Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00069 - Contact Press Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Contact Press Papers


  • 1960-1966 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

2 boxes (0.3 metres)

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The legendary Contact Press was founded by Raymond Souster, Louis Dudek and Irving Layton in 1952, and the first book to bear the Contact imprint was Cerberus: Poems, written by the three co-founders. For the next 15 years, Contact Press emerged as the most important poet-operated and self-financed small press in Canada. Between 1960 and 1967, it published important book-length collections by new and younger writers whose work had until then appeared in little magazines or may have been published in chapbook form. Its list of writers included Milton Acorn, Al Purdy, Gwendolyn MacEwen, John Newlove, Frank Davey, George Bowering and Margaret Atwood.

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Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection contains editorial correspondence, typescripts, translations and galley proofs for a variety of Contact Press publications. Among the works covered in the editorial files include Octavio Paz's Sun-stone, Margaret Atwood's The Circle Game (winner of the Governor-General's award), Anne Hebert's Le tombeau des rois, Alan Grandbois' Selected Poems and Gaston Miron's La vie agonique. It also includes a typescript of Miller's unpublished selection of poems, Afterimages.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

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Description control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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