Fonds RC0120 - Key Porter Books fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Key Porter Books fonds

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Edition area

Edition statement

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1945-2007 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

26.31 m of textual records and graphic material
2 audio cassettes
1 video cassette

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Key Porter Books of Toronto, Ontario, was established by Anna Porter and Richard de Pencier in 1979. In addition to being one of the largest independent trade publishers in Canada, the company maintained an international reputation as a producer of quality books in an extensive range of categories. Key Porter published between 75 and 100 new titles annually in the areas of photography, art, business, finance, Canadian history and biography, memoirs, natural science, politics and current issues. Under the Key Porter Kids (KPK) imprint, the list included non-fiction, young adult fiction and picture books by authors such as Margaret Atwood, Tom King, László Gál, Carol Matas, Henry Kim and Tim Wynne Jones. Key Porter also published fiction using three imprints: Key Porter fiction, Patrick Crean Editions, and Lester and Orpen Dennys Limited. The list included Canadian and international writers such as Joan Barfoot, George Bowering, Sylvia Fraser, Thomas Keneally, Susan Swan, William Trevor and Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Among Key Porter’s non-fiction authors were Jack Batten, Stevie Cameron, Jean Chrétien, Robert Fulford, Basil Johnston, Farley Mowat and Eric Wright. Anna Porter sold Key Porter Books in July 2004 to H.F. Fenn. In September 2009 the company relocated to Bolton, Ontario and incurred a reduction in staff. Key Porter Books went out of business in early January 2011.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds contains administrative and editorial files, including: correspondence, manuscripts, proofs, contracts, marketing plans, cost sheets, business papers, and other material.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The first accrual was acquired in September 2000, the second accrual in October 2000, the third accrual in April 2002, the fourth accrual in April 2003, the fifth accrual in April 2004, the sixth accrual in May 2011, all from Key Porter Books. The seventh accrual was acquired from Anna Porter in March 2013.


There have been six accruals. The first accrual (09-2000), which measures 3.23 m, consists of administrative files and is arranged in six series: Editorial, production, Anna Porter correspondence, Firefly Books Ltd. correspondence, Lester and Orpen Dennys Limited and manuscripts. The second accrual (39-2000), which measures 3.67 m, consists of administrative files and is arranged in two series: Editorial and Author Profiles. The third accrual (23-2002), which measures 5.3 m, consists of editorial files containing correspondence, contracts, and some proofs. The fourth accrual (16–2003), which measures 5.14 m, consists of editorial and production files containing correspondence, manuscripts, proofs, contracts, book proposals, marketing plans, invoices, and cost sheets, and is arranged in two series: Editorial and production and Anna Porter correspondence. The fifth accrual (44-2004), which measures 7.68 m, has been arranged in two series: Editorial and production and Lester and Orpen Dennys materials. The sixth accrual (81-2010), which measures 79 cm, consists primarily of editorial files with authors and company catalogues. The seventh accrual (2013-010), 50.5 cm, consists of correspondence, business papers, and catalogues.

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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions.

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Associated materials

See also the Anna Porter fonds.


Further accruals are not expected.

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