available.

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General note

In 1976 Helen Fraser MacRae prepared a bibliography of the material and it was published in Occasional Paper No. 12 by the School of Library Service, Dalhousie University, under the title: "The Helen F. MacRae Collection: A Bibliography of Korean Relations with Canadians and Other Western Peoples, Which Includes a Checklist of Documents and Reports, 1898-1975." A copy of this bibliography is found in the NSARM library.

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Also includes: 1.4 m of graphic material (photograph prints, glass negatives, lantern slides), 110 audio cassettes, microfilm reels, maps (2 boxes).

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Women of Nova Scotia

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