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Bruce Peel Special Collections David McKnight Fonds
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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.

DC Books

Catalogues and press release announcements and mailings.

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.

Literary Press Group

Catalogues; Publisher's Guide; Select titles for Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences; other printed information.

Cormorant Books

Catalogues; promotional bookmarks; form letter to subscribers; news article.

Talon Books

Catalogues; press releases; one poster.

Descant

Promotional material; newsletter; subscription order form.

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.

Arts Funding

Photocopied information on various publishing grants and awards; Canada Council for the Arts grants and awards; lists of names of Canada Council awards recipients; handwritten notes and general information.

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.

Correspondence

Letter from the former editor of "Filling Station;" letter from Sonja to Susan [Stromberg-Stein] and David McKnight regarding Louis Dudek's reputation.

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

Irvine, Dean.

"Little Histories: Modernist and Leftist Women Poets and Magazine Editors in Canada, 1926-1956." PhD dissertation, McGill University; email correspondence.

Beach Holme Publishing

Letter to David McKnight from Michael Carroll, publisher; Fall 2003 catalogue and 30th anniversary booklet.

Sub-TERRAIN

Subscription order form and promotional material mailing; letter to magazine from David McKnight with reply; (re: subscription and issue back order); press releases.

Montreal - QSPELL

Awards ceremony ephemera; newsletters; meeting notices; membership promotional material.

West Coast Line

Promotional material mailing; letters sent to David McKnight thanking him for his support.

Women

Articles; news clippings; reviews; catalogue of Women's Studies.

Shift

News articles; subscription order form.

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