Manuscript Collection - Josef Škvorecký Papers

Josef Škvorecký Papers Josef Škvorecký Papers

Identity area

Reference code


Josef Škvorecký Papers


  • 1945-2010 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

131 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Josef Škvorecký was born in 1924 in Nachod, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia. He received his PhD in philosophy from Charles University in Prague in 1951. His earliest works, including The Cowards (1958) and the End of the Nylon Age (1956) were banned by communist censors. He published novels, short stories and film scripts between 1963 and 1968, during a shift to more liberal political climate. After the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Škvorecký and his wife, Zdena Salivarová emigrated to Canada in 1969. Together with his wife, he ran 68 Publishers, which published, in both Czech and English translations, books that we banned in Communist Czechoslovakia. By the fall of the Soviet Union, 68 published had published over 220 works. Skvorecky published many books, including novels, poetry, non-fiction, as well as for film and television, among them The Engineer of Human Souls (1984), which received the Governor General’s Award for fiction. Škvorecký was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, and was awarded the Order of the White Lion in the Czech Republic in 1990. Josef Škvorecký died in 2012.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Papers were donated to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library in 1973, 1990, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Collection includes holograph and typescript drafts of Josef Škvorecký’s works (novels, travelogues, literary essays, film scripts), as well as correspondence, juvenilia, and other material relating to his life and work.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

Please note: Some restrictions on access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • Czech

Script of material

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Finding aids

Allied materials area

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

Rules and/or conventions used

Dates of creation revision deletion


  • Czech



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