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Hartwell (Hart) Bowsfield

b. July 7, 1922, Toronto, ON; d. Aug. 10, 2008, Toronto, ON


1948 BA (University of Manitoba)
1977 PhD (University of Toronto)


1952-1967 Provincial Archivist, Province of Manitoba
1970-1988 University Archivist, York University
1970-1973 Lecturer, Dept. of History, York University
1973-1978 Associate Professor, Dept. of History, York University
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto


Bowsfield, Hartwell (1967). The United States and Red River settlement. Winnipeg: Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba. Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba papers, ser. 3, no. 3.

Bowsfield, Hartwell (1968). Selkirk. Toronto: Clark, Irwin.

Bowsfield, Hartwell, ed. (1968). The James Wickes Taylor correspondence, 1859-1870. Altona, Man.: D.W. Friesen. Manitoba Record Society publications, 3.

Bowsfield, Hartwell, ed. (1969). Louis Riel: rebel of the western frontier, or victim of politics and prejudice? Toronto: Copp Clark Pub. Co.

Bowsfield, Hartwell, ed. (1969). Laurier. Toronto: Clark, Irwin [in association with Jackdaw Publications, London].

Bowsfield, Hartwell, ed. (1971). Louis Riel, the rebel and the hero. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Bowsfield, Hartwell (1973). Louis Riel: le patriote rebelle. Montréal: Éditions du Jour.

Bowsfield, Hartwell (1976). Upper Canada in the 1820’s: the development of a political consciousness. Toronto: [s.n]. Thesis.

Bowsfield, Hartwell, ed. (1977). The letters of Charles John Brydges, 1879-1882, Hudson`s Bay Land Commissioner. Winnipeg: Hudson’s Bay Record Society. Hudson’s Bay Record Society publications, 31.

Bowsfield, Hartwell, ed. (1979). Fort Victoria letters, 1846-1851. Winnipeg: Hudson`s Bay Record Society. Hudson’s Bay Record Society publications, 32.

Bowsfield, Hartwell, ed. (1981). The letters of John Charles Brydges, 1883-1889, Hudson`s Bay Company Land Commissioner. Winnipeg: Hudson`s Bay Record Society. Hudson’s Bay Record Society publications, 33.

Bowsfield, Hartwell, ed. (1988). Louis Riel: selected readings. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman.

Visit the Manitoba Historical Society Web page for articles written for the MHS.


Secretary, Manitoba’s Historic Sites Advisory Board
Chair, Archives and Local History Sections of the Canadian Historical Association
Member, Council of the Champlain Society
Member, Toronto Area Archivists Group


1970 awarded Manitoba Centennial Medal
1999 inducted into York University’s Founders Society


Hart was a historian, archivist and professor.

“He made significant contributions to the history of Western Canada”.

Hart was “a contributor to five encyclopedias, editor for the Manitoba Record Society …and he also produced talks and scripts for CBC productions in radio and television. He was closely associated with the Manitoba Historical Society, serving as a judge of the Margaret McWilliams Medal competitions, member of the Council, and editor of its magazine, Manitoba Pageant.”

As the Manitoba provincial archivist, “many searchers into all phases of Manitoba history are deeply indebted to him for patient pursuit to their queries.”

Hart’s “lengthy career as York’s first University archivist created a solid foundation of research collections for the benefit of future generations of faculty and students, which along with his many important contributions to historical scholarship, will remain his enduring legacy to Canadian society.” Among the major acquisitions he acquired were the papers of Margaret Laurence and the correspondence of Lady Victoria Welby.

Hart donated his books and papers to York University in 2003.


Manitoba Historical Society. Memorable Manitobans: Hartwell Walter Lewis Bowsfield (1922-2008). Accessed Mar. 7, 2016.
York University. Professor Hartwell Bowsfield was York’s first archivist. (YFile, Aug. 18, 2008). Accessed Mar. 7, 2016.
York University Archives and Special Collections. Inventory of the Hartwell Bowsfield fonds. Accessed Mar. 9, 2016.
Shanahan, Noreen.“ Hartwell Bowsfield,86, academic”. (Special to the Globe and Mail, Oct. 29, 2008)
Obituary (Toronto Star). “H. (Hart) W. Bowsfield, July 7, 1922-August 10, 2008”

biographies/hartwell-bowsfield.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/22 20:02