Accession MS COLL 00459 - Leon Katz Collection

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Identity area

Reference code



Leon Katz Collection


  • 1929-2000 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

14 boxes (2.5 metres)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Leon Katz was born in Lvov, Austria (now Poland), in 1906. He moved to France with his parents before the First World War and graduated from the university of Toulouse with an engineering degree. In 1941, he fled to Spain after the Nazi invasion of France and spent three years in Barcelona. Katz emigrated to Canada in 1944 and got a job assembling resistors. In 1948, he developed and patented a flickerless fluorescent lamp, and the next year he founded his own company, Canadian Fluorescent Light Co., which eventually became Canada X-Ray Ltd. He was also president of the French Chamber of Commerce and art curator of the Alliance Francaise.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Johanna Katz

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Consists largely of photographs, many of them signed, primarily of artists and writers. Also contains background material Katz collected on the various individuals represented in his Momento Books, including newspaper clippings and related correspondence. It also includes photographs of Henry Moore's work, material from the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto during the 1970s, and misc. professional material (photographs, correspondence, patents, printed matter) from Leon Katz's career as owner and president at Canada X-Ray Ltd. Personal material includes letters from Katz's parents written in the 1930s and a journal kept by Katz from 1958-1961. Additional correspondence includes holiday cards from friends, as well as letters from anonymous collectors solicited by Katz in advertisements in various magazines for a study he hoped to do on the psychology of collecting.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

*Personal material (box 14) is restricted.

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

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • Polish
  • Yiddish

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Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Description identifier


Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

Rules and/or conventions used




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