Fonds RC0009 - Alvin Lee fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Alvin Lee fonds

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Dates of creation area


  • 1945-2022 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

5.0 m of textual records
~330 photographs
3 oversize plaques
1 video cassette

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Alvin Lee was born in Woodville, Ontario. He attended the University of Toronto where he received his Bachelors of Arts, a Master of Arts in English and a Ph.D in English in 1961. Lee began a teaching career at McMaster University as Assistant Professor of English in 1960 and progressed to Associate Professor, Assistant Dean, School of Graduate Studies, Dean of Graduate Studies, Vice-President, Academic and President and Vice-Chancellor from 1980 to 1990. Alvin Lee is the author of several books and articles on Old English literature and is a specialist in Middle English literature. He is currently Professor Emeritus, Department of English, at McMaster University. He served as General Editor of the 30-volume Collected Works of Northrop Frye, published by the University of Toronto Press between 1996 and 2012.

Dr. Lee was elected a Member of the Royal Commonwealth Society (England) in 1962. He was appointed Honorary Professor of English, University of Science and Technology, Beijing and Honorary Professor at Peking University in 1993. He was recognized by the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction in 1996 and achieved the City of Hamilton Award for Lifetime Distinction in Support of the Arts in 2015. He is also the Governor of the Lee Academy (a private elementary school in Lynden, Ontario); and served as Vice-Chair of the McMaster Museum of Art (1998-2005).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of material related to Dr. Lee’s academic and teaching career, his tenure as President of McMaster University (1980-1990), his professional and personal correspondence, speeches, and honours.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The first accrual (36-2008) was received via Jill Axisa in July 2008. The second accrual (2022-017) was donated by Dr. Alvin Lee in 2022.


The fonds is arranged into three series: speeches; and correspondence, reports; and oversize material.

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There are no access restrictions.

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Further accruals are not expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

W. Wyckoff, 2nd accrual, 2023.

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