- [196-]-1990 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
34 boxes (3.7 metres)
2.9 linear metres of documents
38 colour slides
63 reel-to-reel audio tapes
2 audio cassettes
4 audio cds
8 video cassettes
2 16mm film reels , approx. 1 metre, and 75 metres in length
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.
Name of creator
Eric McLuhan was born in 1941 to Marshall and Corinne McLuhan. He received a B.Sc. in Communications from Wisconsin State University in 1972 and a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Dallas in 1982.
For over 40 years, McLuhan has taught at many colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. In 1980, with Roger Davies, McLuhan developed the Thinking and Writing workshops, and together they founded McLuhan and Davies Communications Inc., to help business professionals with their writing and editing skills.\
He has authored many books, including The City as Classroom (1977, with Marshall McLuhan and Kathryn Hutchon); Laws of Media (1988, with Marshall McLuhan); The Role of Thunder in Finnegan's Wake (1997); Electric Language (1998); Theories of Communication (2011); and Media and Formal Cause (2011).
He has also edited several collections of Marshall McLuhan's work, including The Book of Probes (2011); Marshall McLuhan Unbound (2005, with Terrence Gordon); The Medium and the Light (2010); and Essential McLuhan (1997, with Frank Zingrone).
His research and thinking has also been widely published in anthologies, magazines and journals since 1964.
- Adapted from ericmcluhan.com
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Gift of Eric McLuhan, 2013
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Collection consists predominantly of research and draft materials for The Laws of Media (University of Toronto Press, 1988) as well as related correspondence. Beginning in the early 1970's, at the instigation of McGraw-Hill (the original publisher of McLuhan's 1964 work, Understanding Media) Marshall and Eric McLuhan began generating materials towards what was first conceived of as a revised edition of Understanding Media and subsequently as The Laws of Media, a new work in its own right.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
The collection has been divided into seven series:
- Working Materials
- Complete Drafts
- Post Publication Materials.
- Audio Visual
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