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University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services Michael Bliss fonds Series
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Evaluations and Recommendations, Students and Colleagues

Note from Bliss: "About 1972 I began making typed appraisals of essays, with carbons. Thus I had a copy for reference, which was particularly useful in commenting on second essays. My filing of these, as well as general letters of evaluation, has always been erratic and inconsistent. Often I did not keep copies of letters of evaluation - I've written thousands of them, it seems"

Consulting, Appraisals, Editing

Includes files related to the publication of "Canada's Illustrated History".

Note from Bliss: "This was a 16- volume illustrated history of Canada, published between 1974 and 1977 by a subsidiary of McClelland & Stewart, on which I was historical consultant. Folders 06-25 contain appraisals, correspondence, evaluations, annotated chapters, et cetera, relating to the books in the series. Some files are listed by the book's author, others by the decade covered. The most noteworthy book in the series is probably that written by Margaret Atwood on the period from 1820-1840, the book of hers that has been least noticed. Folders 9 and 10 contain my appraisals of her work and comments on her manuscript."

Family correspondence

Note from Bliss: "These files include extensive correspondence with my mother; some correspondence with my brother, J.Q. Bliss, who died in 1969; much correspondence regarding my young brother, R.Q. Bliss; letters from members of Elizabeth Bliss's family; and the beginnings of correspondence with our children."

Family correspondence

Family correspondence, 1976-1982 and a file of documents regarding the estate of Anne L. Bliss.


Note from Bliss: "These files consist of all my incoming and most of my outgoing correspondence for the last 22 years of my career at the University of Toronto. Most of it is filed in rough chronological order, though sometimes there are indexes. I am not consistent about back-to-front or front-to-back filing. Some of my correspondence is filed according to specific subjects. Particularly specialized correspondence, such as student reference letters, is in other series. My filing systems were always fairly ad hoc, and especially in the 1980s everything tended to be thrown into the general correspondence files, as it came in, everything lumped together, including much family material that should be in the files in series 2. Major changes in my system occurred late in 1986 when I first began using a computer for my correspondence, and again in 1995 when I moved to 88 College and had the help of a secretary, Andrea Clark. Generally these files contain material of every kind relating to a busy family, writing, and professional life."


Note from Bliss: "These files consist of virtually all of my ingoing and outgoing correspondence, beginning in the summer of 1967 when we moved to Harvard to be Claude Bissell's Teaching Assistant during his tenure as Mackenzie King professor of Canadian Studies there. The normal organization is simply by date - but my filing system has never been meticulous and many letters may be out of order [users are welcome to straighten them out by date], or may have slipped into other files in the collection. Some correspondence with particular colleagues and/or friends has been filed separately for some years. Some important letters or exchanges have been given separate files. The correspondence is highly professionel - with a wide range of Canadian historians and covering everything of interest to young historians - and also personal, containing correspondence with family friends and students, political letters [I was extremely upset about the Vietnam War, and wrote to various political figures] and many others.

The files relating to my editorship of the Social History of Canada series bet ween 1971 and 1976 could have been put in Series 3, but are included in this series because so many of the letters contain material of more general interest. As well, quite a bit of Social History material found its way into the general files, so they also go together for user convenience."