This week’s favourite fonds is the Margaret Laurence fonds, in celebration of what would have been the writer’s eighty-fourth birthday. Born 18 July 1926 in Neepawa Manitoba, Laurence is perhaps best know for her novels, The Diviners and The Stone Angel.
The Margaret Laurence fonds consists of the manuscripts, research notes, short story drafts, children’s stories, speeches and addresses, poetry and reviews, translations and other creative material created and accumulated by Laurence throughout her career. The archives also include Laurence’s correspondence with her family, friends, other writers, artists, publishers, scholars, media organization and readers.
The records were donated to York University between 1980 and 1989, due almost entirely to Laurence’s friendship with Professor Emerita of English, Clara Thomas.
Prof. Thomas convinced Laurence to donate her literary papers at a time when Canadian writers were beginning to be recognized and studied by academic scholars. Thomas, herself a Laurence scholar, taught some of the first Canadian literature courses in Canadian universities.
The finding aid can be accessed here.
There is also a collection of material related to Margaret Laurence acquired from a variety of sources. You can access this finding aid in person at the archives.