Fonds RBSC-ARC-1403 - Eric P. Nicol fonds

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Eric P. Nicol fonds

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Physical description

8.84 m of textual records, 140 photographs, 1 audio cassette.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Eric Patrick Nicol was born on December 28, 1919 in Kingston, Ontario of English parents. He moved at an early age to Vancouver and attended the University of British Columbia, where he started his writing career as a contributor to the student newspaper, The Ubyssey, with a humour column written under the pseudonym Jabez. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours in French in 1941. From 1942 to 1945 he served with the ground crew of the Royal Canadian Air Force, contributing to service publications such as Wings and Torch. He returned to UBC after the war as an instructor in English and obtained a Master of Arts degree in French in 1948. After spending one year at the Sorbonne, he moved to London to write radio and television comedies for the British Broadcasting Corporation. He also wrote occasional columns for the The Vancouver Province. In 1948 his first book, Sense and Nonsense was published. He returned to Vancouver to become a columnist for The Province and to freelance in radio and television. His career covers a wide range of writings such as stage plays, radio and television plays, revues, radio and television variety shows, humour books, magazine articles, and historical books. He received the Leacock medal for humour three times for The Roving I, Shall We Join the Ladies, and Girdle Me a Globe. To many people, he is best known as a columnist for The Vancouver Province, 195 1-1985. His columns included comments on many contentious issues such as capital punishment and fluoridation.
Some notable publications include, Bringing up Grandpa (1989), Back Talk: A Book for Bad Back Sufferers and Those Who Love (Put Up With) Them (1992), Your turn of the century – a review of the twentieth century (1998) co-authored by Eric Nicol and Dave Moore, The Casanova Sexicon: A Manual for Liberated Men (2001), Canadian Politics Unplugged (2003), and Old Is In: A Guide for Aging Boomers (2004).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of Eric Nicol’s business correspondence, drafts (handwritten notebooks and typescripts) for various writings, finished scripts for plays and shows, drafts, reference materials, reviews of his work, printed materials featuring his articles, subject files, royalty statements and other financial records regarding the publication of Nicol's books, as well as posters, newspaper clippings, awards, photographs and other ephemera which document Nicol's career as a writer. The fonds contains a file of his correspondence with The Vancouver Sun, which was kept by the Sun and later given to Nicol. His writings are categorized into radio scripts, television scripts, stage scripts, books, articles, short stories and other writings. Drafts and related materials of each category comprise a series.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Fonds was donated by Eric Nicol, April 26, 1994, and again on November 14, 2007. Another accession was transferred to RBSC by Mary Nicol (Eric Nicol's wife) July 2010.


Eric Nicol did not keep any filing systems except keeping his correspondence in alphabetical order. Materials were sorted into categories he suggested at the time of transfer and arranged alphabetically by title in the Special Collections and University Archives Division.

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Further accruals expected.

General note

Files 50-1 to 50-4 are stored in flat storage.
Audiovisual materials stored in Box 51.

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Photograph Identifier: BC-1947

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