Fonds consists of three series: I. Personal, literary and research papers, 1907-ca.1935; II. Mary Schaffer photographs, 1893-ca.1920; II. Other, 1895-1928. I. Papers series consists of four sub-series: A. Correspondence, 1908-1922; B. Literary manuscripts (original and published), 1907-ca.1925; …
35 cm of textual records. -- ca.2025 photographs (ca.1550 transparencies, ca.400 negatives, 75 prints). -- 7 photograph albums (ca.1760 prints)
History / Biographical
Mary Schaffer, 1861-1939, also known as Mary Schaffer Warren, was an American explorer, photographer and artist who visited the Canadian Rockies and Selkirk Mountains frequently beginning in 1888, finally settling in Banff, Alberta in 1912. Born Mary Townsend Sharples to moderately wealthy Quaker parents at West Chester, Pennsylvania, she first visited the Canadian Rockies and Selkirk Mountains in 1888 with her friend Mary Vaux. She returned the following year with her husband, Dr. Charles Schaffer, and until Charles died in 1903, the Schaffers travelled annually to the mountains to study botany. Using Dr. Schaffer's data and her drawings and photographs, Mary Schaffer and Stewardson Brown completed "Alpine flora of the Canadian Rocky Mountains" in 1907.
Schaffer continued to travel in the Canadian mountains, often through remote regions. In 1908, she reached Maligne Lake in Jasper National Park, Alberta, and returned in 1911 to survey the region. "Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies," 1911, recounts her adventures of 1907 and 1908. Schaffer settled in Banff in 1912 and married her guide, Billy Warren, in 1915.
Scope & Content
Fonds consists of three series: I. Personal, literary and research papers, 1907-ca.1935; II. Mary Schaffer photographs, 1893-ca.1920; II. Other, 1895-1928.
I. Papers series consists of four sub-series: A. Correspondence, 1908-1922; B. Literary manuscripts (original and published), 1907-ca.1925; C. Maps of Maligne Lake; D. Other, 1905-ca.1935. Literary manuscripts pertain to the Athabasca River, Maligne Lake, Howse, Yellowhead and Athabasca passes; hunting; Dr. Gilbert Atkin and Nurse Fulcher's medical mission to Ya Ha Tinda Ranch; Banff, Revelstoke BC, Saskatchewan River; Stoney Nakoda; Palliser Expedition; and Mary Schaffer life and activities.
II. Photographs series consists of four sub-series: A. Lantern slides; B. Photograph albums; C. Negatives; D. Prints. Lantern slides pertain to Mary Schaffer's trips to Maligne Lake and Yellowhead Pass, mountain scenics, nature subjects (animals, birds, flowers); and includes Mary Schaffer's lantern slide presentations "In the Heart of the Canadian Rockies", accompanied by scripts; Philip Moore's Indigenous lecture series, mainly copies from books and other graphic sources; and Mary Schaffer's slides of China and Japan. Photograph albums, 1908-ca.1921, pertain mainly to trips in the Canadian Rocky and Selkirk Mountains, especially expeditions to the Yoho and Ptarmigan Valleys, Nakimu Caves, North Saskatchewan River, Wilcox Pass and Maligne Lake. Two albums pertain to travels in Mexico and Asia. Negatives pertain mainly to Schaffer's trips and explorations, Glacier House and environs, alpine flora and fauna, mountain views, portraits, Sampson Beaver family, 1902-1911.
III. Other material series consists of diaries of Molly Adams, 1908, and Mrs. H. H. Sharples, 1911, and original manuscripts and published reports by other writers, 1895-1928.