Fonds RC0051 - McClelland and Stewart Ltd. fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

McClelland and Stewart Ltd. fonds

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Edition area

Edition statement

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Dates of creation area


  • 1934-2018 (Creation)
    McClelland and Stewart Ltd.

Physical description area

Physical description

424.47 m of textual records and graphic material.

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

In April 1906 John McClelland and Frederick D. Goodchild left the Methodist Book and Publishing House and began a book supply company in Toronto. On 20 September 1907, McClelland and Goodchild was officially registered as a company. George Stewart joined the firm in 1913 while Goodchild left in 1918. The name of the company was changed to McClelland and Stewart. Jack McClelland, John McClelland's son, was the president of the company from 1952 to 1982. In 1982 he became chairman when Linda McKnight was elevated to president. In December 1985 McClelland and Stewart was rejuvenated when Avie Bennett, an asute businessman and an important supporter of Canadian culture and the arts, purchased the company and served as its President. Bennett soon hired Douglas M. Gibson as editor and publisher of a separate imprint, Douglas Gibson Books, appointing Adrienne Clarkson as Publisher, and promoting Ellen Seligman, who had joined the firm in 1977 as Senior Editor, to Editorial Director, Fiction.

In June 2000 Bennett donated 75% of the publishing arm of McClelland and Stewart to the University of Toronto. He sold the other 25% to Random House Canada. Avie Bennett became Chairman of the Board, Douglas Gibson became President and Publisher of McClelland & Stewart, while retaining his own imprint, and Ellen Seligman assumed the role of Publisher (Fiction) and Vice-President (later becoming Senior Vice-President). Returning to Canada from the Crown Publishing Group (a division of Random House, Inc.) in New York, Douglas Pepper assumed the position of President and Publisher of McClelland & Stewart in June 2000, while Gibson continued his position as the editor and publisher of Douglas Gibson Books. Pepper, while making many innovations has, along with Ellen Seligman on the fiction side, maintained the company's commitment to publish a vibrant and high-quality list. On the non-fiction side, Susan Renouf joined the company as Chief Operating Officer and Associate Publisher (non-fiction).

For a detailed history of the company up to 1994 as well the books published, see Carl Spadoni and Judy Donnelly, A Bibliography of McClelland and Stewart Imprints, 1909-1985: A Publisher's Legacy (1994).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The archive consists of the business records of McClelland & Stewart, including manuscripts, author correspondence, editorial decisions, etc.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The first three accruals were acquired from McClelland & Stewart in 1977, 1983 and 1985. The fourth accrual was acquired from Professor George L. Parker in 1990. The fifth accrual was acquired from the estate of Donald Roper via Kathy Brillinger in 1994. The sixth accrual was acquired from Doug Gibson in September 2005. The seventh accrual was acquired from Doug Gibson in February 2007. The eighth accrual was acquired from Doug Gibson in July 2008. The ninth accrual was acquired from Doug Gibson in 2010. The tenth accrual was acquired from Doug Gibson in 2013. The eleventh accrual was acquired from Doug Gibson in 2018. The twelfth accrual (2022-010, Series Z; Douglas Gibson) includes 1.15 m of textual records and includes other material.


There have been twelve accruals. The first three accruals are arranged into the following series:
Company records:
A President
C Editorial Department
D Executive Vice-President
E Education Department
F Controller
G General ledgers
H Sales records
I Inventory
J Marketing
K Accounts Payable
L Accounts Receivable (no records surviving)
M Copy invoices and purchase orders (no records surviving)
N Copy customer sales statements
P Returns reports
Q Computer source documents (no records surviving)
R Computerized sales reports (no records surviving)
S General Manager
T Contracts, royalties, and permissions
U Subsidiaries and Agencies
V Canadian Centennial Library

Most of the records in series G, H, K, L, M, N and P of the first accrual were destroyed with the permission of the company.

Series X Manuscript inventory (editorial bundles); ca. 1965 to 1984, measuring 161 m. (first three accruals)

The first accrual of company records covers the period from 1948 to 1974. Series C-V measure 69 m. There are also four addenda to these series in the first accrual. Series A of the first through the third accruals have been arranged separately, measuring 39.8 m (Boxes 1-121). Practically all of the company records prior to 1950 were destroyed by John McClelland. Before this was done, however, George L. Parker examined the records of the company for his doctoral dissertation and made notes. These notes are available to researchers (see below, fourth accrual). In addition, researchers are directed to the Jack McClelland fonds, second accrual which contains some early materials beginning in 1904.

The second and third accruals (1983 and 1985) of company records have been combined, with the exception of Series A. They cover the period 1975-1985 and measure 123.5 m.
The fourth accrual (21-1990) consists of the Parker notes and measures 12.5 cm. The fifth accrual (2-1994) consists of papers and plates for printing and engraving and measures 85 cm.
The sixth accrual (02-2006; Series Z; Douglas Gibson) measures 9.7 m.and consists of 4 sub-series: author, personal, correspondence and photographs.
The seventh accrual (07-2007, Series Z; Douglas Gibson), measures 2.1 m and consists of 1 sub-series: author.
The eighth accrual (32-2008, Series Z; Douglas Gibson) measures 6.4 m and consists of 3 sub-series: author, personal, and correspondence.
The ninth accrual (42-2010, Series Z; Douglas Gibson), measures 64 cm.
The tenth accrual (2013-019, Series Z; Douglas Gibson), measures 20 cm.
The eleventh accrual (2018-034, Series Z; Douglas Gibson) measures 32 cm.

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Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Earlier access restrictions to Series A have now expired.
Access restrictions to Series Z (Doug Gibson), eighth accrual, Brian Mulroney and Paul Martin (boxes Z91-Z103; Z89a-Z89d) have now expired.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

Researchers interested in Series A should also consult the Jack McClelland fonds.


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Series Z, 12th accrual, G. Dunks, 2023.

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