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Winnifred Eaton Reeve Guide

Teaching and research of the Winnifred Eaton Reeve archival and library holdings at the University of Calgary

Welcome to the Winifred Eaton Reeve Research Guide.

Archives and Special Collections at the University of Calgary houses the archive of the writer Winnifred Eaton Reeve (1875-1954). Recently, the entire archive (fonds) was digitized. 

This guide will help you find sources for your research on Winnifred Eaton Reeve.  Use the tabs on the left to navigate through the various kinds of resources available through the library, as well as some information about them. 

"Mrs. Winnifred Eaton Babcock and children [digital image]", 1913-1919, (CU1118359) by . Courtesy of Glenbow Library and Archives Collection, Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary.

Biographical Information:

Canadian novelist and screenwriter Winnifred Eaton Reeve, née Eaton, was born in Montreal, Quebec. Her birth date is usually given as 1879 but she was born on August 21, 1875. At age 17 she went to Jamaica to report debates of the Legislative Council. Later, she moved to Chicago at which time her short stories were first published in the Saturday Evening Post and other periodicals. Her first novel, Miss Nume, was published in 1899, followed by her best selling novel, A Japanese nightingale, in 1901. Reeve continued to publish about a novel a year under the pseudonym Onoto Watanna. In 1917, after marrying Francis F. Reeve, she moved to a ranch near Morley, Alberta, and then after several years moved to Calgary. Prominent in cultural organizations in Calgary, Reeve founded the Little Theatre movement and served as the first president of the Calgary branch of the Canadian Authors Association. Winnifred Eaton Reeve lived in the United States from 1924 to 1931, where she worked as an editor for Universal Pictures and wrote stories and screenplays for several film companies, such as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Fox Films and Universal Pictures. Reeve returned to Calgary in 1931; however, poor health restricted her writing and she wrote only a few short stories after that time. She died on April 8, 1954 in Butte, Montana, while returning to Calgary, Alberta, from California.

Further biographical information available in Onoto Watanna : the story of Winnifred Eaton Reeve / by Diana Birchall (Urbana, Illinois : University of Illinois Press, 2001). Winnifred Reeve's work and interest in the theatre prompted a generous donation by the Francis F. Reeve Foundation, which made possible the construction of the Reeve Theatre at the University of Calgary.


Sensitive Language

Please note that the language, terminology or visual content in our historical collections reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation,

and may include culturally sensitive information. As a historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology.

The information within the collection does not reflect the views of the University of Calgary, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.

"Letters between Winnifred Eaton Reeve and Doris Rooney, 1948-1952", 1948-1952, (CU111912889) by Reeve, Winnifred Eaton,Rooney, Doris. Courtesy of Canadian Literary and Cultural Archives, Winnifred Eaton Reeve fonds Collection, Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary.