Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00432 - Oonah McFee Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Oonah McFee Papers


  • 1963-2002 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

7 boxes (1 metre)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Oonah McFee was a Toronto novelist and short story writer. Raised in Ottawa and the Gatineau Valley, McFee (nee Browne) was the former wife of CBC radioman Alan McFee. She came to writing in middle age, enrolling in a creative writing course in the mid-1960s at the North Toronto Y, as well as a three-month seminar course at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel, Mexico in 1967, and the Breadloaf Summer School in Vermont in 1971. She was a Writer-in-Residence at Trent University in 1979, and has conducted readings and lectures across Canada. Her most famous work of fiction is Sandbars, a novel set in Ottawa in the 1930s. Upon its publication in 1977, it was immediately considered a Canadian classic. After the publication of Sandbars, she spent thirteen years researching and drafting a sequel to Sandbars entitled Silent Eyes, which was never published.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The collection consists of manuscripts, research notes and correspondence related to McFee's published and unpublished material. It includes writing assignments from the 1960s, as well as drafts and notes for her book Sandbars and its sequel, Silent Eyes.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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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:

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

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Description identifier

Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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