Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00049C - Kildare Dobbs Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Kildare Dobbs Papers


  • 1855-2013 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

91 boxes, 29 volumes, and other items (9.4 metres)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Kildare Dobbs was a Canadian poet, short story and travel writer. He was born in India, raised in Ireland, and educated in Dublin, Cambridge and London.
After serving in the Royal Navy during World War II and in Tanganyika, Dobbs migrated to Canada in 1952 and worked in journalism and publishing as the managing editor of Saturday Night, and book editor of The Toronto Star Weekly. He’s contributed to most of the major magazines and newspapers in Canada as a freelancer. His autobiography, Running to Paradise (1962), won a Governor General’s Award. He has also published various collections of short stories, novellas and poetry, including The Great Fur Opera (1970). In 2000, he was awarded the Order of Ontario, and installed as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Toronto in 2002. His memoir, Running the Rapids was published in 2004. Kildare Dobbs lived in Toronto with his wife, Linda Kooluris Dobbs, a noted portrait artist, painter and photographer. In 2013, shortly before his death at age 89 following a period of ill health, Dobbs received the Order of Canada by the Right Honourable David Johnston, at his home in Toronto. He was cremated and his remains interred in the family grave in St Mary's (Church of Ireland) churchyard in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, Ireland.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Linda Kooluris Dobbs, 2015

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This first accession of Kildare Dobbs’s papers contains drafts of his published works (Running to Paradise, The Great Fur Opera, Anatolian Suite: Travels and Discursions in Turkey, The Eleventh Hour: Poems for the Third Millennium, Casablanca: The Poem, Running the Rapids: A Writer’s Life, Cassanova in Venice: A Raunchy Rhyme, Away From Home: Canadian Writers in Exotic Places); other writing drafts, including writing for newspapers, magazines, his contributions to CBC radio programs “Ideas” and “Anthology”; his travel files pertaining to all of the places he visited (and wrote about) around the world; a significant amount of correspondence (both physical and digital correspondence); personal files and documents relating to his family’s history; professional files; photographs; cut-outs and print-outs of published articles; notebooks and journals; audiovisual and digital materials; and other files relating to the life and work of Kildare Dobbs.

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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:

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Language of material

  • English

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Uploaded finding aid

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Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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