- 1751-1926 (bulk 1751-1875) (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
The van der Smissens were Germans of Netherlandish origins. One of the family, Henry van der Smisson, emigrated to Canada in 1833. His Toronto-born son, William Henry van der Smisson, was a professor of German at the University of Toronto beginning in 1892, and at the time was regarded as the chief authority of German in Ontario. He also filled the positions of Registrar and Librarian for seventeen years at the university.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Gift of Professor W.H. van der Smisson and of Gilbert Michael Henderson.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The collection consists of letters and documents concerning the van der Smissen family in Germany and Canada. The correspondence includes letters to Jacob Gysbert van der Smissen from Johann Lavator, a Reformed minister in Zurich, from Johann Heinrich Jung-Stilling, an eminent theological writer, and from Carl Heinrich von Bogatzky, an influential and prolific Lutheran writer in Germany. The remaining letters are primarily family correspondence, along with a family history, a travel journal, and the sermons of Wilhelm Leendert. It also includes W.H. van der Smisson's English translation, in the original metres, of Goethe's Faust.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
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