Fonds 1016 - Kay Armatage fonds

Identity area

Reference code

UTA 1016


Kay Armatage fonds


  • 1937-2011 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

4.10 m of records [multi-media] (18 boxes)
835 digital files (13 MB)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Professor Kay Armatage is jointly appointed to the Institute of Women’s Studies and Gender Studies and Innis College Cinema Studies. She is seen as a key founder in both disciplines. In 1971, while still a graduate student in the Department of English, she was part of collective that organized and taught the first inter-disciplinary course in Women Studies - FSW 200: Women in Society. By 1974, she had her Ph.D. in English at the same time the University began offering a minor in Women Studies. As a Lecturer, Prof. Armatage helped develop and co- taught NEW 260 : Introduction to Women’s Studies, along with colleagues Sylvia Van Kirk and Kathryn Morgan. Around the same time, the study of cinema was developing and Prof. Armatage, along with colleagues Joe Medjuck and Bart Testa, developed INI/NEW 212, Introduction to Cinema Studies. Throughout her career, Prof. Armatage has continued to develop and teach over a dozen new courses in both disciplines, often combining the two, such as in Women’s Film and Literature, Women’s Cinema and Women and Representation.

Her academic writing, again, reflects both her interest in film and feminism. Her book, The Girl from God’s Country: Nell Shipman and the Silent Cinema, celebrates an early Canadian actor and director. In 1999 she co-edited Gendering the Nation: Canadian Women’s Cinema. She has published extensively in refereed journals, contributed articles to books and given over fifty lectures on her areas of interest which include women filmmakers, feminist theory and Canadian cinema.

Along with her academic work, Prof. Armatage has undertaken activities in a more public forum. Between 1975 and 1987, she produced seven experimental narrative and documentary films. Her last film on artist Joyce Wieland, Artist on Fire (1987) earned her a Gemini nomination for Best Television Documentary. From 1983-2004, she was one of the senior international programmers of the Toronto International Film Festival. It was due in part to these endeavours that she was seen as having made a major contribution to the study of women and film. For all of her work, she has been recognized with several awards including YWCA Woman of Distinction 1989 and Toronto Women in Film in Video Special Award for Contribution to Women’s Film Culture 1988. She has also been awarded several research and arts grants throughout her career including a Canada Council Senior Artist’s Grant (1992) and a SSHRC research grant (1995).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This fonds documents various facets of Prof. Armatage’s career as a filmmaker, senior programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival, and a professor of Cinema Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Toronto. The academic activity files in Series 1 give an overview of the breadth of her interests, achievements and promotions. Lecture notes and other course materials in Series 2, along with comments on student works found in Series 3, document her teaching role. These will be especially useful to researchers interested in understanding the early beginnings of both women studies and cinema studies and how these developing academic disciplines were being taught to students. Prof. Armatage’s role as a programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival is documented in her extensive notes found in notebooks where she recorded critiques of films she was screening. These are found in Series 4. The extent of her filmmaking is documented in Series 7 and contains preserved original film elements to several of Prof. Armatage’s films, along with a limited amount of related documentation on the making of these films. Unfortunately, this fonds does not contain release prints for these titles.

This fonds has only a small amount of records relating to her published academic works as well as files relating to conferences she organized and associations in which she was active. These can be found in Series 5 and Series 6.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

  • Series 1 and 2, 5 and 6 are open;
  • Series 3 and 4 are restricted. Contact University Archives
  • Series 7 is restricted due to conservation.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Digital files in all Series must be accessed on a computer in the Archives Reading Room. Requests for viewing this material must be made 2 business days in advance, please contact Archives staff to schedule an appointment or for more details.

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Notes area


Digital files as part of B2012-0002 were originally on 21 3.5 inch floppy disks. Files were copied and arranged into series by the archivist, while maintaining the original disk number.

Alternative identifier(s)







Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places