Fonds F0130 - Libby Scheier fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Libby Scheier fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Object

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Physical description

4.44 m of textual records
43 photographs : b&w and col. ; 25.2 x 20.2 cm or smaller
5 photographs : b&w negatives ; 35 mm
11 posters
9 paintings
2 drawings ; 30.5 x 21 cm
1 pair of baby shoes
1 pipe
ca. 76 pins

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Libby Scheier (1946-2000) was a writer, social activist, critic and educator. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she received a BA in philosophy and French from Sarah Lawrence College in 1968 and an MA in English literature from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1971. During her years as a university student, Scheier was politically active with socialist groups including the Spartacist League. She moved to Toronto in 1975 after living in France, California and Israel and became affiliated with the Trotskyist League of Canada. Scheier’s other social activism included involvement with the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League, the Cross-Cultural Communication Centre, the Writers’ Union of Canada, the feminist caucus of the League of Canadian poets, and Women and Words.

Scheier is the author of four books of poetry, “The Larger Life” (1983), “Second Nature” (1986), “Sky: A Poem in Four Pieces” (1990) and “Kaddish for my Father: New and Selected Poems” (1999), and a book of short fiction, “Saints and Runners” (1993). She contributed book reviews and articles to publications including the “Globe and Mail”, “The Toronto Star”, “This Magazine”, “Books in Canada” and “Quarry Magazine”. Her writing also appeared in anthologies “Women on War” (1988), “Poetry by Canadian Women” (1989) and “Language in her Eye” (1993).

In addition to her work as a writer, Scheier worked as an editor and copy editor for science and literary journals in the 1970s and 1980s, including “Paragraph” and “Poetry Toronto”. She taught creative writing, Canadian literature and women's studies courses at York University from 1988 to 1994 and was the founder/director of the Toronto Writing Workshop in 1994.

Libby Scheier died in Toronto on Nov. 14, 2000.

Custodial history

Records comprising accession 2017-032 were in the care of Scheier's son, Jacob Scheier, after her death in 2000 and were donated to the archives in 2017.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records documenting Libby Scheier's personal life, her work as a writer and as a teacher, her involvement with political organizations and with the Writers' Union of Canada. These records include correspondence, draft poems and other writing, draft manuscripts and proofs for her published works, teaching files, publications, newspaper clippings, personal ephemera and memorabilia, childhood diaries and high school notebooks, college papers and lecture notes from Sarah Lawrence College, copies of published articles and other writing by Scheier, pins, and graphic materials including posters, photographs and paintings.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Libby Scheier in 1996 and by Jacob Scheier in 2017.


Language of material

  • English

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Access to the fonds is generally open, with some exceptions. See series-level descriptions for details on access restrictions for specific files.

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The fonds comprises the following accessions: 1996-022, 2017-032. No further accruals are expected.

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2002/04/08 Jizi Chen:. Word Perfect (Creation)
2002/04/08 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist
2002/10/10 Shannon MacDonald. Update wording in Biographical sketch, Scope and content, Access restrictions and accruals.
2002/10/22 Shannon MacDonald. Update wording in biographical sketch.
2003/04/02 Shannon MacDonald. Add URL for online finding aid.
2003/09/23 Ken Hernden. Updated biographical sketch, immediate source of acquisition, restructions on access, and the accruals note. Updated provenance access point.
2017/12/19 J. Grant. Updated descriptions to reflect addition of 2017-032 accrual.

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