Fonds RC0109 - Marian Engel fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Marian Engel fonds

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Dates of creation area


  • ca. 1940-2005 (Creation)
    Engel, Marian

Physical description area

Physical description

7.51 m textual records
32 photographs
32 negatives

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Marian Engel, novelist, was born Marian Searle in Toronto on 24 May 1933. She was educated at McMaster University and then McGill University where she wrote her M.A. thesis, under Hugh MacLennan's supervision, on the English-Canadian novel in 1957. After teaching briefly in Montreal and at the University of Montana, she travelled in Europe, marrying fellow McMaster graduate and author, Howard Engel, in 1962. She spent a year in Cyprus and finally returned to Canada where her twin children were born. Her first published novel, No Clouds of Glory appeared in 1968 and was followed by The Honeyman Festival (1970), Monodromos (1973) and Bear (1976), for which she received the Governor General's Award for Literature. She also wrote short stories and children's books. Her last published novel was Lunatic Villas (1981). Engel died in Toronto on 16 February 1985.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of both personal and general correspondence, manuscripts, notebooks, published novels and various other writings, photographs, and other material. See 'system of arrangement' below for more detail.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The first accrual was acquired from Engel in 1982. The second accrual was acquired from the estate of Engel in 1992. The third accrual was acquired from James P. Carley in August 1995. The fourth accrual was acquired from Alphabet Bookshop, Port Colborne, Ontario in August 1996. The fifth accrual was also acquired from Alphabet Bookshop in April 1997. The sixth accrual was acquired from Ruth Grogan in May 2000. The seventh accrual was acquired in April 2001 from Sara Sutcliffe, who purchased Engel's house after her death in 1985. The eighth accrual (01-2005) was acquired from Bob and Barbara Beardsley in February 2005. The ninth accrual (2012-022) was donated by Elizabeth Carroll in June 2012. he tenth accrual (2021-003) was donated by Charlotte and William Engel in July 2021. The eleventh accrual (2022-037) was donated by Charlotte Engel in October 2022.


There have been eight accruals. The first is arranged into the following series: Correspondence:Personal and General; Juvenilia and Unpublished Manuscripts; Notebooks; Published Novels; Other Books; Children's Books; Short Stories; Plays and Scripts; Column for the Toronto Star; Books Reviews by Engel; Non-Fiction Pieces: Articles, Speeches, etc.; Poetry; Business;Photographs, Articles about and Material Received by Engel; Copies of Published Work:Reviews and Articles. The second accrual is arranged into the following series: Correspondence;Lecture Tours and Conferences; Non-Fiction; Pieces about Marian Engel; Short Stories; Book Reviews; Published Books; Articles and Speeches; Notebooks; Elizabeth and the Golden City (unpublished novel); Embargoed material. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth accruals consist chiefly of single items. They have been integrated into the second accrual. The seventh accrual consists of correspondence only. The eighth accrual consists of correspondence and news clippings. The ninth to eleventh accruals have been been arranged into the following series: Correspondence; Literary Records; Awards and Honours; Personal Records; and Clippings and Magazines.

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Restrictions on access

Access to the ‘Bear Book’ (Box 37, Folder 23) is restricted until the end of the year 2043, except with the permission of Charlotte Engel or William Engel.

All other access restrictions have expired. Please note that access to box 35 of the 2nd accrual was restricted until 12 July 2017; however, the contents of this box are not listed in the finding aid.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

The finding aid to the first accrual is also published in Library Research News 8, no. 2 (Fall 1984).

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Further accruals are not expected.

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9-11th accruals, G. Dunks, 2023.

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