Fonds RC0022 - Farley Mowat fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Farley Mowat fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • c.1800-2014 (Creation)
    Mowat, Farley

Physical description area

Physical description

51.87 m of textual records and other material.

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Farley Mowat was born on May 12, 1921 in Belleville, Ont. and educated at the University of Toronto. In 1952 he published People of the Deer, a book about the Ihalmiut people of the Barrenlands, the first of his many books with a northern theme. Other popular Mowat themes are stories that involve the sea, Newfoundland and the protection of the environment and all living creatures. He was a man of strong opinions who described himself as a "rampant nationalist" and a "story-teller who is more concerned with reaching his audience than with garnering kudos from the arbiters of literary greatness." Among the many honours and awards that he received was an honorary doctorate from McMaster University in 1994. Farley Mowat died on May 6, 2014.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of manuscripts, research materials, correspondence, financial documents, photographs, maps, audio reels, and video cassettes. There have been twenty-one accruals.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The first accrual was received in 1970; the second accrual on 13 February 1975; the third accrual in November 1976; the fourth accrual in 1984; the fifth accrual in 1988; the sixth accrual in the summer of 1990; the seventh accrual in 1992; the eighth accrual in 1993; the ninth accrual in the spring of 1997; the tenth accrual in February 2000, all from Farley Mowat. The eleventh accrual was donated by Robert Alexander (Sandy) Mowat, in October 2000 and the twelfth accrual was donated by James King in June 2001. The thirteenth accrual was received in July 2001; the fourteenth accrual was received in May 2003; the fifteenth accrual in May 2006; the sixteenth accrual in March 2009; the seventeenth accrual in 2011, all from Farley Mowat. The eighteenth accrual (2014-031) was donated by Jane Browning in August 2014.The nineteenth accrual (2014-033) was donated by Erla Hands in August 2014. The twentieth and twenty-first accruals were donated by Claire Mowat in 2013 and 2015.


The first accrual is organized into the following series: manuscripts, research material, miscellaneous files, correspondence, personal papers–journals and financial records.
The second accrual and third accruals have been combined and consist of manuscripts, research files, speeches, reviews, printed materials, correspondence.
The fourth accrual is roughly organized into the following series: manuscripts, research materials, correspondence, financial material, printed materials, photographs.
The fifth accrual is arranged into the following series: correspondence, financial, manuscripts.
The sixth accrual is arranged into the following series: correspondence, business files, manuscripts.
The seventh accrual (01-1992) is arranged into the following series: manuscripts, correspondence, financial.
The eighth accrual (02-1993) is arranged into the following series: manuscripts and correspondence.
The ninth accrual (10-1997) is arranged into the following series: correspondence, research, manuscripts, typescripts and proofs, manuscripts by others, photographs, printed materials and video cassette, financial.
The tenth accrual (08-2000) is arranged into the following series: correspondence, financial, graphic illustration, photographs and printed materials, manuscripts, typescripts and proofs, manuscripts by others, personal and journals.
The eleventh accrual (38-2000) consists of 67 letters from Mowat to his son, Robert Alexander (Sandy) Mowat, written between 1961 and 1978.
The twelfth accrual (10-2001) consists of letters between Mowat and his editor, Peter Davison and the thirteenth accrual (20-2001) consists of the following series: correspondence, personal, research material, manuscripts, and published material.
The fourteenth accrual (18-2003) consists of the following series: manuscripts, correspondence, research material, and manuscripts by others.
The fifteenth accrual (17-2006) consists of correspondence, financial material, manuscripts, causes and invitations, reviews, fan mail, audio reels, a video cassette, and artwork.
The sixteenth accrual (72-2009) consists of manuscripts and research notes, permissions for reprinting and general financial information, a master's thesis and interview with Mowat, correspondence, fan letters from schoolchildren, and pamphlets.
The seventeenth accrual (79-2011) consists of manuscripts, permissions, correspondence, and miscellaneous materials.
The eighteenth accrual (2014-031) consists of one piece of correspondence.
The twentieth accrual (2015-001) consists of manuscripts, family material, and contracts and rights.
The twenty-first accrual is arranged into 10 series, there is a note on the finding aid.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

The following boxes/folders contain materials to which access is restricted. Details of restrictions are explained below: 65-84, 115-141, 230, 250, 255, 258-261, 266, 274, 277-283, 287, 300 Folder 3, 301, 303 to 304 Folder 14, 305 Folders 10 to 26, 311 to 312 Folders 1 to 10, 324-326, 342, 386-96.

Access restrictions apply to all journals, most correspondence, and other material as listed below. Unless otherwise noted, restrictions expire upon the death of Claire Mowat:
1st accrual: Correspondence (Boxes 65-73). Journals (Boxes 74-80). Business and personal files (Boxes 80a-84).
2nd and 3rd accruals: Correspondence. (Boxes 115-141).
4th accrual: Correspondence, legal, and financial records closed until December 2009. (Restrictions have expired).
5th accrual: Correspondence, financial records closed until December 2013. (Restrictions have expired).
6th accrual: Journals. (Box 230).
7th accrual: Financial and legal records are closed until December 2017. (Box 250).
8th accrual: Correspondence is closed until December 2018. (Box 255).
9th accrual: Correspondence series, except fan mail (Boxes 258-261). Research series, except maps and printed materials (Box 266). Financial series (Boxes 277-278). Journals (Box 274).
10th accrual: Correspondence series, except fan mail (Boxes 279-283). Financial series (Box 287). Journals (Box 300 Folder 3).
11th accrual: All material in this accrual closed for 25 years from date of acquisition except with written permission from Robert Alexander Mowat. The restriction will expire at the end of 2025. (Box 301).
12th accrual: no restrictions.
13th accrual: Correspondence except fan mail (Box 303 to 304 Folder 14). Field notes (Box 305 Folders 10 to 26).
14th accrual: Correspondence except fan mail is closed (Box 311 to 312 Folders 1 to 10).
15th to 19th accruals: no restrictions.
20th accrual: no restrictions
21st accrual: Journals (Boxes 386-393). Correspondence except fan mail (Boxes 393-395)). Personal documents (Boxes 395-396).
Note: In August, 2015, Claire Mowat lifted the restrictions relating to some of Farley Mowat's early research materials (1st accrual, boxes 28-61).

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


Further accruals are expected.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier


Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres