Fonds 1987.001 - Robert Zend Fonds

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00349 1987.001


Robert Zend Fonds


  • 1950-1985 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

15.25 m of textual records

168 photographs
· 126 prints (37 col., 89 b&w)
· 4 contact sheets (4 b&w)
· 38 slides (col.)

648 audio recordings
· 279 open reels : ¼ in. ; audio 2500 ft. tapes (no duration given)
· 179 open reels : ¼ in. ; audio 1200 ft. tapes (no duration given)
· 1 open reel : ¼ in. ; audio 600 ft. tapes (no duration given)
· 189 audio cassettes (no duration given.)

33 cinefilms
· 3 reels of 35 mm elements and trailers (500 ft)
· 30 reels of 16mm elements and trailers (9300 ft)

graphic materials
· 10 cm. drawings

9 books
1 television show credit roll: “The Mystery Maker” (30 cm x 300 cm)

Context area

Name of creator

(1925 - 1985)

Biographical history

Hungarian-Canadian poet and radio producer Robert Zend was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1929. Zend majored in Hungarian and classical literature and received a Bachelor of Arts from Péter Pázmány Science University in 1953. Zend immigrated to Canada in 1956 and commenced working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in1958. During his time at the CBC, Zend held a number of increasingly important positions including Film Librarian (1958-1966), film editor (1966-1969), and writer and radio producer for the CBC-Radio Arts and specifically for the program “Ideas” (1969-1977).
Throughout his career, Zend continued to pursue his academic and literary interests, receiving a Masters of Arts in Italian and Comparative literature from the University of Toronto in 1969 and writing, translating and publishing several works of poetry and prose. Works published by Zend include From Zero to One, My Friend Jeronimo, Arbormundi, Beyond Labels, Oāb I, The Three Roberts Premiere Performance, The Three Roberts On Love, and The Three Roberts On Childhood. Works written by Zend but unpublished include: Madouce, How Do You Doodle, Nicolette, and Key to the Cube. Works translated by Zend include: Gilgamesh, The Tragedy of Man, and Pattern Without End. Zend received numerous Ontario Arts Council Awards to help support his creative activities during the period between 1975 and 1985.
Zend died in Toronto on June 27, 1985.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This fonds includes a collection of personal and professional papers relating to Zend’s career and life in Canada. It includes holograph and typed manuscripts with revisions, notes and artwork for his poems, notes and scripts for CBC radio programmes that he produced and papers and financial records related to Zend’s business activities. The fonds also includes audio visual records related both to Zend’s career at the CBC and his creative endeavors.
The fonds is divided into 6 series: CBC Programmes, Literary and Art Manuscripts, Business Activities, Biographical Papers, Printed Materials, and Audio Visual Materials.

The first series, CBC Programmes, includes research notes, scripts, memos, correspondence, and contracts related to various CBC programmes.

The second series, Literary and Art Manuscripts, includes literary and art manuscripts, notebooks, drafts, printed research materials, drawings, collages, photographs, and correspondence.

The third series, Business Activities, includes correspondence, financials, permits and film scripts related to Zend’s various business activities

The fourth series, Biographical Papers, includes notebooks, diaries, scrapbooks, and correspondence, and textual records related to Zend’s personal matters.

The fifth series, Printed Materials, includes various printed works, research materials, and a collection of Zend’s printed appearances in journals and anthologies.

The sixth series, Audio Visual Materials, includes 33 reels of cinefilms and 648 audio tapes. Included are film elements related to editing work performed by Zend and audio records of interviews conducted by Zend for research purposes.

This fonds includes textual material relating to the following organizations:

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Elan Design
Tamarack Films
Toronto Tükör
Toronto Mirror
Zend Productions
This fonds includes textual material relating to the following literary projects and publications

Madouce (manuscript, 1965-68)
How Do You Doodle (manuscript, 1969)
The Tamarack Review (magazine, 1969)
Performing Arts in Canada (magazine, 1970)
Bric a Brac (manuscript, 1971)
Volvox (magazine, 1971)
Exile (journal, 1972-74, 1977-78)
From Zero to One (book, 1973)
Anthology of Canadian Hungarian Authors (book, 1974)
The Look of Books (printed research materials, 1974)
The Sound of Time (book, 1974)
Assassination Quartet (book, 1976)
Gilgamesh (unpublished manuscript, 1976)
Nicolette (unpublished manuscript, 1976)
A Critical (Ninth) Assembling (book, 1979)
Precisely Six Seven Eight Nine (book, 1979)
To Say the Least (book, 1979)
The Tragedy of Man (unpublished translation, 1979)
Ariel and Caliban (book, 1980)
Canadian Fiction Magazine (magazine, 1980)
Key to the Cube (unpublished manuscript, 1981)
My Friend Jerònimo (book, 1981)
Arbormundi (book, 1982)
Beyond Labels (book, 1982)
Lords of Winter and of Love (book, 1983)
Oāb (book, 1983, 1985)
Canadian Poets from A to Z (book, 1984)
Shoes & Shit – Stories for Pedestrians (book, 1984)
The Three Roberts (book, 1984)
Rampike (magazine, 1985-86)
Cinema Canada (printed research materials)
Pinch (printed research materials)
Take One (printed research materials)
This fonds includes audio visual material relating to the following programmes and projects

Ideas (radio program, 1969-77)
Split Affair (short film, 1979)
Stroke (film, 1969)
Before the Battle
The Mystery Maker (television program)

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals expected

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Preservation concerns may limit access, consult archivist.

Conditions governing reproduction

Media Commons does not own copyright of collection materials. Consult rights holder for reproduction(s).

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

University of Toronto Media Commons

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Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area

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