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John H. A. Munro fonds
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John H. A. Munro fonds

  • UTA 1601
  • Fonds
  • [195-]-2013

This fonds encompasses two accessions of personal records of John Munro, professor of economics at the University of Toronto and an internationally renowned specialist in Late Medieval economic history. The records document Prof. Munro’s academic activities beginning with his university education at the University of British Columbia and Yale University from 1956 to 1965 until his retirement from the University of Toronto in 2003. This is an extensive body of records documenting the contributions of a recognized expert in European economic history from 1200 to 1600.

The accession is arranged in eight series reflecting for the most part the original order of the records as they were received by the University Archives. Among the larger series are Series 2 Correspondence which contains a fairly complete record of his ongoing communications with colleagues, editors, students and former students relating to academic activities as professor, author, advisor and mentor. Almost a third of this series contains letters of reference relating to student performance and professional evaluation required for employment by colleagues and former students. Series 4 is closely related to Series 2 in that it contains subject files relating to activities in associations, conferences and other organizations. Series 5 and 6 document his research activity in the form of grant applications and his teaching activities mainly at the University of Toronto, although there are some materials relating to courses taught at the University of British Columbia in the mid 1960’s. Lectures for many courses are in the form of essay length narratives, rather than point form notes and thus form a very complete record of the content of his courses as delivered to his students.

By far the largest volume of records is contained in Series 7 Reports and Papers and Series 8 Publications. These two series comprise nearly 50% of the accession’s extent, and provide a very complete record of Prof. Munro’s formal literary works from the earliest years of his academic career including various versions of manuscripts, page proofs, corrections and correspondence. In total, they comprise 79% of his scholarly publications and 48% of his papers as recorded on his curriculum vitae as described on the two appendices in the finding aid.

Munro, John H. A.

Manuscripts and publications

This series contains records relating to most of Prof. Munro’s writings, mostly in the form of publications: books, articles and book reviews. There are a few unpublished manuscripts, including chapters of a proposed book. The files contain a wide range of material, including correspondence, notes, graphs and tables, manuscripts and/or typescripts, page proofs, and reviews. The book review files contain may contain both handwritten and typed drafts, along with offprints, correspondence and notes.

Professor Munro wrote or co-wrote five books: Wool, Cloth and Gold: The Struggle for Bullion in Anglo-Burgundian Trade, 1340-1478 (1973), a revision of his doctoral thesis; Coinage in the Low Countries (14th – 18th Centuries) (1988); Textiles of the Low Countries in European Economic History (1990); Bullion Flows and Monetary Policies in England and the Low Countries, 1350-1500 (1992); Textiles, Towns and Trade: Essays in the Economic History of Late-Medieval England and the Low Countries (1994). Between 1995 and 2002 he served as area editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History (5 volumes, 2003). His last book, which he edited, was Money in the Pre-industrial World: Bullion, Debasement, and Coin Substitutes (2012). Drafts of most are present.

Addresses, refereed reports and working papers

This series consists of papers prepared for presentation at conferences, workshops and other invited talks, reports prepared as a referee for scholarly journals, and working papers published on University of Toronto Department of Economics web site since 1998. The numbers attached to the working papers are from Professor Munro’s 2009 curriculum vitae [see B2014-0035/001(02)] and elsewhere. By the time of his death, he had completed 55 of them for the Departmental website.

Also by May 2009, Professor Munro had given papers at 81 scholarly conferences and invited lectures. He organized three of these conferences. Many of the conference and workshop papers are early versions of later published works (See Series 9). Refereed reports are for such scholarly journals as Journal of Economic History, Explorations in Economic History, Economic History Review (see also Series 5: Other activities), Medieval Studies, American Historical Review and university presses such as the University of Nebraska and Oxford University Press. Files may contain various versions of the typescript report or paper, the final version, along with associated correspondence.

Personal and biographical

This small series consists of biographical information, including copies of Professor Munro’s curriculum vitae, the family scholarship he created at the University of British Columbia, and most of his activity and appointment calendars from 1981 to 2012. Some of the entries on the last were made by him and others by his wife, Jeanette.

Correspondence

This is an extensive series of correspondence with friends, colleagues, students and former students, editors and other individuals documenting his many writing, publishing, teaching and research activities. Includes correspondence with his mentor and thesis advisor, Prof. Robert S. Lopez of Yale University as well as early correspondence relating to his employment at UBC and subsequent move to the University of Toronto (1962-1968) (Box013). The alphabetical files contain correspondence with and about individuals as well as organizations. Letters of reference with colleagues and friends relate mainly to employment applications or grant applications and are filed separately from those relating to students. Files relating to students contain information on evaluation of progress on dissertation, dissertation defence and some letters of reference for teaching appointments.

