Fonds F 416 - W. Richard Merryweather fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

W. Richard Merryweather fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record
  • Sound recording
  • Cartographic material

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Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

F 416

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1940-1989 (Creation)
    Creation
    Merryweather, W. Richard, 1916-2010

Physical description area

Physical description

53,000 photographs
20 cm of textual records
53 audio tapes
maps

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1916-2010)

Biographical history

William Richard (Dick) Merryweather was born in 1916 and raised on the family farm near Paynton, Saskatchewan. He studied at the University of Saskatchewan and at Harvard University. Specializing in agricultural mechanics and soils, he graduated with distinction in 1942. During his time at the university he served as president of the agricultural students' association and was an instructor in the agricultural engineering department. After graduation, he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and was posted overseas in 1943. He left the western European theatre of operations in 1945 with the rank of captain. For a year following the war, Merryweather instructed in agricultural mechanics at the University of Saskatchewan. Starting in the fall of 1946, he joined the provincial Department of Agriculture and worked at Swift Current and later Indian Head as an Agricultural Representative. He moved to Regina in 1951 where he was employed as an agrologist for the Department, serving in Extension and Administration, as Assistant Director of the Conservation and Development Branch, and from 1959 as Director of the Family Farm Improvement Branch (FFIB). From 1974 until his retirement in 1976, he was Special Assistant to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce.

Merryweather became interested in photography when he was an Agricultural Representative. He often used photographs for slide presentations at farm modernization meetings across Saskatchewan. He gave numerous showings of his slide-tape travelogues to residents of Regina nursing homes. His photographs were printed in calendars and with articles he wrote for the farm press. Upon retirement, he established Merry Visuals, a small venture operated from his Regina home that provided contract photography for the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, the FFIB, the Saskatchewan Indian Agricultural Program and other federal and provincial agencies. Other work was prepared for volunteer and non-profit organizations. Much of Merryweather's work involved the creation of slide programs, including scripts and taped narratives.

He was also a dedicated artist and exhibited his paintings and sculptures at local art shows. He helped to develop the early Mexabition and its successor the Canadian Western Agribition, an annual agricultural exhibition held in Regina which features art shows. Merryweather was a member of several organizations, including the Prairie Artists' Guild, the Regina Photo Club, the Mackenzie, Neutral Ground and Rosemont art galleries, and CAR-FAC.

Merryweather married Catherine Marguerite (Marg) Hale of Saskatoon in 1942. They had two daughters, Sharon and Colleen. After residing in Regina for fifty years, the Merryweathers relocated to St. Albert, Alberta, in 2004. Dick Merryweather died in Edmonton, Alberta, on July 20, 2010.

Custodial history

W. Richard Merryweather donated these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in 5 accessions between 1992 and 2004: R92-194 (August 5, 1992); R97-082 (February 26, 1997); R98-324 (December 16, 1998); R99-320 (December 16, 1999); R2004-003 (January 7, 2004).

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used by Merryweather during his career with the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture and after retirement when he operated Merry Visuals, a private multi-media venture. Other records reflect his interest in painting and the visual arts.

The types of records included are photographic slides, script material and notes, audio tapes, and publications and maps used for research purposes.

The fonds is arranged into several slide programs or into files by subject matter. Some of the slide programs include: "Lunch with Mary" (Meals on Wheels), SIAP (Saskatchewan Indian Agricultural Program), "Winter in Wascana" (Regina Guild of Colour Photography), Kiwanis Club of Wascana promos, "I Love You Regina" (a retrospective of the city's attractions), "Euroscape 74", Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture programs (Agricultural Representative Service, Conservation and Development Branch, Family Farm Improvement Branch), "To Uranium City on Wheels", "Twenty Days of Christmas", and others.

The subject files include camera techniques, geographic locations outside Saskatchewan, nursing homes, Kiwanis Club activities, Saskatchewan cities and towns, conservation, climate, horticulture, agricultural machinery, transportation, the Department of Agriculture, domestic animals, foreign excursions and vacations to name a few.

Notes area

Physical condition

Records are in good physical condition.

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

Arrangement by archivist based on original order. File titles provided by records creator.

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Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Records are open for research use.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication and/or reproduction of records are subject to terms and conditions of the Copyright Act. Please consult the reference archivist for assistance.

Finding aids

SAFA 188 consists of a fonds level description. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

Associated materials

Related materials

Accruals

Further accruals are expected. Unprocessed records exist in this fonds. Access to these records is unavailable at this time. Please consult the reference archivist for details.

General note

To consult the records, visit or contact the Regina office.

Conservation

Slides may not be viewed with a projector.

Location note

Location for retrieval: Regina - Hillsdale.

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