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Archival description
Claude Bissell fonds
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Bissell 1st 1984 accession

Personal records of Claude Bissell, consisting of correspondence, lecture notes, addresses, manuscripts, pamphlets, press clippings, postcards and photographs documenting his career as a professor of English, president of the University of Toronto, and a writer. His private correspondents include J. B. Bickersteth, Earle Birney, E. K. Brown, Morley Callaghan, Robertson Davies, Marshall McLuhan and Elsie May Pomeroy. «

Photographs

Panoramic photograph taken on the balcony of Tienamen Square, Beijing, China, 1 May 1962. Dr. Bissell is on the left of the rear row. Identifications on the backing of the photograph.

Ernest Buckler

This series contains extensive documentation on Claude Bissell's research and relationship with Canadian poet Ernest Buckler including a typescript and related publication letters relating to his book Ernest Buckler Remembered (University of Toronto Press, 1989).

Christine Bissell sous-fonds

This sous-fonds consists of three Series:

  • Personal Correspondence: includes hundreds of letters sent to Christine from her mother between 1946 to 1958. Originally from Scotland, Christine Gray married Claude Bissell in September of 1945 and immigrated to Canada soon afterward. These letters, although one sided, will give good insight into this experience and the continued relationship to family in Scotland.

  • Correspondence and Memorabilia: received after Claude Bissell’s death in June 2000 which includes letters of condolence, letters and notes written by Christine in response. This series also contains information on memorials for Claude Bissell.

  • Photographs – includes several formal portraits of Christine Bissell including two done by photographer Josef Karsh as well as a snapshot of Christine with family members.

Bissell 2017 accession

This accession contains slides taken by Claude or Christine Bissell of many colleagues including Marshall McLuhan, Jack Sword, Robin Harris, Don Forster, Donald Ivey, as well as canadian writer Robertson Davies, poet Robert Finch, and artist Barker Fairley. There are many more images of friends and colleague, some identified, some not. Also included are some portraits including a colour transparency of Bissell's Installation photograph, photographs of official events and Bissell's 80th Birthday Party.

Cartoons on Bissell

This series contains 13 original cartoons chronicling Claude Bissell’s career drawn by Globe and Mail political cartoonist James (Jamie) Reidford. The Reidfords’ were close friends of the Bissells’.

Also included in this series are a few copies of cartoons again depicting Bissell that appeared in the Globe and Mail by other cartoonists.

Claude Bissell fonds

  • UTA 1060
  • Fonds
  • 1920-2002

Extensive records documenting the life and career of University of Toronto President Claude Bissell. Bissell served as President from 1958 to 1971.

Fonds consists of 15 accessions - see accession-level descriptions for further details.

Bissell, Claude Thomas

Bissell 2003 accession

Personal papers of Claude Thomas Bissell documenting his life as a student, professor in Canadian and English literature, university administrator and president of the Unversity of Toronto, and his activities after he stepped down as president. Includes personal correspondence; notes, essays and course material relating to his academic studies at the U of T and Cornell University; correspondence, memoranda and reports on university administration and structure; lecture notes; research materials, including index cards; files on professional activities; manuscripts of articles, addresses, and a photograph.

Bissell 1989 accession

Correspondence, notes, addresses, articles, reports, press clippings, and photoprints, largely relating to Claude Bissell's activities at the University of Toronto following his resignation as president in 1971, and his literary interests. Topics covered include the student movement in the 1960s, several presidential committees, the "University of Toronto Quarterly", the McLuhan programme, the Khaki University in Canada (1945-1946), and Frederick C. Wade's documents on the history of the University of Toronto (1920-1922).

Bissell 2011 accession

Records document Claude Bissell’s personal and professional life. Unlike previous accessions, B2011-0018 contains extensive personal correspondence with family members especially while he was posted overseas during the 2nd World War as well as with his wife Christine (Series 4). There are also several series that document Bissell’s personal life rather than his professional life including his creativity through music, drama and poetry (Series 12) and his relationship with his brother Keith (Series 15). Nonetheless, most of the other records in this accession complete series of records found in earlier accessions and include many of his lectures (series 8 and 9), writings (Series 5 and 6) as well as his post-retirement diaries which completes an earlier run in B1988-0091 (Series 11). «

Photographs

Photographs document all aspects of Bissell’s life. Formal portraits of Bissell have been filed at the beginning of this series followed by a chronological arrangement of group portraits, events and ceremonies. Several photographs document visiting dignitaries to the University while Bissell was president. This series also includes photographs of Bissell’s trip to China in 1962.

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