Book Society of Canada Ltd.

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Book Society of Canada Ltd.

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The Book Society of Canada Ltd. was incorporated on 29 May 1945. Its founding president was John C.W. Irwin (1900-71) who worked from 1927 to 1929 as Assistant Manager of the Educational Department of the Macmillan Company of Canada Limited. In 1930 he and his brother-in-law, W.H. Clarke, began Clarke, Irwin & Company Limited. Together they developed and managed the publishing company of Clarke Irwin along with the Canadian branch of the Oxford University Press (from 1936 onwards). Irwin left Clarke Irwin in 1944 to form The Book Society. The latter was a school textbook publishing company. In the 1960s The Book Society published approximately a dozen books per year, many of which were approved by various departments of education across Canada. The founder's son, John W. Irwin, left teaching in 1960, joined the firm, and worked in various capacities of the company. He became President of the firm in 1971. In 1973 The Book Society acquired an educational publishing firm, Bellhaven House Limited (see boxes 56, file 14, and 59, file 1 for authors' contracts and questionnaires), and in 1982, a trade firm, Peter Martin Associates Limited. When Clarke Irwin went into receivership, The Book Society acquired its assets in June 1983. Clarke Irwin was maintained by The Book Society for a short period as a separate entity and reconstituted under the name, Clarke Irwin (1983) Inc. In 1984 The Book Society was renamed as Irwin Publishing Inc. At that time two-thirds of the company's business was in the area of educational publishing and the remainder in trade. The total business sales were {dollar}3 million, 5% of which came from foreign rights revenue.


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