Author Collections

Collection Type: 
  • Rare Books
Special Collection: 

John Buchan Collection

The Collection includes the bound manuscripts of many of Buchan's published writings plus his entire private library; only a few relevant titles have been selectively added since 1955. Can a library tell the story of the man? Indeed, in Buchan's case, quite a lot about his interests, intellect, and proclivities can be inferred from its wide-ranging contents.

The Collection is rich in works of Scottish history, the clans, politics, religion, biography, geography and literature (both fiction and poetry). There is a significant section on the 1914-1918 War in which Buchan had important involvement, both as journalist and historian as well as participant in the British Intelligence Office. Learn more about the collection's contents via the finding aid.

Robertson Davies CollectionRobertson Davies Collection

Born and raised in Ontario, Davies was educated at Upper Canada College, Queen's University at Kingston and Balliol College, Oxford. During his time in Kingston, he cultivated his interest in journalism as an active contributor to The Journal, the Queen's University student newspaper. Robertson Davies had three successive careers: as an actor with the Old Vic Company in England; as publisher of the Peterborough Examiner; and as a university professor and founding Master of Massey College at the University of Toronto. As a novelist, he gained worldwide fame for The Salterton Trilogy, The Deptford Trilogy, The Cornish Trilogy, Murther & Walking Spirits and The Cunning Man.

Comprised of more than 5000 volumes, theatre prints and ephemera, this remarkable collection reflects Davies' interests in literature, literary criticism, art, music, theatre, theatre criticism, theatre biography and autobiography, film, drama, history and psychology. Many of the volumes are annotated with handwritten notes inserted. Particular strengths are in 18th, 19th and 20th century theatre books and prompt copies. Items in this collection are either signed or first editions. The items will be shelved according to room order in which they were kept at Windhover, Davies' country home in Caledon Hills.

All items can be located in the finding aid.

The Robertson Davies collection has been preserved in its entirety and made available to the public through the generosity of Hugh Anson-Cartwright in memory of Reginald Anson-Cartwright (Queen's School of Mining, 1904), and through the support of the Chancellor Richardson Memorial Fund.

James De Mille CollectionJames De Mille Collection

James De Mille (1833-1880) was a professor of history and rhetoric at Dalhousie College and a late 19th century popular Canadian author. His novels were published serially in American magazines like Harper's Bazaar and then later published as books in New York or Boston. De Mille wrote mostly adventure novels. His most popular and famous work is A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, published posthumously in 1888. Like Thomas More's Utopia, A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder is the narrative of the experiences of Adam More, a British sailor shipwrecked on a forgotten island in Antarctica inhabited by the Kosekin who reject wealth and whose society is a reveral of 19th-century values. Four other sailors find More's manuscript in the cylinder providing a frame for the narrative. The books themselves provide an excellent study of late 19th-century publishing practices, especially publisher's bindings.

John Glassco CollectionJohn Glassco Collection

John Glassco (1909-1981) was a Canadian poet, translator, essayist, editor, short story writer, and professional pornographer. "Styled as a dandy, fop, and Edwardian eccentric," he maintained an hermetic devotion to his own large talent. That talent cannot be ignored, for it functioned as a remarkable bridge. In Memoirs of Montparnasse, he linked the present day with the glorious Paris years of Joyce, Hemingway, and the surrealists. Through his many translations and anthologies, he helped English Canada understand Quebec better. His poetry combined conservative formality with a modern sensibility. In his erotic works, "his unfaltering good taste helped us unravel the tangled psychosexual world of Aubrey Beardsley and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch" (qtd. from The Word Bookshop catalogue description).

The collection comprises 526 books and 88 periodicals collected throughout his lifetime. Because this was his working library, most of the works are signed and annotated. You can search the collection through the finding aid.

Gustafson CollectionGustafson Collection

Donated in 1998 by Mrs. Betty Gustafson, this collection consists of the personal library of Ralph Gustafson, Canadian poet and professor at Bishop's University. Included are some 600 volumes relating to poetry, literature and literary criticism in Canada. Gustafson received the 1974 Governor-General's award for poetry, for Fire on Stone, and also the Order of Canada. In addition, he was an important anthologist of writings by other Canadians.

Items from the Gustafson Collection are listed in Omni. There also is a print checklist of the collection, available in the Jordan Library. Please note that the Gustafson fonds of correspondence, manuscripts, and photographs is in the Queen's Archives.

Federick Philip Grove CollectionFrederick Philip Grove Collection

Established in 1925, the collection is part of the Edith and Lorne Pierce Collection of Canadiana. The collection was developed by Professor Spettigue, a Grove scholar and faculty member of the English Department. In 1983, a grant was received to help build the collection. The collection includes Frederick Philip Grove's (1879-1948) literary works, works edited by him in variant editions, and critical works on Grove. The collection also contains Grove's rare early German works (he was also known as Felix Paul Greve). The geographic emphasis is on Germany and Canada. It is available in the library catalogue.

Mazo de la Roche CollectionMazo de la Roche Collection

Queen's is home to Mazo de la Roche's personal library which contains various editions and dozens of translations of her works, as well as other items from her personal collection. She annotated several editions of her own works with corrections and other proofing marks.

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