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James T. Lemon fonds
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James T. Lemon fonds

  • UTA 1474
  • Fonds
  • 1862-2005 (predominant 1964-2005)

The James T. Lemon fonds documents most aspects of Prof. Lemon’s life, in terms of both private and professional experiences. Records in Series 1 (Biographical), Series 14 (Christian Youth Groups) and Series 15 (Family Paper) give some overview of Prof. Lemon’s early life and family background. Records in Series 15 may be helpful to genealogical researchers interested in families who settled around West Lorne in south western Ontario.

Biographical profiles, correspondence, papers, addresses, manuscripts, reviews and grant files in Series 1 through Series 6 document most aspects as his career as a urban historical geographer. In addition, Series 12, documents much of his involvement with professional associations as well as community groups. His activities in the political arena as an active New Democrat are also documented in Series 13.

Course lectures and outlines, student papers, references, and correspondence found in Series 7 through Series 10 document his role as a teacher. Series 10 and 11 also give some evidence to his various administrative roles within the University. Of particular note are the early accessions of student term papers found in Series 7, Teaching. These cover a range of historical topics relating mainly to Toronto and, as secondary source material, may be of interest to those researching the urban history of Toronto.

Lemon, James Thomas

Teaching files

This series consists of files of courses taught by Prof. Lemon in the Department of Geography and Interdisciplinary Studies and are arranged chronologically. They contain lecture notes, course outlines, assignments, exams, course evaluations, bibliographies and handouts.

This series also contains a collection of student term papers for several of Prof. Lemon’s urban history courses, in particular Historical Toronto. Essays cover such topics as housing, residences, city politics, planning, transportation, streets, waterfronts, trade and social issues. All are contained in accessions B1984-0027, arranged by subject and B1986-0015 and B1988-0054, arranged alphabetically by author’s name. These papers are copies for reference only and contain no marks or comments.

Family papers

This series consists mainly of records belonging to Earl and Grace Lemon, Prof. Lemon's parents, such as correspondence with family, financial records, personal documents and papers relating to their estates. There are also a number of earlier documents relating to the Lemon, Fuller, Sharratt and Prebble families including wills and estate records, indentures, land deeds, and other legal documents. The Lemon family was from West Lorne, Ontario and early records relate to families and lands in this area.

Of particular note is extensive personal correspondence by Jim Lemon sent to his parents beginning in 1954 while he attended Yale Divinity School and dating up to 1984.

Christian Youth Groups

As a young adult, Jim Lemon was a member of various Christian youth groups and records in this series document these early activities. The groups include the Christian World Friendship Fund, the International Christian Youth Fellowship as well as the Canadian and Ontario Youth Fellowship. He was also member of the All Canada Committee of the Ontario Young Peoples Fellowship.

New Democratic Party

This series consists of records relating to Prof. Lemon's activities within the New Democratic Party (NDP) including his membership on the provincial Branch Plant Task Force (1970), his work on the executive committees of the ridings of Spadina (1979) and St. Andrew's-St. Patrick's (1980s) as well as his unsuccessful run for the seat in the St. David’s riding during the 1975 provincial elections.

Files contain correspondence, reports, agenda, drafts of speeches, riding newsletters and notes.

Professional Associations and Community Groups

Records in this series reflect not only Prof. Lemon's involvement in academic associations but also his active commitment to community causes. Files are arranged alphabetically by association or group and contain a diversity of records from original correspondence to newsletters and minutes of meetings.

Among the more notable groups in which Prof. Lemon was involved are the Bathurst Street United Church and the Student Christian Movement Advisory Board. There is also one file on the Spadina Expressway Issue which contains a brief written by Prof. Lemon to the Metro Toronto Transportation Committee.

University of Toronto

Throughout his career at the University of Toronto, Prof. Lemon held a number of administrative positions. Among the ones documented in this series are: member of the Arts and Science Interdisciplinary Curriculum Committee, member and sometimes chair of the American Studies Committee, Chair and member of the Urban Studies Programme and the Academic Affairs Committee at Innis College, member of the Canadian Studies Programme and Centre for Urban and Community Studies Review Committees and member of the Harney Professorship Committee. Files contain correspondence, memoranda, minutes and reports, and are arranged by committee more or less chronologically.

This series also includes a substantial number of files documenting Prof. Lemon's directorship of the Community Living Programme at Innis College. Records document the ongoing evolution of the programme, its goals and purpose, as well as its evaluation as an academic programme. There are files related to specific courses and workshops such as community law and community health, as well as specific projects such as the Community Practitioner in Residence Project and the Community Living Centre. There is also documentation on the 1976 Community Living Conference, sponsored by the programme.

Department of Geography

Records relate to the administration of the Department of Geography and includes copies of correspondence, memoranda, reports, reappraisals of curricula and programs. There are also files relating specifically to the Graduate Committee, of which Prof. Lemon was graduate secretary from 1968-1971 and again during 1979-1980.


Files contain correspondence mainly with students and third parties regarding references for employment, entries into graduate programs and grant or fellowship applications. Some files also include assessments and recommendations for colleagues applying for tenure or a faculty position.

Student files

This series includes general files on students, as well as files on individual students kept by Prof. Lemon which document their progress (mainly graduate students) as well as his assessment of them. Files contain correspondence, evaluations, theses proposals and theses, essays, comprehensive oral exams, notes and some letters of reference.


This series contains records relating to published book reviews, referee/review work done for publishers as well as assessments of grant applications done for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Included is correspondence with publishers, journal editors, authors and SSHRC; drafts of reviews written by Prof. Lemon; draft papers submitted to him for his review; and Prof. Lemon's referee comments and grant assessments. Some of the journals for which he more frequently did reviews, include Journal of Interdisciplinary History, The Geographical Review, The Canadian Geographer, William and Mary Quarterly, Journal of Historical Geography and Urban History Review.

Publishing activities

Throughout his career, Prof. Lemon published over 40 scholarly articles including chapters in books as well as several non- refereed articles and reviews. Records in this series document much of this publishing activity and include correspondence with colleagues and publishers, draft manuscripts, comments by referees, notes, reviews and outlines.

Records are arranged either by the name of the paper/article or by the name of the publisher/journal. There are also four files of general correspondence relating to publishing covering the years 1967-1969, 1980-1982, 1996-2003.

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