Fonds F0653 - Peter Morris fonds

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Peter Morris fonds

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  • Textual record

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2.4 m of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Peter Morris, film studies pioneer, was born in Blackpool, UK in 1937. After completing a Bachelor of Science from the University of Nottingham in 1958 and a Masters of Science with a focus in chemistry from the University of British Columbia in 1961, his interest shifted to Canadian film.

Morris moved to Ottawa to become the founding curator of the Canadian Film Archives after a warehouse containing Canada's historic films burned down in 1967. He also taught at several universities including McMaster, Carleton, and the University of Ottawa. From 1976 to 1988, Morris accepted a position at Queen's University in the film department. During this time, he authored "The Film Companion" in 1984 and was praised by the francophone community for including French films in his book. Morris then accepted a position at York University in 1988 where he served as director of the Graduate Program in Film from 1991 to 1994, chair of the Department of Film from 1993 to 1996, and coordinator of the interdisciplinary Fine Arts Cultural Studies Program from 1999 to 2003 in the Faculty of Fine Arts. In 2002, Morris retired from the university at the rank of Professor Emeritus. Morris also served on the committee of the International Federation of Film archives from 1966 to 1969 and 1972 to 1973, was the founding president of the Film Studies Association of Canada, and the founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Film Studies from 1989 to 1993.

Morris authored many books including an English translation of Georges Sadoul's "Dictionary of Films and Dictionary of Film Makers" (1972), "Embattled Shadows: A History of Canadian Cinema 1885-1939" the first detailed history of Canadian cinema (1978), "The Film Companion" (1984) for which he was praised by the francophone community for the inclusion of French Canadian films, and "David Cronenberg: A Delicate Balance" (1994). He was working on a manuscript covering Canadian film and television from 1939 to 1968, when he died on 2 February 2011 in Hamilton, Ontario.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of Morris's teaching notes; research notes on Canadian filmmakers and Canadian film topics reviews of Morris's books, notes and research files for his book David Cronenberg : A delicate balance; Canadian Encyclopedia of Film files; Film Studies Association of Canada files; original notes, documents and correspondence pertaining to Canadian film in the 1960s; CBC minutes from the 1930s; research material on John Grierson; files on individual Canadian films; notes on his archival research; nots of public film archives in Canada; misc files on Canadian film topics; annotated research files on the Canadian film industry, Canadian film personalities, bureaucrats, independent films, documentaries, censorship, exhibitions, the National Film Board; Canadian film research reports (1939-1953); masters papers by students doing research on Canadian cinema; research file on Nell and Ernest Shipman; John Grierson research files; research files on Canadian television and on the CBC.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Morris's wife Louise Dompierre in 2014.


Language of material

  • English
  • French

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No restrictions on access.

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The fonds consists of the following accruals: 2014-006. No further accruals are expected.

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2019/04/16 KCP. Created.
2020/03/28 KCP. Added access point(s).

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