Fonds RC0119 - Anna Porter fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Anna Porter fonds

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Dates of creation area


  • 1972-2012 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

3.59 m of textual records and graphic material.

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Anna Porter (née Szigethy), publisher and author, was born in Budapest during World War II. In 1956, at the age of 12, she and her mother immigrated to New Zealand to escape the Soviet presence in Hungary. She has B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Canterbury. In the late 1960s, she worked as a proofreader with Cassell’s in England and in sales and as an editor with Collier Macmillan. In 1969 she was hired as an editorial coordinator with McClelland & Stewart and then became Vice-President, Editor-in-Chief, until 1978. From 1978 until 1992, she was the President of McClelland-Bantam Inc. (Seal Books). From 1986 until 1991, she was the Executive Chairman of Doubleday Canada Ltd. In 1979, with Michael de Pencier, she established Key Porter Books. She was the CEO and publisher of Key Porter Books from 1981 until July 2004 when she sold a majority interest in Key Porter Books to H.B. Fenn Limited.

Porter is the author of three novels: Hidden Agenda (1985), Mortal Sins (1987), and The Bookfair Murders (1997). She has also written three works of non-fiction: The Storyteller: Memory, Secrets, Magic and Lies (2006), Kasztner’s Train: The True Story of Rezso Kasztner, Unknown Hero of the Holocaust (2007; awarded the Canadian Jewish Book Award for History and the Nereus Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize), and The Ghosts of Europe: Journeys Through Central Europe's Troubled Past and Uncertain Future (2010; awarded the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize). She has also written numerous pieces for magazines and newspapers. Porter serves on the boards of many companies and organizations. In recognition of her varied achievements, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991. In 2003, she was awarded the Order of Ontario. She has been awarded honorary degrees from Ryerson University, St. Mary’s University, and the Law Society of Upper Canada. She is married to Julian Porter, Q.C. and has two daughters, Catherine and Julia, and three grandchildren. She currently lives in Toronto.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists material related to Porter's business, as well as her writing.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The first accrual (81-2010) was acquired from Anna Porter in November 2010 and February 2011. The second and third accruals (2013-010) were accquired from Anna Porter in March 2013.


The first accrual consists of four series: correspondence; Jack McClelland; news clippings and articles about Porter; and books written by Porter. Additional boxes (18-23) of the second accrual (2013-10) were added in 2015.

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There are no access restrictions.

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Finding aids

First accrual: Online Finding Aid
Second accrual: Online Finding Aid
Third accrual: Online Finding Aid

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Further accruals are not expected.

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