- 1698-1984 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
6000 Books and 20 Boxes of Textual records; 23 boxes of textual material
Name of creator
Herbert Marshall McLuhan was born in Edmonton, Alberta on 21 July 1911 to Herbert Ernest McLuhan, a salesman, and Elsie Naomi (Hall) McLuhan, an actress and monologist. The family moved to Winnipeg, where McLuhan attended the University of Manitoba from 1929 to 1934, receiving a Bachelor or Arts and a Master of Arts in English literature.
After teaching English at various American universities, McLuhan returned to Canada in 1944 to teach at Assumption College in Windsor. From 1946 until shortly before his death, he taught English at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto. In 1963, McLuhan became the director of the University of Toronto's newly-established Centre for Culture and Technology. The Centre conducted research on questions of sensory perception and other communications-related issues and offered academic courses.
McLuhan's books include the following: The Mechanical Bride (1951), The Gutenberg Galaxy (1961), for which he was awarded the Governor General's prize for critical prose; Understanding Media (1964); The Medium is the Massage (1967, with Quentin Fiore); War and Peace in the Global Village (1968, with Quentin Fiore); Through the Vanishing Point (1968, with Harley Parker); Counterblast (1969, with Harley Parker); Culture is Our Business (1970); From Cliché to Archetype (1970, with Wilfred Watson); Take Today (1972, with Barrington Nevitt); and The City as Classroom (1977, with Eric McLuhan and Kathryn Hutchon).
- Adapted from Library and Archives Canada's biographical note for the Marshall McLuhan fonds.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Collection consists of approximately 6000 books, journals and pamphlets that comprise the working library of Herbert Marshall McLuhan. The library reflects McLuhan’s diverse personal and academic interests, from Catholicism to the environment, from communications theory to James Joyce. The collection also includes the many notes, bookmarks, items of correspondence, newspaper clippings, and other documents laid into the books by McLuhan. These have been removed, indexed, and housed separately.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Folders of added material may only be viewed one at a time. 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-form