Marshall McLuhan fonds [multiple media]

  • Record Information – Brief
    Hierarchical level:
    Type of material:
    Textual material, Photographs, Art, Sound recordings, Moving images, Objects (including medals and pins)
    Found in:
    Archives / Collections and Fonds
    Item ID number:
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    Context of this record:
    • Marshall McLuhan fonds
      Marshall McLuhan fonds Fonds Marshall McLuhan [supports multiples]
  • Fonds includes:
    16 lower level description(s)
    View lower level description(s)
    Bilingual equivalent:
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    Place of creation:
    43.6 m of textual records.
    1 microfilm reel of textual records.
    398 photographs : b&w and col.
    275 prints : offset lithographs, reproductions, photochemical process prints, serigraph.
    17 drawings.
    1 watercolour.
    1 printing plate : magnesium ; 8.4 x 47.5 x 0.5 cm.
    58 audio cassettes.
    29 audio discs.
    2 audio reels.
    21 film reels.
    24 videocassettes.
    3 plaques.
    2 medals : bronze and gold.
    Language of material:
    Added language of material:
    Scope and content:
    The fonds consists of textual records, photographs, art work, audio-visual material, and objects relating to Marshall McLuhan's career as a communications theorist and author. The textual records are divided into eleven series: Correspondence, which includes nominal correspondence, fan and crank mail, invitations and recommendations correspondence; Personal and family material; Manuscripts, which is comprised of material collected by McLuhan in preparation for his books and articles; Subject files, pertaining to a variety of topics; Reference notes; Projects, which includes correspondence, notes and other material concerning various projects McLuhan worked on or was interested in; University series, including material relating to the Centre of Culture and Technology, University of Toronto and student and personnel records; Manuscripts by other authors; Letters of Marshall McLuhan, which includes a selection of letters for the published volume of letters entitled "Letters of Marshall McLuhan", 1987; Eric McLuhan material; and Books and periodicals. The personal and family material, correspondence, and manuscripts series have been microfilmed and are available on microfilm reels H-2038 to H-2201. The fonds also includes photographs of Marshall McLuhan, his professional activities, family, and other individuals, including portraits and snapshots, and depicting conferences, award ceremonies, and other public events. The art material includes posters, prints, cartoons, postcard views (primarily of Nova Scotia), drawings of various locales in Toronto by McLuhan, cover designs of his books, and a magnesium printing plate. There are also plaques and medals awarded to McLuhan. The audio-visual material, both sound recordings and moving images, includes interviews and conversations with McLuhan, lectures, publicity announcements and advertisements, and radio and television documentaries and programs.
    Additional name(s):
    Biography/Administrative history:
    McLuhan, Marshall, 1911-1980: Herbert Marshall McLuhan was born in Edmonton, Alberta on 21 July 1911, the son of Herbert Ernest McLuhan, a salesman, and Elsie Naomi (Hall) McLuhan, an actress and monologist. He attended the University of Manitoba from 1929 to 1935, obtaining a BA in English in 1934, winning the University Gold Medal as the most outstanding student in the Arts and Sciences, and receiving a Master of Arts in 1935. He was a finalist for the Manitoba Rhodes Scholarship, but did win another scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge he was tutored by Lionel Elvin, I. A. Richards, and F. R. and Q. D. Leavis, founders of the ¿New Criticism¿ that emphasised close analysis of literary texts. McLuhan credited this training as an extremely formative influence on his approach to studying media and communication. In 1943, Cambridge awarded him a PhD for his thesis entitled ¿The Place of Thomas Nashe in the Learning of his Time¿. In the meantime, McLuhan joined the English faculty at the University of Wisconsin in 1936 and moved the following year to St Louis University, Missouri, which had been founded by the Jesuits. McLuhan joined the Roman Catholic Church in 1937. He returned to Canada in 1944, joining the English faculty of Assumption College in Windsor, a university run by the Basilian Order. In 1946 he joined the English faculty of St Michael¿s College, a Catholic college within the University of Toronto, where he would remain until his death. In the early 1950s McLuhan began studying communications and media. The Ford Foundation sponsored his seminar on culture and communications from 1953 to 1955, and funded a periodical entitled Explorations that investigated the impact of advertising, which he co-edited with anthropologist Edmund Carpenter. McLuhan later directed a media project for the United States Office of Education and the National Association of Educational Broadcasters (1959-1960) titled "Understanding New Media". With his growing international stature, the University of Toronto established the Centre for Culture and Technology in 1963 with McLuhan as its director, in part to ensure that he remained at the University. The Centre conducted research on questions of sensory perception and other communications-related issues and offered academic courses. In December 1966, McLuhan was appointed to the Albert Schweitzer Chair in Humanities at Fordham University in New York City, a post he held for the 1967-1968 academic year. McLuhan¿s books published during his lifetime included "The Mechanical Bride: The Folklore of Industrial Man" (1951); "Explorations in Communications" (1960), co-edited with Edmund Carpenter; "The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man" (1962), for which he was awarded the Governor General's prize for critical prose; "Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man" (1964); "The Medium is the Massage" (1967), written with Quentin Fiore; "War and Peace in the Global Village" (1968), also written with Quentin Fiore; "Through the Vanishing Point: Space in Poetry and Painting" (1968), co-authored with Harley Parker; "Counterblast" (1969); also written with Harley Parker; ¿The Interior Landscape: Selected Literary Criticism¿ (1969); "Culture is Our Business" (1970); "From Cliché to Archetype" (1970), written with Wilfred Watson; "Take Today: The Executive as Dropout" (1972), written with Barrington Nevitt; and "The City as Classroom" co-authored with his son Eric McLuhan and Kathryn Hutchon in 1977. McLuhan¿s only book-length work of literary criticism was his 1956 edition of the poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson, entitled "Selected Poetry of Tennyson". In addition to these works, McLuhan wrote hundreds of articles, was interviewed for numerous journals and popular magazines, and delivered many lectures and informal talks on a variety of topics. He also edited an information letter, "The Dew Line." McLuhan was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1964; received the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Social Sciences in 1967; and became a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation¿s highest civilian honour, in 1970. He suffered a major stroke in September 1979 and died at home in Toronto on 31 December 1980.
    Finding aid:
    Textual records (Electronic) The Finding Aid is a descriptive file list of volumes 1 to 228. MSS1645 (90 90: Open)

