Fonds MG 447 - Al Purdy Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Al Purdy Collection

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Albert Wellington Purdy fonds

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Reference code

MG 447

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1930 - 1960 (Creation)
    Purdy, Alfred Wellington

Physical description area

Physical description

2.6 metres of textual and photographic records.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Born 1918 in Wooler, Ontario and later in life divided his time between Roblin Lake (Ameliasburgh), Ontario and Sidney, British Columbia. Purdy was a poet, T.V and radio playwright, editor, travel writer and book reviewer. Is considered to be one of Canada’s greatest poets – called by the League of Canadian Poets “The Voice of the Land.” He is often referred to as a “people’s poet” and was immensely popular by fellow writers and the public alike. This popularity was in part due to his working class background and accessible subject matter. Purdy won a number of awards, including two Governor General’s Awards (for The Cariboo Horses in 1965 and The Collected Poems of Al Purdy, 1956-1986 in 1986). Al Purdy died in Sidney, B.C., on April 21, 2000.

Custodial history

The papers were purchased from Al Purdy in 1969 with funds from the Chancellor Richardson Memorial Funds. Depending on the materials in question, requests for copyright permission are to be made through the Purdy Estate or the University of Saskatchewan Special Collections.

Scope and content

These papers include (handwritten and typed): manuscripts, drafts, journal publications, volumes and collections of his work, articles and reviews of his work; volumes of other poets work; personal correspondence and poems from the likes of Margaret Atwood, Milton Acorn, Earle Birney and Irving Layton; photos; vinyl cuts; audio recordings

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Restrictions on access

Restrictions are as noted in the Finding Aid

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Some materials are still under copyright of original authors.

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