Fonds RC0080 - Saturday Night fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Saturday Night fonds

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Dates of creation area


  • 1927-2001 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

22.1 m of textual records, graphic and electronic material.

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The first issue of Saturday Night appeared in Toronto, appropriately enough, on Saturday, 3 December 1887. Published by Edmund E. Sheppard as a weekly, it was purchased, generally by office workers, for reading on Sunday, for at this time Sunday publishing was prohibited. Since then, Saturday Night has changed its publishing schedule many times while becoming a national literary, cultural, and political journal. Many of its editors began as contributors.

Sheppard’s successor was Joseph T. Clark, who was editor from 1906-1909; Charles Frederick Paul was editor from 1909 to 1926. Hector Charlesworth took over as editor in 1926 and was succeeded by B.K. Sandwell, who was editor from 1932 to 1951. In 1951 Robert A. Farquharson succeeded Sandwell and was followed by Jack Kent Cooke, who bought Consolidated Press, of which Saturday Night was a part. It was he who appointed Arnold Edinborough as editor. Edinborough eventually bought the magazine himself and remained until 1968. Robert Fulford was editor from 1968 until 1987.

The magazine was relaunched in 1991 with the October issue as its "premiere issue". In the spring of 2000, Saturday Night became a weekly insert in Hollinger-owned, Southam’s National Post. In the fall of 2000, Southam sold fifty percent of its shares to CanWest Global Communications, which eventually bought out its partner. On 1 Nov. 2001, the magazine was sold by CanWest Global Communications Corp to Multi-Vision Publishing Inc . Under Hollinger and CanWest the magazine was published 48 times a year; Multi-Vision Publishing published six issues a year. In February 2002, St. Joseph Corporation acquired Key Media Ltd., the publisher of major magazines such as Quill & Quire, and the recently acquired Saturday Night magazine. Their Multi-Vision Division continued to publish Saturday Night six times a year. On 20 October 2005 St. Joseph Media announced that it would suspend publication of Saturday Night after the Winter issue, distributed with the National Post on 26 November 2005.

Custodial history

Scope and content

There have been four accruals. The first accrual is organized into four series: correspondence, 1968-1981; editorial files, 1981-1983; Art Department photographs, 1927-[1983?]; Scrapbooks, 1960-1976. Authors in the correspondence series include: Lovat Dickson, Hugh Garner, John Glassco, Norman Levine, George Woodcock, Margaret Atwood, Pierre Berton, Matt Cohen, John Robert Colombo, Marian Engel, Mavis Gallant, Margaret Laurence, Brian Moore, Peter C. Newman, Mordecai Richler, Michael Bliss, Kenneth McNaught, George Bowering, Louis Dudek, George Faludy, Ralph Gustafson, Irving Layton, Dennis Lee, Dorothy Livesay, Susan Musgrave, Michael Ondaatje, Miriam Waddington and Tom Wayman. This accrual reflects, to a very marked degree, the tenure of Robert Fulford.

The second accrual (13-2002) is organized into 6 series : Writers Files kept by editor Paul Wilson; Letters to the editor (Christina Brandao, John Fraser, Lisa Rundle, Robert Weaver and Kenneth Whyte); Production; Awards and photographs; News clippings and Card index. This accrual was received with a book collection and issues of Saturday Night from the 1930s and 1940s with a few earlier issues. The book collection and journals are listed separately and will be catalogued for Research Collections independently of this accrual. The third accrual (02-2003) is organized into 3 series: Editorial correspondence; Writers Files and Awards and Letters to the Editor. When the magazine suspended publication in 2005, all files at St. Joseph Media offices were removed; they did not come to McMaster. The fourth accrual (27-2007) consists of printed materials re the history of Saturday Night compiled by George Fetherling.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The first accrual was purchased from Saturday Night Publishing, a division of Dascon Investments Ltd. on 30 March 1984.

the second accrual was donated by Southam/CanWest Global Communications Corp. and received on December 12, 2001; the third accrual was donated by St. Joseph Corporation in January of 2003; the fourth accrual was acquired from George Fetherling in June 2007.


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Restrictions on access

Access restrictions: Access to file on Robert Fulford’s article on Peter Worthington (Box 49, folder 7) is restricted until the death of Joan Sutton. Access to file on article on Peter C. Newman (Box 48, folders 3a-c) is restricted until the death of Peter C. Newman.

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Further accruals are not expected.

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