Fonds F0537 - Nancy Barbara Fleming fonds

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Nancy Barbara Fleming fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Physical description

0.08 m of textual records
15 prints : b&w and col. ; 86 x 51 cm and smaller

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Nancy Barbara Fleming was born in 1931 to Barbara Ellen and Gordon McCullough Chisholm, and spent her childhood in West Toronto Junction. She studied commercial arts at Western Technical High School, and married Allan Robb Fleming in 1951. They lived in London, England from 1953 to 1955 and visited Europe while Allan studied graphic design and worked in advertising, and Nancy worked as an office manager for a nylon stocking manufacturer. They met Canadian poet Richard Outram and his eventual wife, artist Barbara Howard, while in London, and they remained lifelong friends. Upon their return to Canada, Allan set up a freelance business and became creative director of the typesetting firm, Cooper & Beatty. Nancy became a mother and for the next 20 years brought up her three children while being an executive wife as Allan moved through senior posts at MacLaren Advertising and the University of Toronto Press. Nancy administrated Allan's busy freelance consultancy, and handled the financial management of graphic design and corporate branding projects. When Allan and Nancy separated in 1976, Nancy found work as the Toronto office co-ordinator for John Roberts, Pierre Elliot Trudeau's Secretary of State. When Roberts was not returned in the 1979 election, she accepted the post of Executive Director for the Canadian Book and Periodical Development Council, which she held until her retirement in 1999. Her extensive work in publishing advocacy and lobbying, freedom of expression, and copyright policy, as well as her defence of Canadian content in books and magazines, were exemplary and passionate. She was instrumental in organizing the Freedom of Expression Committee and Freedom to Read Week, as well as the Canadian Children's Book Centre. She made important contributions to the infrastructure and support of publishing and bookselling in Canada. Her work with the Book and Periodical Council, the Canadian Copyright Institute and Give the Gift of Literacy helped underpin initiatives such as the national Freight Plan for book shipments and the royalty payments of the League of Poets, and contributed to the survival of independent publishers in Canada. Nancy Fleming was chief executive of the Book and Periodical Council from 1979 to 1999, and a laureate of the Canadian Library Association award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada. She died in Toronto on February 24, 2008.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of: correspondence with Richard Outram and Barbara Howard; Christmas and St. Valentine's Day cards published by The Gauntlet Press; unpublished poetry by Outram; wood engravings by Howard, as well as programs for her exhibits and articles about her work; seven silkscreen prints created by Ronald King and numbered, titled and signed by the artist; and "Alphabet 1," a papercut alphabet designed and cut by Ronald King on hand-made paper and published by Circle Press.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The fonds was acquired from the children of Nancy Fleming following her death.


Language of material

  • English

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No restrictions on access.

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Associated materials

The fonds was accompanied by 18 books devoted to the work of Richard Outram and Barbara Howard that have been added to Special Collections.

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The fonds comprises the following accessions: 2008-033. Further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2008/08/18 Moir:. EAD V1 (Creation)
2008/08/18 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist
2009/10/15 Dubeau. Added URL for online finding aid.
2014/07/22 Migrated to AtoM
2018/07/31 KCP. Post-migration metadata clean-up. Addition of GMD and accession numbers. Published description and generated finding aid.

Language of description

  • English


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