Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00044 - Douglas M. Duncan Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Douglas M. Duncan Papers


  • 1882-1943 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

2 boxes + 6 items (0.6 metres)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Douglas Moerdyke Duncan was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1902. In 1909, the Duncan family moved to Toronto, and Duncan attended U.T.S and then the University of Toronto. After his graduation in 1925, he worked briefly in his father's business in Toronto, but left to travel to Paris and study at the Sorbonne. In the fall of 1927, he began to study bookbinding techniques, and in 1928 set up his own studio, first in Paris and then in Toronto. At the same time, he also began to seriously collect books and art. In 1936, he founded the Picture Loan Society, which was established to exhibit, sell and lend out the works of contemporary Canadian artists. His work with the Society eventually became his main occupation. He accumulated a large personal collection of original works of Canadian artists and became a leading participant in the Canadian art world. He died in 1968.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Bequest to the University of Toronto Library from Douglas Duncan's estate, 1969.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection contains sketches and notes executed by Duncan, along with related correspondence. The dates of this material are 1935-1943. The collection also includes files of correspondence, typescripts and proofs of English authors collected by Duncan. Among the writers collected include Richard Aldington, Max Beerbohm, Lord Alfred Douglas and D.H. Lawrence, among others. The date of this material is 1882-ca.1930.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

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

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

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Description identifier


Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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