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Archival description
Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd. fonds McLuhan, Marshall
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Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd. fonds

  • F0280
  • Fonds
  • [193-]-2012

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.

Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd.

Marshall McLuhan files

This series consists of correspondence, contracts, notes, drafts, clippings, offprints, photographs, and ephemera created and accumulated by CSWS Ltd. as agents of Marshall McLuhan and his estate. CSWS Ltd. began representing Marshall McLuhan around 1970.

The records in this series document the close working relationship and friendship between Matie Molinaro and the McLuhan family (especially her friendship with his spouse Corinne McLuhan) in managing Marshall McLuhan’s legacy, “brand”, and the rights to his work subsequent to his death in December 1980.

Files from accession 1990-018 include: correspondence of Marshall McLuhan, which was utilized in a published correspondence volume, edited by his wife Corinne and Matie Molinaro, “Letters of Marshall McLuhan” (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1987); galleys of McLuhan works ('Laws of the media,'); correspondence and reports of the Centre for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto; lecture invitations; various television and film proposals, scripts, and related correspondence, as well as material about McLuhan (books, articles, newspaper clippings, etc), and the 'Management game,' which includes a sample deck of cards used in the game as well as orders for the game.

Files from accessions 2010-040 and 2012-066 include: public appearance requests; requests for permission to cite and republish the work of McLuhan; research material and drafts for the book, “Letters of Marshall McLuhan” (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1987); correspondence and reports related to the preparation, negotiations and acquisition of the McLuhan Papers by the Public Archives of Canada in 1984; correspondence with communication scholars and co-authors of works with Marshall McLuhan, including Bruce R. Powers, Barrington Nevitt, and W. Terrence Gordon; reprint agreement in 2001 and related correspondence with Mo Cohen of Gingko Press of Berkeley, California which led to renewed interest in Marshall McLuhan’s work; correspondence related to the planning of the Toronto International McLuhan Festival of the Future in 2004.

Also included are files about several members of the McLuhan family, including Elsie McLuhan (mother), Corinne McLuhan, and children Eric, Michael, Teri, and Mary.