Fonds RC0895 - Marianne Brandis fonds

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Marianne Brandis fonds

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  • 1954-2022 (Creation)
    Brandis, Marianne

Physical description area

Physical description

5.86 m of textual records
4 cm of drawings and paintings
169 photographs
72 col. negatives
16 wood engravings
3 audio cassettes
2 video recordings

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born in the Netherlands in 1938, Marianne Brandis (full last name: “Brender à Brandis”) immigrated with her family in 1947 to Terrace, BC and currently lives in Stratford, Ontario. She was educated at UBC, St. Francis Xavier University, and McMaster University from which she graduated with a BA in 1960 and MA in 1964.

Brandis worked for a time as a copywriter for CKOC in Hamilton and CBC in Toronto in the 1960s. She also taught creative writing and English literature at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (Ryerson University) from 1967 until she resigned in 1989 at the age of 50 after which she pursued writing full-time. She continues to teach creative writing and memoir writing workshops.

Brandis’ writings contain diverse topics and include historical fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir, and biography genres. In her historical works, she deals with significant events and the private and daily lives of individuals. Perhaps best known are Brandis’ historical books for younger readers which were published in the 1980s and 1990s, and out of these, The Tinderbox (1982), The Quarter-Pie Window (1985), The Sign of the Scales (1990), Fire Ship (1992), and Rebellion (1996) received various awards and commendations. Brandis’ most recent projects have been creative non-fiction and other life-writing works. Brandis has collaborated extensively with her brother Gerard Brender à Brandis, the wood engraver and bookwright, and whose fonds is also at McMaster.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of research materials, manuscripts, and correspondence pertaining to Brandis’ writing activities; these files depict the extensive research, planning, and revision that she has undertaken while writing. The first two accessions are arranged under 5 series: Writing, Public Talks and Events, Promotional Materials, Printed material about Brandis, and Artwork. The third accession is arranged into 4 series: Published Work, Unpublished Works, Talks and Teaching, and Reviews and Awards. A number of her books were removed from the rest of the materials and have been catalogued for Research Collections.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The first accrual (32-2012) was acquired in September 2012, and the second accrual (45-2015) in October 2015. The third accrual was received in 2022. All were donated by Marianne Brandis.


The fonds is arranged into the following six series:
Series 1 – Writing
Sub-series 1 – Published books
Sub-series 2 – Unpublished books
Sub-series 3 – Shorter works (Includes: early writings, short stories, poetry, a libretto, and a play)
Series 2 – Public Talks and Events
Series 3 – Promotional Material
Series 4 – Printed material about Brandis
Series 5 – Artwork

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Further accruals are possible.

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K. Pugh, 3rd accrual, 2023.

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