University of Toronto

This series contains files relating to Prof. Munro’s administrative and academic activities in the Department of Political Economy, Department of Economics, and the Centre for Medieval Studies. Such files include among others, files on PhD comprehensive examinations (with copies from Yale University), and the Graduate programme in Economics. Also included in this series are Prof. Munro’s annual activity reports submitted to the Chair of the Department. Prof. Munro also undertook appointments to other university bodies such Users’ Committee of the Robarts Library (1974-1977), the U. of T. Research Board, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, and various search committees. Files relating to these activities contain correspondence, minutes of meetings, reports, and notes.

Other Activities

This series contains files relating to Prof. Munro’s activities in conferences, associations, and other external organizations. Some files, therefore, may relate to individuals and organizations documented in Series 3: Correspondence. The files contain correspondence, some manuscripts of papers or presentations, minutes of meetings, notes and reports.

Teaching

This series documents Prof. Munro’s teaching activities as they relate to courses delivered to undergraduate and graduate students during his first teaching appointment at University of British Columbia (1964-1968) and at the University of Toronto (1968- 2013). The University of British Columbia courses include History 304, “Economic and social history of the Middle Ages”; Economics 320, “Economic development of Modern Europe”; and History 416, “France in the Middle Ages”. The UBC files include course outlines, essay topics, examinations and typescripts of lectures.

Files for University of Toronto courses are understandably more extensive and include course outlines, reading lists, examination questions, typescripts of lectures, and overheads (for two courses offered after 1995).

The overheads apply to ECO 301Y and 303Y. ECO 301Y, “The economic history of Late-Medieval and Early-Modern Europe, 1300-1750”, was offered from September, 2004. It was the same as ECO 201Y, but given at the third year with corresponding prerequisites (ECO 200Y/206Y and seven other courses). ECO 303Y, “The economic history of Modern Europe, 1750-1914”, was given from January, 1995 as a revised version of the former ECO 203Y, with corresponding pre-requisites (ECO 200Y/206Y plus seven other courses).

Research grant applications and expenses

This series consists of files relating to applications for research grants to the Canada Council (and later the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada), the Connaught Research Fellowship, and the Guggenheim Foundation. The files contain correspondence, application form(s) including outline of research project, and financial statements. Also included is correspondence, procedures and applications to Research Office of the University of Toronto, and lists of expenses for items ranging from travel to books and journals, and mundane activities pertaining to research such as postage, stationery, and photocopying. Some of the entries relate to conferences attended and there is one file of personal correspondence between Professor Munro and his wife.

Research

This series comprises the voluminous notes and files assembled by Professor Munro over the course of about fifty years of doing research, initially for his graduate work and then for his books, articles and addresses that appeared in print or online, and the relatively few manuscripts that remained unpublished. This material was also used in the preparation of his lectures to his students, portions of which are occasionally present.

This series is arranged into two sections, “research notes” and “research files”. The first section begins with bibliographic material in the form of card indices of books and articles consulted, along with bibliographic notes. These are followed by research notes taken from the archival and printed sources Professor Munro consulted. The notes include a vast amount and range of information, some of it specific data and some analytical, that he assembled during general research and on his many research trips.

The “research notes” were used for many purposes, including compiling the “research files”. These contain hundreds of tables, charts, maps, and overheads, along with notes, some correspondence and copies of archival material, elements of printed sources, and drafts of manuscripts. Duplicates, where identified, have been removed and destroyed. Some of the files contain photocopies of original material, which have been retained where the originals could not be located.

Education

This series documents Prof. Munro’s university education at the University of British Columbia where he studied combined honours programme of history and economics from 1956 to 1960. Following graduation he proceeded to Yale University where he received his Master of Arts (1961) and his PhD (1965). Among the records in this series are his undergraduate course notes and essays for courses in history and economics as well as his ‘graduating essay’ entitled “The role of capital formation in the economic development of Jamaica in the post war period 1945-1958”. Course notes for his Masters and Doctoral degrees are confined to three courses in history. Course papers include ones for History 128b with R.S. Lopez entitled “The commercial policy of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, with England, 1419-1467 – ‘Wool, cloth and gold’” (1961). Course papers for History 151 in 1962 have comments by the professor, Mr. Krieger. Following are a prospectus for his doctoral thesis, drafts of some of its chapters, and a bound copy of his dissertation (1965).