Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00371 - Joseph Brabant Lewis Carroll Manuscript Collection

Identity area

Reference code

CA OTUTF MS COLL 00371

Title

Joseph Brabant Lewis Carroll Manuscript Collection

Date(s)

  • [1866?]-1896 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

8 Boxes (1 metre)

Context area

Name of creator

(1925-1997)

Biographical history

Born in Saskatchewan in 1925, Joseph Brabant moved to Montreal to attend McGill University, where he majored in classics and received a law degree. For forty years, he worked for the Sun Life Canada financial services company, a career that provided for a great deal of travel. He took advantage of his many business trips throughout North
America, Great Britain, Europe, and Asia to search antiquarian book shops for Carrolliana, a passion that began to gain momentum in the late 1960s. The diplomacy, judgment, and diligence that made him an excellent lawyer engendered his success as a collector. In addition to travelling, Brabant received a dozen catalogues each week and spent each morning writing an average of ten letters, establishing a global network of bookselling contacts. Required to relocate to Toronto in 1979, when Sun Life moved its corporate headquarters, Brabant stayed on there after retiring as Sun Life's House Councillor in 1990. In retirement, he was able to dedicate himself fully to his interest in Lewis Carroll, pursuing projects such as his Cheshire Cat edition of Alice in Wonderland, illustrated by George Walker and printed by Bill Poole, in addition to participation in conferences, scholarly
consultation, and, of course, collecting. Brabant's dedication ultimately yielded breathtaking results some ten thousand items that he tracked down individually, repaired, catalogued and shelved. Twenty years after his death, Joe, as he was known to his friends, is still remembered warmly in the Toronto book world for his geniality as well as his determination.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection consists of correspondence from Charles L. Dodgson, photographs (including an 1865 photograph taken by Carroll), memorabilia, and Brabant's notes and correspondence about the collection.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

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: https://fisher.library.utoronto.ca/stack-retrieval-request

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

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Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

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