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- MacKinnon, Donna Jean
Physical description area
98 cm of textual records
13 photographs : b&w, some sepia toned ; 20 x 25 cm or smaller
11 photographs : col. ; 20 x 25 cm or smaller
4 photographs : col. negatives ; 5 x 5 cm
6 mini audio cassette tapes
1 VHS tape
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Name of creator
Donna Jean MacKinnon was born June 3, 1943, in Cape Breton Island (Nova Scotia). She graduated with a B.A. in English and Near Eastern History from Victoria College at the University of Toronto. Subsequently, MacKinnon received a secondary school teaching certificate from the Ontario College of Education (OISE). After graduation, she worked as a social worker, teacher, barmaid, department store buyer, antiques dealer at Salmagundi and the Hudson’s Bay Company, and freelance writer.
From 1986 to 2009, MacKinnon worked as a staff reporter at the Toronto Star. While at the Star, MacKinnon wrote about a wide range of subjects, from entertainment stories, business (including the weekly column “Thinking Big”), home design and architecture (weekly section “Sunday Home”), and general assignment stories covering daily city news. During this time, MacKinnon also wrote as a freelancer for Condo Living (column titled “Best Laid Plans”), City & Country Magazine, the Globe and Mail, the Washington Post, the Toronto Life, House & Home, Great Expectations, and Canadian Jeweller. As a freelancer, she also wrote two scripts for T.V. Ontario and posts for the Presbyterian Record (blog "Recipes and Memories"). During her years as a reporter, MacKinnon published over 15,000 news pieces either under her name, the byline Isabella Street, and as a ghostwriter.
In the 1990s, MacKinnon started working on her book Newsgirls: gutsy pioneers in Canada’s newsrooms which she published in 2017.
MacKinnon is a certified yoga teacher registered with the American Yoga Teachers Association.
Scope and content
Materials accumulated and created by Donna Jean MacKinnon during the research for her book Newsgirls : gutsy pioneers in Canada’s newsrooms, published in 2017. Includes photographs, newspaper materials, handwritten notes and audio interviews, database searches, contact information and correspondence, and drafts of chapters of Newsgirls (oftentimes, these drafts were sent to the subjects of the chapter for corrections).
For twenty years, MacKinnon researched women journalists of the Canadian 20th Century. During her research, she conducted interviews, accumulated articles written by and about the journalists, and performed other research activities (such as database searches and bibliographical reads). Over the years, Newsgirls varied considerably. As a result, Donna Jean MacKinnon accumulated or created materials for journalists that were not part of the final project (for more information about the journalists covered, refer to the General Note in the notes section of this series).
Immediate source of acquisition
Donated by Donna Jean MacKinnon in 2020.
Series is arranged chronologically.
Although some files in Series 3 contain records about the research for Newsgirls, a decision was made by archivist to maintain original order and not move the noted items to Series 2. Further information about the files in question can be found in the general note of this series.
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Access to some files may be restricted due to the presence of personal contact information.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
- June Callwood fonds at Library and Archives Canada.
- Simma Holt fonds at the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections.
- Augusta Vineberg Solomon fonds at the McCord Museum, Montreal.
For additional material on research for Newsgirls : gutsy pioneers in Canada’s newsrooms, please refer to the following files:
- File 76 - Publishers.
- File 86 - Invoices and Permissions for Photographs.
- File 93 - York U., Newsgirls Fact Checking, etc.
Newsgirls includes biographies for ten journalists, however more were considered and covered. Journalists covered in series are:
Kay Kritzwiser (1910-2009), awarded art critic for the Globe and Mail, recipient of the Commemorative Medal of Canada (1992), and subject of Newsgirls.
Dorothy Howarth (1912-2009), awarded journalist at the Toronto Evening Telegram, inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Game (2011), and subject of Newsgirls.
Olive Dickason (1920-2011), awarded fashion journalist at the Globe and Mail, professor at the University of Alberta and the University of Ottawa, member of the Order of Canada (1996), recipient of the Aboriginal Life Achievement Award from the Canadian Native Arts Foundation (1997), and subject of Newsgirls.
June Callwood (1924-2009), journalist at the Globe and Mail; awarded founder of Digger House, Nellie's shelter, Jessie's Centre, and Casey House; recipient of the Order of Canada (1978) and the Order of Ontario (1988); inducted into the Etobicoke Hall of Fame (1992); and subject of Newsgirls.
Stasia Evasuk (1924-2009), awarded fashion journalist and columnist at the Toronto Star, and subject of Newsgirls.
Angela Burke (1920-2014), awarded journalist at the Toronto Star, promoter of the Royal Commission for the Status of Women, and subject of Newsgirls.
Marilyn Dunlop (1928-2017), awarded medical journalist at the Toronto Star, author, recipient of the Sandford Fleming Medal for outstanding contributions to public understanding of science (1990), and subject of Newsgirls.
Joan Hollobon (1920), awarded medical journalist at the Globe and Mail, author, recipient of the Medal of Honour of the Canadian Medical Association (1986), officer of the Order of Canada (2019), and subject of Newsgirls.
Augusta "Dusty" Vineberg (1926), awarded journalist at the Montreal Star and City Woman, and subject of Newsgirls.
Jeannine Locke (1926-2013), renowned journalist at the Toronto Star and producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Mary Elizabeth "Beth" Dingman (1918-2010), renowned columnist and editor of the women's section of the Toronto Telegram.
Ruth Hammond (1920-2015), awarded journalist and first women's editor at the Toronto Star, president of the Women's Press Club and director of the Toronto Press Club and Belmont House, and recipient of an honorary doctorate from Mount Saint Vincent University.
Kay Rex (1918-2006), awarded journalist at the Globe and Mail, president of the Toronto Branch of the Canadian Authors Association, author of No Daughter of mine: the women and history of the Canadian Women's Press Club, 1904-1971 (1995).
Doris Anderson (1921-2007), author, journalist, editor of the Chatelaine, and women's rights activist, chair of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, and companion of the Order of Canada (2002).
Marjorie Earl ([19--]-1999), renowned journalist and first female foreign correspondent at the Toronto Star, key figure in the formation of the newspaper guild in 1948.
Enid Nemy (1924), author and awarded journalist at the New York Times, recipient of the 1984 Matrix Award "for achievement in newspapers and wire services."
Joan Sutton Strauss ([19--]), awarded fashion editor and a columnist at the Toronto Telegram and the Toronto Sun, recipient of the Canadian Commemorative Medal for Public Service, and recipient of the Order of Ontario (2019).
Yvonne Crittenden ([19--]), awarded journalist and book critic of the Toronto Sun and the Toronto Star.
Maureen Keller ([19--]), awarded journalist and editor of the Toronto Star.
Michele Landsberg (1939), author; public speaker; social activist; and awarded journalist at the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and Chatelaine; officer of the Order of Canada (2006); and member of the Women's College Hospital Board of Directors (2012).
Heather Robertson (1942-2014), author and awarded journalist at the Winnipeg Free Press, Chatelaine, Saturday Night and Macleans; honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Manitoba (1998).
Catherine Ford ([194-]), author and awarded journalist, columnist, and editor at the Calgary Herald; honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary.
Valerie Gibson ([19--]), author, public speaker, and award-winning sex and relationships columnist for the Toronto Sun.
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Described by CGD in 2021.
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