Fonds RC0927 - Gary Barwin Collection of Chapbooks, Broadsides, and Literary Periodicals

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Gary Barwin Collection of Chapbooks, Broadsides, and Literary Periodicals

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1971-2021 (Creation)
    Barwin, Gary

Physical description area

Physical description

3.5 m of textual records
2 audio cassettes
1 vinyl record

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Gary Barwin is the author of twenty-six books of poetry and fiction, as well as works for children and teens. He is also a composer, multidisciplinary artist, and owner and operator of Serif of Nottingham Editions, a Hamilton-based small press. Through Serif of Nottingham and other small presses, Barwin has also published numerous chapbooks, broadsides, and pamphlets.

Barwin was born in 1964 in Northern Ireland. His family immigrated to Canada in the 1970s. In 1985, Barwin graduated from York University with a BFA in music and a BA in creative writing. He went on to complete a PhD in music composition at SUNY Buffalo.

Barwin has taught creative writing at several colleges and universities, including King’s University College (Western University), McMaster University, and Mohawk College. He has also participated in writer in residence programs at Toronto Public Library, Western University, London Public Library, McMaster University, Hamilton Public Library, Wilfrid Laurier University, and others. In addition, Barwin has taught creative writing to at-risk youth through Hamilton’s ArtForms program.

Barwin’s novel Yiddish for Pirates was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. The novel also won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, the Canadian Jewish Literary Award, and the Hamilton Literary Award. Barwin is also a four-time recipient of the Hamilton Book of the Year award and a co-winner of the bpNichol Chapbook Award.

Barwin lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Collection consists of chapbooks, broadsides, literary periodicals, and ephemera collected by Barwin from predominantly Canadian small presses. 138 small presses are included in the collection, with heavy representation from influential chapbook publishers above/ground press, Proper Tales Press, and No Press. Barwin’s press, Serif of Nottingham, is also heavily featured.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Material was donated by Gary Barwin in 2021.


Collection is arranged in six series:

Series 1: Chapbooks.
Series 2: Poetry Objects and Audio Recordings.
Series 3: Broadsides, Pamphlets, and Postcards.
Series 4: Periodicals.
Series 5: Magazines and Tabloids.
Series 6: Catalogues and Other Ephemera.

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No access restrictions.

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Further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

G. Dunks, 2022.

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“Above/Ground Press.” Accessed 30 Sept. 2022.

Betts, Gregory. “CURVD H&z and Avant-Garde/Small Press Publishing in Canada.” Historical Perspectives in Canadian Publishing Project, McMaster University. Accessed 30 Sept. 2022.

“The Canadian Small Presses and Little Magazines.” Archives and Research Collections, Carleton University. Accessed 30 Sept. 2022.

Dondertman, Anne. “The Toronto Small Press Book Fair.” Historical Perspectives in Canadian Publishing Project, McMaster University. Accessed 30 Sept. 2022.

Ly, David (interviewer). “Chapbooks as Living Art: An Interview with Cameron Anstee, Ashley Obscura, and Adèle Barclay.” Hamilton Arts & Letters Magazine 15, no. 1 (2022). Accessed 30 Sept. 2022.

McLennan, Rob. “A Profile of Stuart Ross’ Proper Tales Press (with a Few Questions).” Open Book Ontario. Accessed 30 Sept. 2022.

“No Press.” Accessed 30 Sept. 2022.

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