Fonds RC0070 - Stephen Reid fonds

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Stephen Reid fonds

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  • 1953-2018 (Creation)
    Reid, Stephen

Physical description area

Physical description

13 m of textual records, 440 photographs, 32 video cassettes, 5 audio cassettes. and 1 object.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Stephen Douglas Reid was born in Massey, Ontario on 12 March 1950, the second of nine children born to Douglas Reid and Sylvia Shiels. At the age of sixteen, Reid turned to criminal activities, and he was jailed in 1971 for his part in the theft of gold bars in Ottawa. Escaping from prison, Reid, along with Patrick Mitchell and Lionel Wright, formed The Stopwatch Gang, robbing over 100 banks in Canada and the United States from their home in Arizona in the late 1970s. The FBI apprehended Reid in 1980, and he served time in Marion Penitentiary in Illinois until his extradition to Canada.

In 1984, while incarcerated at Millhaven Institution in Ontario, he began to write. The manuscript of his first novel, Jackrabbit Parole, attracted the attention of Susan Musgrave, who agreed to edit the manuscript. The book was published in 1986, the same year that Reid and Musgrave were married. He was released on parole in 1987. They then lived with their daughters Charlotte Musgrave and Sophie Musgrave Reid on Vancouver Island, and Reid joined in the activities of the literary community in British Columbia. His works include short stories, poetry, plays, articles, many of which have been published by Canada's leading newspapers and magazines. Much of Reid's writing and other work has involved issues relating to prison.

In 1999, as a result of a relapse into addiction, Reid participated in one more bank robbery, for which he is now serving an 18-year sentence at William Head Institution in British Columbia. In January 2008 he was granted day parole. Late in 2010 he was back in prison for violating parole. Reid had been living at his home in Massett, BC when in June 2018, he was admitted to hospital and died five days later of pulmonary edema and a heart blockage.

Custodial history

Scope and content

There have been eight accruals. The fonds consists of manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, sound recordings, and moving images created by or related to Reid as a writer and teacher. It also contains institutional and legal papers created during and related to Reid’s crimes and periods of incarceration.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The first accrual (32-2004) was acquired in July 2004; the second accrual (71-2008) was acquired in 2008; the third accrual (26-2011) was acquired in 2011; the fourth accrual (2012-11) was acquired in 2012; the fifth accrual was acquired in 2015; and the sixth-seventh accruals (2012-011, 2018-035) were acquired in 2018; the eighth accrual combines (2021-002, 2021-022, and partial accessions from 2011 and 2012). Each accrual was donated by Susan Musgrave through Bjarne Tokerud of Vancouver. The ninth accrual was donated by Marion Boyd in 2022.


The first accrual has been arranged into the following series: manuscripts; literary business; prison and legal materials; personal materials; Patrick Mitchell; general correspondence; family correspondence; photographs and audio-visual; publications; oversized materials. The second accrual has been arranged into three series: correspondence; writings by Reid and others and printed materials; incarceration and rehabilitation. The third accrual has been arranged into five series: writings by Reid and others and printed materials; correspondence; teaching, workshops, projects films and royalties; personal; incarceration and rehabilitation. The fourth accrual has been arranged into 5 series: Journals and manuscripts; correspondence; business; personal ; and audio-visual, clippings and miscellaneous. The fifth accrual has been arranged into 4 series: writing and other materials; correspondence and graphic materials; Institutional papers and personal; and photographs. The sixth accrual has not been processed at this time. The seventh accrual has been arranged into six series: writing, professional material, correctional and parole material, personal material, audio-visual materials, and published journals. The accrual is arranged into 4 series: Correctional and legal materials and correspondence; Prison and personal correspondence; Prison writings and Personal.

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Previous access restrictions have been lifted upon the death of Stephen Reid.

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Further accruals are expected.

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7th accrual, C. Long, 2020.
8th accrual, R. Barrett, 2022.

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