    Textual records (microfilm) (Electronic) Microfilm shelf list. MSS1645 (90 90: Open)

    Artistic material (Paper) Finding aid is an item-level descriptive list for accession 1984-092 (PIC) located in binder #47 for items 1-56 and in the Art Division accession file for items 21-264. (90 90: Open)

    Artistic material (Electronic) Item-level descriptions in MIKAN. (90 90: Open)

    Photographs (Electronic) Item-level descriptions in MIKAN. (90 90: Open)

    Audio-visual material (Electronic) Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (90 90: Open)

    Audio-visual material (Paper) Refer to AV Collection file for additional information. (90 90: Open)

    Objects (Paper) See Medal inventory cards: 12700 to 12704, Art Division. (90 90: Open)

    Objects (Electronic) Iem-level descriptions in MIKAN. (90 90: Open)

    Additional information:
    General Note:
    The Marshall McLuhan papers and audio-visual material was acquired in 1984 from his widow, Corinne McLuhan. Papers relating to the book Letters of Marshall McLuhan were acquired in 1988 from Mrs. M. Molinaro. One audio reel was acquired in 1988 from Lynda Ashley.
    Exhibitions note:
    Exhibition Title: Treasures of the National Archives. National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; 1992 - (MG31 D156, Vol. 66, File 15 - Manuscript of the Mechanical Bride)
    Associated material note:
    The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto holds the personal library of Marshall McLuhan and related archival material. The John M. Kelly Library at University of St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto also holds a Marshall McLuhan collection.
    Subject heading:
    Other system control no.:
    Related control no.:
    1008 (1988-10-16)
    1984-021 MED
    1984-0224 MISA
    1984-092 PIC
    1985-0166 MISA
    1985-076 NPC
    1986-188 NPC
    1987-0422 MISA
    1987-094 PIC
    1988-017 PIC
    1988-022 NPC
    1988-0302 MISA
    1988-0333 MISA
    1988-0481 MISA
    751 (1988-02-09)
    Former archival reference no.:
  • Conditions of access:
    Terms of use:
    Photographs: No restrictions on use. Various copyrights.
    Artistic material: No restrictions on use for accession 1988-017 (PIC) and 1987-094 (PIC). Copyright expired for accession 1988-017 (PIC). Various copyrights exist for accession 1987-094 (PIC) and accession 1984-092 (PIC). Credit: Library and Archives Canada.
    Sound recordings: No restrictions on use. Reproduction only with permission of copyright owner. No donor restriction except for material in accession 1985-0166 (MISA).
    Moving images: No restrictions on use. Reproduction only with permission of copyright owner. No donor restrictions.
    Objects: No restrictions on use. Various copyrights. Credit: Library and Archives Canada.

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