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Luckyj 1996 accession

Records documenting the activities of George Luckyj as a professor in and chair of Slavic Studies. Subjects covered include assimilation and the Ukrainian diaspora; the Encyclopedia of Ukraine; and (on audiotape) the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Toronto (1980). Correspondents include Nikolai Tolstoy and Jewhen Swerstjuk. Much of the remaining correspondence relates to Professor Luckyj's publications, for which there are also notes, research files, manuscripts, and reviews.


This series contains professional and personal correspondence covering the years 1952-1990. Topics covered include administrative matters in the Department of Slavic Studies, issues relating more widely to slavic studies, and Professor Luckyj's writings, including correspondence with publishers. Interspersed with this correspondence are drafts of book reviews, articles, and memorials; notes, press clippings, and photoprints. Many of the letters are written in Ukrainian, and there are a few also in Russian and French.


During his career Prof Chambers has written more than 12 books, 5 of these as the sole author. These books relate to both areas of expertise, linguistics and jazz.

This series contains files relating to four of his books, all as sole author, and all relating to jazz music. The most voluminous information relates to his first major book on jazz, the biography of Miles Davis. Milestones I: The music and times of Miles Davis to 1960 and Milestones II: The music and times of Miles Davis since 1960 were published in 1983 and 1985 respectively and at a total of 761 pages remains Prof. Chambers’ major work to date. The files documenting this book include correspondence relating to both volumes, reviews, manuscripts, research and photographs. Aspects of Chambers’ writing process are shown by two boxes of index card files containing reference materials (organized by song), plus a scrapbook of research materials (clippings, notes, correspondence etc.), cross referenced to the card files. Chambers’ format for this book has been described as a ‘bio-discography’ with the sound documents of some 120 phonorecords that Miles Davis had appeared on.[1]

The second book documented in this series is Genuflect, an unpublished novel set in Toronto, the manuscript of which was produced in 1995 and 1996. Files relating to this work consist of correspondence and two drafts of the manuscript.

Crescendo: Duke Ellington in the Age of Cool Jazz and Hard Bop was completed in 2006 and submitted to various publishers. The files relating to this yet unpublished book consist of research materials, correspondence and the manuscript.

Bouncin with Bartok: The incomplete works of Richard Twardzik, published in 2008 by Mercury Press (Toronto), is another biographical work. In this book, Prof. Chambers describes the life of American jazz pianist, Dick Twardzik, who died of a drug overdose in 1955 at the age of 24. In a review of this book, the reviewer states “Chambers…has taken this mysterious figure from a bygone jazz era and brought him fully to life in the pages of this remarkable book… Chambers … has uncovered a rich cornucopia of information on the pianist. He conferred with aunts and cousins, friends and acquaintances, commentators and colleagues. He tracked correspondence, followed up various trails, and puts together a complete account, satisfying both for its biographical rigor as well as the critical intelligence he applies to Twardzik’s body of work.” [2] The files relating to this book include correspondence from 1975 to 2007, and a manuscript.

[1] Offprint of Robert Witmer, review in Humanities, p. 229 B2009-0044/025 (08)
[2] From review by Ted Gioia in

Research project: Dialect Topography Project

This series contains files relating to a major research project undertaken over a 10 year period from 1991-2002. Prof. Chambers was the principal investigator. The dialect topography project is described in the grant application as “a set of methods for gathering information on English vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and usage from representative samples of adults in various Canadian regions, using a standard questionnaire….By correlating language use with social factors…we can determine how men and women use the language, how Canadians differ from Americans at border points, whether young people are using the language differently from their parents and grandparents…” The project consisted of macro-sociolinguistic regional surveys of regions across Canada including the Golden Horseshoe (Ontario), Ottawa Valley, Quebec City, Montreal, New Brunswick, Eastern Townships and Greater Vancouver, as well as adjacent U.S. regions (upstate New York, Maine, Vermont, and Washington).

This series contains files documenting agreements and contracts, grant applications, correspondence and notes, as well as correspondence relating to the various regions where surveys were conducted. The complete databases, including on-line tutorials, are stored on the University of Toronto’s Arts and Science web site at

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