Fonds F0293 - Ramsay Cook fonds

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Ramsay Cook fonds

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Physical description

10.5 m of textual records
12 reels of microfilm
10 photographs

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Name of creator


Biographical history

George Ramsay Cook (1931-2016), educator and author, was born in Alameda, Saskatchewan to a United Church minister and his wife. He earned his BA at the University of Manitoba (1954), his MA at Queen's University (1956), and his PhD at the University of Toronto (1960) with a dissertation on John W. Dafoe. Cook joined the History Department at York University in 1969 following ten years as a member of the History Department of the University of Toronto. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and received the Governor General's Award for non-fiction in 1985. Among numerous other awards and recognition, in 2005 Cook was the recipient of the Molson Prize in the Social Sciences & Humanities. Cook authored several studies in the field of Canadian history including "The politics of John W. Dafoe and the Free press" (1963), "Canada and the French Canadian question" (1966), "The Maple leaf forever" (1971), "Canada 1896-1921: a nation transformed", with R.C. Brown, (1975), "The regenerators: social criticism in late Victorian Canada" (1985), "Canada, Quebec and the uses of nationalism" (1986), and several other books, articles and studies. Cook also played a part in Canadian politics, promoting a strong federal government. Cook and other academics publicly supported Pierre Elliott Trudeau's bid for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada in 1968. His last book was "The Teeth of Time" (2006), a memoir focussed on his friendship with Pierre Elliott Trudeau. From 1989 until 2006 he served as executive editor of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography/Dictionnaire biographique du Canada.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds documents the breadth of Cook's career as a student, academic and historian, and thinker. Records include curriculum vitae; personal and professional correspondence with his peers, colleagues and students (including noted fellow historians such as Michael Bliss, Donald Creighton, James Eayers, W.L. Morton, and Frank Underhill); lecture notes (both as student and professor); research files, clipping files, conference papers; book reviews; manuscripts and typescripts of his various monographs; printed material; copies of articles and essays by others arranged alphabetically by author; subject files; financial records, photographic material; index cards for his thesis; biographical material about, correspondence with, and speeches by Trudeau, as well as copies of Liberal Party material and material by Cook; appraisals and reviews of books, people and student work, as well as an appraisal of a Department of History in a Canadian university; and diaries, as well as other material.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

Location of originals

Material in some manuscript files consists of notes and photocopied reproductions of material from the Dafoe Papers, taken from microfilm in the National Archives of Canada (then Public Archives of Canada), from originals in the University of Manitoba Library; material from the Laurier Papers, the Geoge Munro Grant Papers, the J.S. Willison Papers and the Flavelle Papers, all from originals in the National Archives of Canada (then Public Archives of Canada).

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Some restrictions on access apply. In particular, records containing personal student information are restricted unless permission is obtained. Requests to view closed files must be directed to the Archivist, York University.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Legacy file list available at: and attached as pdf.

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The fonds comprises the following accessions: 1988-009, 1993-036, 1994-005, 1996-013, 2001-045, 2003-021, 2005-035, 2010-011, 2012-028. Further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2016-07-17. Anna St.Onge. Creation. [Still need to port over accession lists, version notes for earlier iterations of fonds and look at accession files to determine what, if any, series exist.]
2017-04-20. S. Dubeau. Fonds level description updated this date. TO DO: upload file lists, and PDF for legacy file list for accession 1988-009 which is in non-standard format.

Language of description

  • English


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