Fonds F0098 - Mary F. Williamson fonds

Reference code



Mary F. Williamson fonds


  • 1965-2004 predominant (Creation)
  • 1851-2004 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2.1 metres of textual records
204 photographs

Name of creator


Biographical history

Mary F. Williamson (1933- ), Senior Librarian and Fine Arts Bibliographer, York University; M.A. and M.L.S. (University of Toronto). Williamson's research has focused on the early literature of Canadian art, on printmaking and book illustration in Canada in the nineteenth century, on art librarianship, and on the history of food and cookery. She has taught art librarianship at various graduate library schools in North America, and has published numerous articles on Canadian wood engraving, book and periodical illustration, art librarianship and culinary history. Italian baroque drawings have been a special interest for many years and examples from her collection have been lent to exhibitions in Canada and abroad.
She has contributed articles to various encyclopedias including: The Grove Dictionary of Art (2000) and The History of the Book in Canada vols. 1 and 2 (2004-2005). Her major publications include: The Art and Pictorial Press in Canada with Karen McKenzie (1979); Art and Architecture in Canada : A Bibliography and Guide to the Literature with Loren Lerner (1991); and Toronto Dancing Then and Now (1995). Williamson has also been active with professional librarian associations, and as a private citizen in local residents' associations.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Mary F. Williamson in 1979, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2000 and 2004. Accrual 1979-007 resulted from Williamson's visit to Boston, Massachusetts in 1978, when she met Louisa Murray King, owner of the originals of these letters received by King's ancestor, Louisa Annie Murray.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of material which documents Williamson's career as a fine arts bibliographer, librarian and instructor along with associated professional and scholarly activities. It includes correspondence and reports prepared for collection acquisitions (e.g. Germain Bazin library, archives and postcard collection), other library initiatives, interactions with various library departments, and departments in the Faculty of Fine Arts including visual arts, dance, and theatre; material related to her work on YUFA, PLAYU (Professional Librarians Association of York University), the Librarians' Group, and other York University and library committees; exhibition catalogues, monographs, articles and conference presentations authored by Williamson; and research materials, grant files and teaching files.
The fonds also includes a collection of letters and photographs that Williamson sent home during her stay at various summer camps between 1940 and 1951, material related to the Moore Park Ratepayers' Association, and a collection that Williamson acquired consisting of 63 photocopied letters from literary and artistic figures in Canada such as Susanna Moodie and George Munro Grant, addressed to Louisa Murray (1818-1894), literary critic and writer on feminist issues.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


The fonds comprises the following accessions: 1979-007, 1991-021, 1992-024, 1998-013, 2000-030, 2004-027, 2012-039 and 2013-052. Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

Files in accession 1992-024 containing personal salary information on third-parties are restricted.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Other records may be found in the Mary F. Williamson fonds at Trent University, Ontario, and in the Alister Mathews fonds at Queen's University, Ontario. Photocopies of material relating to Louisa Annie Murray are also held at the National Gallery of Canada.

Related records may be found in the York University Libraries fonds (F066); the Faculty of Fine Arts fonds (F059); and the Sussex Area Residents' Association collection (F0421).

Related descriptions


The location of the original letters that were reproduced for the 1979-007 accrual is unknown. Mrs. King, the owner, died February 15, 1998.

Alternative identifier(s)

Subject access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description identifier


Institution identifier


Rules and/or conventions used




Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion

2003/01/17 Sean Smith:. (Creation)
2003/01/17 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist
2004/09/29 Updated fonds level description to indclude 2004-027.
2005/06/16 Dubeau. Biographical sketch, scope and content, restrictions on access, associated records note, and location of originals note updated. Immediate source of acquisition note updated. URL for online finding aid added. Related records note added.
2005/06/17 Dubeau. Minor corrections, typographical errors.
2005/06/20 Dubeau. Relink accession 1998-013.
2008/02/07 Dubeau. Correction to donor name.
2008/02/07 julia holland. additions to biographical sketch provided by the donor. file list revisions for spelling errors and/or content clarifications.
2011/05/27 Anna St.Onge. updated RAD 1.8B20 note to include the fact that Williamson donated photocopies of the Louisa Annie Murray correspondence (including a photocopy of York's finding aid) at the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
2012/09/08 Anna St.Onge. Updated extent and links to accession 2012-039 (photographs of Scott Library from 1970 found in office in 305).
2013/01/17 Dubeau. Corrected typos in bio sketch.
2015.01.01 Anna St.Onge. Updated subject headings, authority records. Delted stub accession records.Published full archival fonds.


  • English


  • Latin


Accession area