Fonds 9 - Pelham Edgar fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Pelham Edgar fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

CA ON00399 9

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1768-1969 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

84 cm of textual records
25 photographs plus 1 album : b&w
4 photographs : 35 mm b&w negatives
2 audio reels
1 audio cassette

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Oscar Pelham Edgar was a teacher and an academic. He was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of James David Edgar and Matilda Ridout. He married Helen Madeline Boulton in 1893. She died in 1933. He married to Dona Gertrude Cameron Waller in 1935. They had one daughter, Katharine Jane. He died in Canton, Ontario.

Edgar was educated at Upper Canada College. He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1892 and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland in 1897. He began his teaching career as modern-language master at Upper Canada College (1892-1895). He was appointed to the staff of the Department of French at Victoria College, Toronto, as Lecturer in 1897, then as Head from 1901 to 1910. He also began to lecture in the Department of English in 1902, later transferring permanently to the latter, where he held full professional rank until 1938 and served as Head for twenty-eight years.

Edgar was a member of the Athenaeum Club, London, England; of the Canadian Society of Authors where he served as Secretary; of the Tennyson Club, Toronto, where he served as President; of the Modern Language Association, Ontario, where he served as President; of the Ontario Education Society, where he served as Secretary from 1908 to 1909; and of the Canadian Writers’ Foundation which was founded by Edgar. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1915 and received its Lorne Pierce Medal for distinguished service to Canadian literature in 1936.

Edgar published many reviews and articles, along with three monographs: A Study of Shelley with Special Reference to his Nature Poetry (1899), Henry James, Man and Author (1927), The Art of the Novel from 1700 to the Present Time (1933). He also contributed a chapter on Canada to The Cambridge History of English Literature (1916), and acted as Canadian advisor for the Dictionary of National Biography (1911). Some autobiographical material was published posthumously under the title Across my Path (1952), edited by Northrop Frye, including a complete bibliography of Edgar's publications, compiled by Margaret Ray.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Based on the existing arrangement of the material, the fonds consists of the following series:

Series 1: Material relating to Pelham Edgar
Series 2: Material relating to J. D. Edgar and Matilda Ridout Edgar
Series 3: Material relating to Audrey Alexandra Brown
Series 4: Material relating to Charles G. D. Roberts
Series 5: Material relating to Duncan Campbell Scott

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Most of the material was acquired from Dona Edgar in 1948-49. Two audio reels of a broadcast by Oscar Pelham Edgar were acquired from Kathleen Coburn in 1967. Portions of Across my Path, correspondence between Oscar Pelham Edgar and several authors (including Audrey Alexandra Brown, Robert Falconer, Northrop Frye, E.J. Pratt, Charles G.D. Roberts and Duncan Campbell Scott) and other unspecified material was acquired from his daughter Jane Conway in 1979.


At Victoria University Library the material was arranged into “sub-collections” relating to Oscar Pelham Edgar, the Edgar family, Audrey Alexandra Brown, Charles G.D. Roberts, and Duncan Campbell Scott. This arrangement is used as the basis for this description since the original order and context have been lost.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

No restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Associated materials

Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa: Duncan Campbell Scott fonds (reference number: MAINS23287 previously: R2938-0-5-E, MG30-D100).

Archives of Ontario: Duncan Campbell Scott fonds (reference number: C 275).

Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa: Charles George Douglas Roberts collection (reference number: MAINS20731; previously R2256-0-3-E, MG30-D32).

University of Calgary Library, Special Collections: Poems and letter to Mr. Cooper (reference number: ULM 199-25).

William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, McMaster University Library: Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts Collection.

University of Victoria Libraries and Special Collections: Audrey Alexandra Brown fonds.

University of British Columbia Library Special Collections: Audrey Brown fonds.

Victoria University Archives has a biographical file relating to Pelham Edgar, including a copy of Sir Charles G.D. Roberts and His Time, by Pelham Edgar (reprint, University of Toronto Quarterly, 1943).

In Hindsight Episode 17: Duncan Campbell Scott, Victoria College, April 1925 -
Episode 17 of In Hindsight, a podcast series presented by Donald B. Smith and produced by the Ontario Historical Society.


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Title based on contents of the fonds.

General note

The fonds is stored in 8 boxes plus 1 separate folder.

Alternative identifier(s)




Literary and Film Resources

Standard number area

Standard number

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres