Fonds MS 29 - Neilson family fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Neilson family fonds

General material designation

  • Multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on creator of fonds

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1935 - 1982 (Creation)
    Neilson (family)

Physical description area

Physical description

7 cm of textual records
ca. 250 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(ca. 1906 - ca. 1981)

Biographical history

Einar Neilson was a taxi driver whose life’s work was the creation and operation of “Lieben,” the Bowen Island writers’ and artists’ retreat. Between 1946 and ca. 1960, Lieben was an inspiration and sanctuary to creative and intellectually curious people. When the main Lieben habitués began to cease their visits, Einar became more and more reclusive, and when Lieben was vandalized in the late 1970s, Muriel and Einar tore it down and built a new house. Einar died in October, 1978.

Muriel Neilson grew up in Manitoba. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Manitoba, and later a Bachelor of Sciences. Because of the Depression, she abandoned her dream of attending medical school and instead obtained a Bachelor of Education. In 1947, Muriel married Einar Neilson and moved to Bowen Island, where she worked as a teacher and joined Einar in running Lieben. She also worked periodically on a CBC radio musical show for children. Muriel was named Bowen Island's Citizen of the Year in 1980. She died on October 26, 1981.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of the personal records of Muriel and Einar Neilson, including legal and financial records, correspondence, scripts from Muriel’s radio shows, biographical writings by Muriel, and photographs, predominantly of Lieben and its visitors.

Notes area

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    Script of material

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      Item-level descriptions of photographs are available.

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      Created 14 August, 2012

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        Script of description


          Accession area