Fonds F0359 - Mavor Moore fonds

Accession 2008-030

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Mavor Moore fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Moving images
  • Sound recording
  • Graphic material

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Physical description area

Physical description

34.86 m of textual records
10 film reels
16 video cassettes
20 audio reels
ca. 900 photographs : b&w and neg. ; 27 x 34 cm or smaller
38 audio discs (ca. 35 hrs) : vinyl, 33 1/3 rpm ; 40.5 cm
12 drawings : pencil, some charcoal ; 37 x 29 cm or smaller
112 posters
42 audio cassettes

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Name of creator


Biographical history

James Mavor Moore (1919-2006), actor, writer, critic, educator and public servant, was born in Toronto on 8 March 1919 and educated at the University of Toronto where he received his BA in 1941. He served in Intelligence during the Second World War following which he was employed by CBC radio as producer for its International Service in Montreal. He moved to CBC Television in 1950 serving as its first chief producer. He produced, directed or appeared in over fifty stage plays in Canada as well as in radio and television dramas and was the winner of three Peabody Awards for radio documentaries that he directed for the United Nations. Moore created over one hundred works for stage, radio and television including the musicals 'Sunshine Town' (1954), 'The Ottawa Man' (1958), 'Louis Riel' (an opera with Harry Somers as composer, 1967), and 'Fauntleroy' (1980). He worked with his mother, Dora Mavor Moore in founding the New Play Society and served as producer-director of 'Spring Thaw,' its annual comedy revue from 1948 to 1965. He was drama critic for the Toronto Telegram from 1958 to 1960 and was arts critic for Maclean's magazine from 1968 to 1969. Moore is the author of numerous published works including the autobiography 'Reinventing Myself' and 13 dramatic and musical works. In 1970 he was appointed a professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts, York University and served as chair of the Theatre Department from 1975 to 1976. Moore served on the Canada Council (1974-1983), including a term as its chair (1979-1983). He also served as the founding chair of the British Columbia Arts Council (1996-1998). He sat on the first Board of Governors of the Stratford Festival, was the founding chair of the Canadian Theatre Centre, the Guild of Canadian Playwrights, and was a founding director of the Charlottetown Festival. Moore was recognized for his work with seven honorary degrees, awarded the Centennial Medal in 1967, and made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1973 and a companion of the Order of Canada in 1988. In 1999, he received a Governor-General's Award for Lifetime Achievement and was elected to the Order of British Columbia. Mavor Moore passed away in Victoria, B.C. on December 18th, 2006.

Custodial history

Accession 1986-005 was transferred to York University Archives from the Thomas A. Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, in 1986.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of material that documents Moore's activities as actor, writer, critic, educator and public servant. It documents his careers with the Canada Council, the British Columbia Arts Council, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the New Play Society, 'Spring Thaw' and the Charlottetown Festival, and includes correspondence, manuscripts, scores, minutes of meetings, speeches, reports, clippings, photographs and other audio-visual materials.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Accession 1976-001 was purchased from Mavor Moore in 1976. All subsequent accruals were donated by Mavor Moore between 1983 and 2006, except for accession 1986-005 which was transferred to York University Archives from the Thomas A. Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, in 1986.


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Restrictions on access

Some material is located off-site and requests for access must be made in advance of your visit to the archives.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Written permission from the literary executor (DRAMAC) is required prior to reproduction of any kind, and requests must be directed to the University Archivist, York University.

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

See records of the Darwina Moore fonds (F0632). Records of Dora Mavor Moore are located at the Thomas A. Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.


The fonds comprises the following accessions: 1976-001, 1983-002, 1984-003, 1985-004, 1986-005, 1994-037, 1995-036, 1999-065, 2001-049, 2004-035, 2005-040, 2006-037, 2007-005, 2008-030, 2012-058, 2014-008. Further accruals may be expected.

General note

Audio reels from Accession 2 (1983-002) were transferred to the Sound and Moving Image Library, Scott Library, York University, in 1989.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2003/04/30 Shannon MacDonald. Added URL for online finding aid. Updated wording in accruals. Removed note re: source of supplied title.
2003/12/17 Ken Hernden. Updated accruals: listed accessions 1999-065, 2001-049.
2004/11/12 Dubeau. Updated accruals note for accession 2004-035. Corrected source of acquisitions; updated custodial history note and finding aids note. Updated Related Records note and removed restrictions on Canada Council records. Added series information to scope and content note, although series descriptions are not yet available.
2006/01/03 Sean Smith. Updated extents and dates of creation to include 2005-040.
2006/07/27 Sean Smith. Added references to series level descriptions. Corrected extents.
2006/10/23 Sean Smith. Updated fonds level description to include 2006-037.
2007/01/05 Dubeau. Updated bio sketch and access point to include date of death. Updated access restrictions. Added additional access points for related records.
2007/01/11 Dubeau. Added subject access point for New Play Society.
2007/02/06 Dubeau. Revised restrictions on access and use.
2021/08/19 KCP. Migrated from EES. Series information for 2008-030 not yet available. Added offsite storage notes. Updated access restrictions (death of Darwina Faessler Moore).

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