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Vol 37  No 17
July 21, 2005



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Rising Tide records available to researchers

By Wade Kearley

Louis Swersky operated a clothing store in St. Johns until the mid-’80s. A special donation of $5,000 in his memory will assist Memorial’s Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives in the arrangement and description of Rising Tide Theatre’s records.


The Rising Tide Theatre Company played a significant role in Newfoundland’s cultural renaissance in the later decades of the 20th century. During that time Rising Tide generated a significant body of records dealing with its activities and accomplishments. However these records have not been formally arranged or described and so, for the most part, remain inaccessible to researchers. That will begin to change this year thanks to a generous donation in support of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives (CNS Archives).

A special donation of $5,000 to Memorial University of Newfoundland by Larry Nathanson ­ formerly of St. John’s where, with his late brother Bernard, he ran Macey’s Book Store in Churchill Park ­ has been designated to assist the CNS Archives in the arrangement and description of Rising Tide Theatre’s records. This gift was made in memory of Water Street merchant Louis Swersky, whose daughter Lorraine married Mr. Nathanson. Mr. Swersky operated a clothing store until the mid 1970s and, according to the donor, “often mentioned his love for the people of Newfoundland and for the country.”

Bert Riggs, archivist for the CNS Archives, is very pleased with the gift. “Mr. Nathanson’s donation is the major contribution we needed to begin the substantial work that will make available to researchers these records which document Rising Tide’s significant contribution and place of prominence in Newfoundland culture.”

Mr. Riggs said they’ll use the money to hire a student this summer and fall to begin the archival arrangement and description of the theatre company’s records. They have already been in discussion with Donna Butt. From 1978 to 1984 Dr. Butt (LLD’03), served as co-artistic director of Rising Tide Theatre and since 1984 she has been the sole executive and artistic director of the company. The records are estimated to cover a period of about 35 years ranging from the present back to the founding of Rising Tide and its predecessor, the Mummers Troupe. The end result of this work will be that a large portion of the Rising Tide history and development will finally be available to the research community.

This donation will be permanently recognized in the paper and electronic versions of the finding aid for Rising Tide Theatre records.

The CNS Archives has a specific mandate to collect the records of all theatres companies that operate in the province and to ensure that those records are preserved and made available to researchers.


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