Title and statement of responsibility area
Judith Robinson fonds
General material designation
- Textual record
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Edition statement of responsibility
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Statement of scale (cartographic)
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Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1913-1961, predominantly 1928-1961 (Creation)
- Robinson, Judith
Physical description area
4.63 m of textual records
53 photographs (b&w : 25.5 x 32 cm and smaller)
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Judith Robinson was born in Toronto, Ont. on Victoria Street on April 6, 1897. She was the daughter of Jessie and John Robinson Robinson (nicknamed “Black Jack Robinson”), who was the editor of the Toronto Telegram until his death in 1929. She attended Toronto Model School until age 12, when she contracted a childhood illness which stopped her schooling. Self-taught in journalism and literature, she also developed an interest in architecture.
Known as ‘Brad’ to her friends, Robinson became a reporter at the Toronto Globe in 1929. Under Globe President George McCullagh, she wrote a Page One feature column daily beginning in 1936. She resigned in 1940 over a political disagreement with the Globe’s coverage of World War II. With her brother John and Oakley Dalgleish, she clandestinely printed advertisements under the name “Canada Calling,” criticizing Mackenzie King government’s slow response to the war effort. In May 1941, she and Dalgleish founded NEWS, a national weekly newspaper whose editorial office was her home at 63 Wellesley St. NEWS closed in 1946. During the war she was also was active in the Women’s Emergency Committee which petitioned the Canadian government to close the Christie Street Veteran’s Hospital in Toronto. Those efforts helped result in the opening of Sunnybrook Military Hospital in 1946. Beginning in 1953, she wrote a daily column for the Toronto Telegram until her death on December 17, 1961.
Robinson authored four non-fiction books: Tom Cullen of Baltimore (1949), As We Came By (1951), Ensign on a Hill: The Story of the Church Home and Hospital and its School of Nursing 1854-1954 (1954), and This Is On the House (1957). She co-wrote a mystery novel with her brother John which was not published. She edited John Farthing’s political treatise, Freedom Wears a Crown, and helped publish the medical memoir Days of Living: The Journal of Martin Roher, for which she wrote the introduction.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of Judith Robinson’s correspondence; clippings of her newspaper writings; drafts, notes, and research files; working records of NEWS; personal material; petitions and other material related to the Christie Street Hospital campaign; manuscripts and writing related to her books, published and unpublished; and manuscripts and writing by her friends sent to her for editing.
Immediate source of acquisition
The material has been in the custody of the creator’s niece, Gillian (Robinson) Watt, since 1974. She donated the material to McMaster University in 2017.
Material is arranged within the following series:
- Correspondence. Boxes 1-9
- Articles, clippings. Boxes 10-15.
- Articles, research. Boxes 16-18
- “Calling Canada” / NEWS. Boxes 19-25.
- Invoices and personal material. Box 26.
- Christie St. Hospital. Box 27.
- Manuscripts and writing. Boxes 28-33.
- Work by other authors. Boxes 34-38.
Oversized material. Boxes 39-40.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
No restrictions on access.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
No further accruals are expected.
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Dates of creation, revision and deletion
C. Long, 2020.