Sir Samuel Benfield Steele Family Archive

This extensive archive, 1870–1978, documents the life and career of Samuel Benfield Steele, noted North West Mounted Police officer and military leader who participated in many of the seminal events and campaigns of the Canadian West, the Yukon, and abroad which shaped both Canada and its position within the British Empire. The Steele family papers were acquired from British descendants of the family in 2008 and repatriated to Canada in a special ceremony held at Canada House in London, England, where H.R.H. the Earl of Wessex made a ceremonial presentation to Chancellor (2004–2008) Eric Newell, thereby entrusting the Steele Collection to the University of Alberta Libraries, for the benefit of all Canadians. The archive is extensive and rich, providing not only evidence of Sam Steele’s storied career, but also documenting the life of his wife and children, and family friend, Roger Pocock (1865–1941). While the arrangement and description of the fonds is incomplete, all of the material originating with Steele has been described to the file level and is being digitized to provide broader access. Someday, Steele's family members’ archives, as well as friend Roger Pocock’s material will be described and digitized. The Steele Collection fills more than 140 archival boxes containing correspondence, manuscript memoirs, diaries, journals, notebooks, photographs, and published material. The scope of the archive is broad and the research possibilities are great; researchers interested in police history, the Klondike Gold Rush, the Boer War of 1899–1902, Canada’s role in WWI, and family and social history are likely to find the Steele family papers invaluable. Additionally, Roger Pocock’s fond includes personal accounts of the 1885 Riel uprising and scrapbooks filled with accounts of his many adventures in Western Canada, as well as the beginnings of the Legion of Frontiersmen. For general information, including many digital resources, link to the Sam Steele Collection website here. Researchers can link to the Steele Collection finding aid here.

Collection Formats: 19th Century, 20th Century, Correspondence, Ephemera, Manuscripts, Photographs -- click to see other collections with this format