Accession consists of documents created or accumulated by Barry Callaghan that reflect most aspects of his personal life, professional life, and literary career. Included are files concerning his graduate studies at the University of Toronto; correspondence with fellow writers; drafts, research materials and interview transcripts pertaining to his work as a journalist for the Toronto Telegram and other publications; manuscripts for books published by Exile Edition; manuscripts in various degrees of completion for Callaghan's literary works; files pertaining to Morley Callaghan; audio recordings; and subject files including literary memorabilia and honorary degrees.
The fonds includes extensive correspondence dealing with his personal and family relationships, as well as his active involvement with an international community of poets, writers, and artists. Teaching files include course outlines, essay topics, reading lists and bibliographies on North American and Russian literature, examination questions, and notes regarding his teaching methods at York University from 1970 to 2003. Journalism files deal with his travels with Pierre Elliott Trudeau in 1968, the crisis involving the Front de liberation du Quebec and implementation of the War Measures Act in 1970, culture, politics and economics in Quebec, and Callaghan's works of political and social commentary for CTV and CBC. The records of Exile Editions make up a significant portion of the fonds, and include manuscripts for books, page proofs, and correspondence. These files show the creative process in considerable detail, and in particular Callaghan's work as an editor and translator. Administrative records for the publisher consist of catalogues, promotional material, writers' guidelines, grant applications, financial documents, and reviews of publications. Callaghan's endeavours as a travel journalist are documented through research notes, manuscripts for articles, correspondence, and promotional literature from various attractions at the locations he visited, including museums, theatres, and tracks for horse racing, 1978 to 1995. Manuscripts and annotated page proofs for Callaghan's Hogg poems, short stories, novels, memoir, and non-fiction trace the development of these works, and in particular his skill and attention to detail as a wordsmith. Callaghan's involvement with radio and television is represented by a variety of sound and moving image recordings, including audiotapes of his interviews with Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, videotapes of his television shows for CTV's "W5" and CBC's "Weekend," and original film pertaining to the war in Palestine in 1970, his interview with Angela Davis in 1972, youth culture in California in 1974, John Updike, and "The blues." The fonds also includes considerable material created by or involving Morley Callaghan, including literary agreements, royalty statements, stories by and about Morley Callaghan, manuscripts for several books published by Exile Editions ("Joy in heaven," "The lost and found stories," "The man with the coat," and "A passion in Rome") that provide an understanding of the close working relationship between Morley and Barry Callaghan, letters of sympathy and funeral notices following Morley's death in 1990, and scripts for the CBC movie, "Hemingway vs. Callaghan," 2002-2003.