Fonds F0280 - Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd. fonds

Singing Sunrise

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd. fonds

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Physical description area

Physical description

60.83 m of textual records
ca. 735 photographs : b&w and col.
4 posters
8 compact discs (ca. 4 hrs.)
7 audio cassettes (ca. 7 hrs.): microcassette; audio cassette
3 video cassettes (ca. 10 hrs.): VHS; U-matic
4 floppy disks

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd. was begun by Matie Molinaro in 1950. Since that time it has represented the interests of several leading Canadian authors, performers and speakers including Marshall McLuhan, Harry Boyle, Mavor Moore, Celia Franca, Lister Sinclair, Don Harron, and several others. The Service also ran a writer's retreat north of Toronto until the late 1980s. Molinaro has also acted as a ghost-writer, written publicity, and translated material in her career as president of CSWS.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created and accumulated by the Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd. over the course of over 50 years as a literary agency and management company for writers, public speakers, and actors.

The bulk of the records consist of client files which includes correspondence to and from clients; correspondence with publishers, media, sponsors of talks, radio and television producers; publicity material relating to clients including resumes, headshot photographs, schedules, travel arrangements; newspaper clippings; reader's reports; royalty statements; and contracts. There are also audio cassettes and video cassettes of interviews and recordings of the work of some CSWS clients. Notable clients include: Earle Birney, Arthur Black, Harry Boyle, Adrienne Clarkson, Sorel Etrog, Don Harron, Lynn Johnston, Paul Kligman, Mavor Moore, Lister Sinclair, Harry Somers, Ben Wicks, and Chris Wiggins.

There are also general correspondence files, business records (including office diaries for the period, 1951-1965), manuscripts (from clients and unsolicited), and print materials (publishers' catalogues, anthologies of plays, newsletters, copies of labour agreements between the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and ACTRA, and clippings). There is a series of records related to CSWS Ltd. founder, Matie Molinaro, documenting her early life in New York and her work as a war correspondent during the Second World War. Also included is a series devoted to records related to Marshall McLuhan and his estate, long-time clients of CSWS Ltd, which includes correspondence, contracts, notes, drafts, clippings, offprints, photographs, and ephemera.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Accrual 1972-002 was purchased from Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd. in 1972. All other accruals were donated by the organization during the year of accession.


The arrangement of this fonds has varied greatly between each accession and reflects the changing nature of archival practice and descriptive standards. In 2015, all accessions were re-arranged into series by the archivists based on the multiple series divisions from each accession. Original file lists are still available for these accessions.

Files from accessions 2010-040 and 2012-066 arrived in envelopes, with a file title (and sometimes content) listed on each envelope. They were arranged in somewhat alphabetical order, with three main divisions: client files, business files, and Marshall McLuhan files. It was decided by the archivist that each envelope constituted a file. Files from these accessions are described at the file level.

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Restrictions on access

Access is restricted.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Written permission to view closed files must be obtained from the estate of Matie Molinaro, and directed to the Archivist, York University. All client files are closed until ten years after the death of the client; all financial records are closed for a period of 100 years after the first entry in the file; all files dealing with Marshall McLuhan are closed.

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The fonds comprises the following accessions:
1972-002, 1984-006, 1985-008, 1986-010, 1988-011, 1989-028, 1990-018, 2010-040, 2012-066.

No further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2002/04/04 Jizi Chen:. Word Perfect (Creation)
2002/04/04 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist
2003/04/15 Shannon MacDonald. Added URL for online finding aid. Updated wording in accruals.
2005/06/24 Dubeau. Corrected spelling of donor's name!
2005/06/24 Dubeau. Added immediate source of acquisition note; corrected access point.
2014/07/22 Migrated to AtoM
2015/01/22 E. Sommers. Added links to accession records & finding aid
2015/08/06 E. Sommers. Updated fonds description.
2016/01/15 E. Sommers. Updated fonds description.
2020/03/26 KCP, N. Somerset. Added subject access points.

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