Fonds F0400 - Ruskin Literary and Debating Society fonds

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Ruskin Literary and Debating Society fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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1.3 m of textual records
ca. 150 photographs : col and b&w ; 45 x 40 cm or smaller

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Administrative history

The Ruskin Literary and Debating Society was established in Toronto in 1900 as a voluntary organization devoted to literature and discussion of topics of the day. The second meeting of the Society witnessed debates on government ownership of railways, canals and gas companies. James Simpson, the Toronto labour politician was a member of the Society in its first decade. While it continued to meet annually throughout the century, by the 1960s the membership began to decline, and reforms to the constitution were introduced, the result of which led to a revitalization of the society in the 1970s. In the 1980s' topics of debate at society meetings included, an elected senate for Canada, the banning of nuclear arms, the reinstatement of capital punishment, immigration laws, and the Meech Lake constitutional proposal. The officers of the Society include an honourary president, a secretary, a historian, and a critic whose role is to offer criticism of the members' debating styles, arguments and presentation. The society holds an annual banquet, and bequeaths prizes to members in the areas of best essay, and best debating skills. Each meeting of the society is presented with a programme of discussion topics.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of minutes of the Ruskin Literary and Debating Society (1909-1993) [incomplete], reports of the critic (1920-1983), constitutions and by-laws, correspondence, invitations, lists of officers and members (1964-1991) [incomplete], financial records (1964-1979), histories of the Society, lists of prize winners, programmes of events (1904-1988) [incomplete], banquet programmes, and memorabilia, including photographs of meetings and members, the Society stamp and related objects.

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Some access restrictions apply. Consult the University Archives for details.

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No duplication allowed.

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File lists available.

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The fonds comprises the following accessions: 1993-007, 1997-043. Further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2002/04/08 Jizi Chen:. Word Perfect (Creation)
2002/04/08 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist
2003/05/06 Shannon MacDonald. Added URL for online finding aid. Updated wording in accruals.
2014-07-22: last updated
2018-03-28 KCP: added GMD, finding aid note, and published

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