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Bruce Peel Special Collections David McKnight Fonds
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Wynne Francis Collection: Magazine and Small Press Ephemera

The records in this series consist primarily of the research files maintained by Wynne Francis related to her collection of magazine and small press ephemera. The later dates with some of the file contents suggest that David McKnight likely added found material to the files. These files arrived boxed together in the alphabetical order that is maintained in the series, so even if a file seems to represent a later period than that which Wynne Francis was collecting in, the file remains with this series. Researchers interested in a specific title should also consult the file lists found in Series 1, David McKnight’s magazine and small press research files.

The files are in alphabetical order by title of the magazine or small press; there was no distinction made between the two formats in the files that arrived with this series. The file contents include some original, but mostly photocopied magazine copies and excerpts; related articles and news clippings; subscription and ordering information; brochures; catalogues; and some correspondence. The file contents are maintained in chronological order.

Title based on contents of series

Francis, Wynne

Wynne Francis Collection: Poets and Editors Research Records

Series consists of Wynne Francis’ research files referencing Canadian poets and magazine editors during predominantly the 1960’s and 1970’s. The files are maintained in alphabetical order by the name of the individual, and include material such as news clippings, published articles, manuscripts, reviews, bibliographies, posters, and brochures.

Title supplied from file contents.

Francis, Wynne

David McKnight and Wynne Francis: Correspondence Files

The records in this series document correspondence files maintained by both Wynne Francis, and David McKnight, often with writers, scholars, bibliographers, editors, and publishers regarding the history of little magazines and presses. The correspondence is incoming with some outgoing copies, and is arranged in chronological order within each folder.

The first two sub-series consist of Wynne Francis’ files and are organized as her chronological files (1961-1990), and files arranged alphabetically by subject. The third and fourth sub-series are David McKnight’s correspondence files, also organized by his chronological files (1989-2003) and correspondence files arranged alphabetically by subject. Many notable writers and scholars are consulted in these files, including well-known poets, authors and publishers. The series documents the extensive research and connectedness both Francis and McKnight had with the broader Canadian literary community.

Title based on contents of series.

Research/Reference Files: Little Magazines and Publications

This is the largest series, documenting the research and reference material related to the history of Canadian little magazines and publications. Included in the files are imprints, guides, dissertations and off-prints of individual magazine and press studies. There are catalogs from book dealers, and information about regional presses, including several files devoted to the literary arts scene in Quebec, as well as other regions of Canada. Material was listed in this series if it appeared to be largely maintained as a reference file, containing information relevant to David McKnight’s research interests.

Coach House Press Project and Archive

David McKnight writes that he began collecting books published by the Coach House Press, a Toronto, Ontario literary small press in 1972. As he further explains: “Coach House emerged as one of the leading venues dedicated to publishing Canada’s nascent literary avant-garde.” In the summer of 1996, McKnight signed a contract with National Archives and Library of Canada to curate and prepare a three-dimensional exhibit for the Coach House Press. The exhibit used papers held by the National Library (literary manuscripts), and some loaned material.

This series includes the files related to planning and setting up the exhibition (New Wave Canada Exhibition) for the National Library and Archives, as well as general archives related to the history of the Coach House Press.

Title based on contents of series.

David McKnight Fonds

  • PS 8237 M6 D38
  • Fonds
  • [197-]-2012

Fonds consist of David McKnight’s Canadian Little Magazine and Small Press archive, reflecting his interest in documenting the history of this genre of Canadian publishing, and include the pioneering work in the field done by Wynne Francis whose research files form part of the fonds. Through both of their collecting, the David McKnight fonds consists of materials which cover the history of Canadian small press publishing from 1923-2010.

The designation of the series was arrived at after considering the ordering of the material as it was received at Bruce Peel Special Collections. It was clear that there was an original ordering of the files, often according to an alphabetical or chronological scheme, and the files had titles. David McKnight separated his files broadly into those associated with his mentor and advisor, Wynne Francis, and his own research/collection files, and as much as possible, this structure is maintained. Series titles were arrived at after considering the collection in its entirety, and the apparent order implied by McKnight’s file listings and comments. The material was received in two shipments, but was intended as one donation, so some assignment of series and file titles, combining the material in the two shipments, was necessary. The records are almost all textual, although there are three microfilm reels, two cassette tapes, and two photographs.

Taking into consideration both the information provided by David McKnight in a letter to the Head of Bruce Peel Special Collections, and the contents of the records received, six series and several sub-series were established to better facilitate access to the collection.

Index (est. 1946)

Photocopied excerpts; handwritten and typewritten notes; related correspondence to David McKnight from Anna Pottier-Layton and Ralph Gustafson.

Tamarack Review (est. 1956)

Photocopied excerpts; handwritten and typewritten notes; related correspondence to David McKnight from John Robert Colombo and Robert Weaver.

Yes (est. 1956)

Photocopied excerpts; handwritten and typewritten notes; a photocopied letter to Wynne Francis from Mike Gnarowski.

Alphabet (est. 1960)

Photocopied articles; typewritten notes; issue dated Sept. 1960; excerpt from "Western Alumni" Magazine.

Tish (est. 1961)

Handwritten notes; photocopied articles; correspondence to David McKnight from Roy Miki.

Imago (est. 1964)

Photocopied excerpts and articles; photocopied correspondence to Wynne Francis from George Bowering; postcard to David McKnight from George Bowering.

Island (est. 1964)

Photocopied excerpts; photocopied letter and excerpted letter to Wynne Francis from Victor Coleman.

Open Letter (est. 1965)

Photocopied information about Frank Davey; photocopied letter to Wynne Francis from Frank Davey; subscription form letters to David McKnight.

Intercourse (est. 1966)

Photocopied excerpts; transcription of a letter to the editor, Montreal Star; handwritten notes; Intercourse name index.

Fiddlehead (est. 1945)

Handwritten notes; photocopied articles, reviews, and editorials; two letters from Kent Thompson to David McKnight.

Nowlan, Alden

Articles; news clippings; biographical note about Nowlan by Wynne Francis.

Ondaatje, Michael

Photocopied articles; news clippings and excerpts; English term paper written for a class taught by Wynne Francis.

Richler, Mordecai

Articles; news clippings; hand written notes; book reviews; interview with Richler; paper for Wynne Francis by student; opinion pieces by Richler.

Smith, A.J.M.

Articles; clippings; biography of A.J.M. Smith for the Dictionary of Literary Biography by Wynne Francis.

Souster, Raymond

News articles; reviews; clippings; personal statement released on Ryerson Press letterhead.

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