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Canadian Literary Archives


The University of Calgary begin collecting the archives of Canadian authors in the early 1970’s under the direction of Kenneth Glazier, then Chief Librarian. Glazier observed that before then “no university library had felt a special mission to collect the papers of contemporary Canadian authors” and set about to correct that.

Beginning with the acquisition of the papers of Hugh MacLennan in 1973, the Canadian Literary Archives quickly became the centrepiece in the University’s newly formed Rare Books and Special Collections department. Other major Canadian authors soon followed, including Mordecai Richler, Brian Moore, W.O. Mitchell and Alice Munro. Today, the Canadian Literary Archives at the University of Calgary includes nearly one hundred and fifty fonds, representing writers from across Canada and at all stages in their careers.


Highlights and Area Strengths

The Canadian Literary Archives contains manuscripts, correspondence, research notes and photographs related to some of the most iconic works in Canadian literature. Users of the archive are able to witness these works in their formation through inspection of variant drafts, letters back and forth between editors and authors, annotations, and written reflections. The archives continues to cement the reputation of the University of Calgary as a hub for the study of Canadian literature in all its forms.


Poets of note include: Robert Kroetsch, Alden Nowlan, Earle Birney, Murdoch Burnett, Rudy Wiebe, Stan Dragland, Zoë Landale, Erin Mouré, Ken Rivard

Novelists and Short Story Writers

Novelists and short story writers of note include: W.O. Mitchell, Alice Munro, Mordecai Richler, Aritha van Herk, Bharati Mukherjee, Brian Moore, Clarke Blaise, Fred Stenson, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Winnifred Eaton Reeve (fully digitized here), Greg Hollingshead, Hugh MacLennan, John Metcalf, Katherine Govier, Leon Rooke, Wayson Choy, Suzette Mayr, Hugh Hood


Dramatists of note include: George Ryga, Max Braithwaite, Patricia Joudry, André Langevin , Don Truckey, Michael Cooke



The Canadian Literary Archives is located in the Glenbow Western Research Centre (GWRC) on the second floor of the Taylor Family Digital Library. The archives are available for study at the GWRC by appointment only. We strongly recommend contacting the staff to discuss your research and schedule prior to making travel plans.