Fonds F0018 - John Metcalf fonds.

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John Metcalf fonds.


  • [196-?]-2011 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

16.4975 m of textual records and other material.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Nationality: Canadian. Born: Carlisle, Cumberland, England, 12 November 1938. Education: Bristol University, 1957-61, B.A. (honors) in English 1960, Cert. Ed. 1961. Family: Married 1) Gale Courey in 1965 (marriage dissolved 1972), one daughter; 2) Myrna Teitelbaum in 1975, one stepson and two adopted children. Career: Taught at a secondary school and a boys' borstal, Bristol, 1961, Rosemount High School, Montreal, 1962-63, Royal Canadian Air Force Base, Cold Lake, Alberta, 1964-65, at a Catholic comprehensive school in England, 1965, and at schools and universities in Montreal, part-time, 1966-71; writer-in-residence, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, 1972-73, Loyola College, Montreal, 1976, University of Ottawa, 1977, Concordia University, Montreal, 1980-81, and University of Bologna, Italy, 1985. Lives in Ottawa, Ontario. Awards: Canada Council award, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1985; University of Western Ontario President's medal, for short story, 1969; Ottawa-Carleton Literary award, 1987; gold medal for fiction in the National Magazines awards, 1996.

Archival history

Acquired between 1981 and 2012. First accession officially presented to the University of Calgary by J. Metcalf at a ceremony April 14, 1982.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence with authors, editors, publishers and educators and on various subjects as well as editorial correspondence relating to Biblioasis, Canadian Notes & Queries and Porcupine's Quill; notes and drafts of novels, short stories, prose, essays and memoirs, and documentation relating to anthologies edited by J. Metcalf; notebooks, scrapbooks, photographs and sound recordings including readings and discussions by the Montreal Storyteller Fiction Performance Group; works on J. Metcalf including awards; published works; and works by others.

Accession 895/12.12 highlights Metcalf's work as an editor and mentor of new literary voices. The records cover the period from 2008-2011, including the tumultuous period of 2008-2009 following the publishing of the Jane Urquhart edited Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories; Metcalf spearheaded a backlash to Urquhart's story choices, efforts that included an issue of Canadian Notes & Queries with the title "Salon des Refusés." This accession includes correspondence with authors, publishers, rare book dealers and artists, samples of author's work and editorial critiques, personal correspondence and photographs. The accession also includes works by Metcalf including drafts of his short story "Ceazar Salad," and the novella "The Museum at the End of the World."

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Conditions governing access

Some items restricted.

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    Script of material

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      Finding aids

      Searchable online database.

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      Related units of description

      For additional archival material relating to John Metcalf see the ECW Press fonds (Accession 297/82.11, 382/86.4).

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      Notes area


      Title based on contents of fonds.


      Further accruals expected.


      Includes ca. 4564 photographs, 57 sound recordings and 12 videocassettes.

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