Fonds MG 485 - Ralph Gustafson Literary Papers

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Ralph Gustafson Literary Papers

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MG 485

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  • 1930-1965 (Creation)

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1m of textual material

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Biographical history

Ralph Gustafson was born in Lime Ridge, Quebec, but grew up in Sherbrook. He attended Bishop's University, earning a double honours B.A. in English and History in 1929, winning the Governor General's Medal and placing top in his class. He received an M.A. in 1930, successfully defending his thesis "The Sensuous Imagery of Shelley and Keats." He also completed a B.A. at Keble College, Oxford in 1933, an M.A. in 1963, and was awarded a D. Litt. from Mount Allison in 1973, a D.C.L. from Bishop's University in 1977, and a D. Litt from York University in 1991.
After his B.A. from Oxford, Gustafson moved to New York, where he stayed for many years and become friends with many of the members of the literary scene there, including Auden, Cummings and W.C. Williams. Gustafson's anthologies kept in clued into the Canadian literary scene and also kept him in contact with most major poets post WWII (there are several letters between Gustafson and many major Canadian writers in our collection).
Over the years, Dr. Gustafson held a number of posts. He was music master, Bishop's College School, 1920-30; teacher of English St. Alban's School for Boys, Brockville, Ontario, 1933-34; tutor and journalist, London, England, 1935-38; British Information Services, New York, N.Y., 1942-46; Professor and Poet-In-Residence, Bishop's University, 1963-79 and music critic, C.B.C., since 1960. Winner of numerous awards, including the Order of Canada in 1992 and the Governor General's Award for Poetry (for Fire on Stone, 1974), Dr. Gustafson wrote over twenty volumes of poetry and prose and edited several anthologies of verse. He died in 1995.

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Scope and content

The Gustafson collection includes five boxes of correspondence, including many with some of Canada's leading literary figures from the 1930s to the 1960s. The collection also houses manuscripts, proofs, and published first editions of some of Gustafson's well-known publications. There are also newspaper clippings and reviews.

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Immediate source of acquisition

The papers were acquired in the 1960s at a similar time to the acquisitions of the Layton and the Purdy collections.


I. Correspondence.
II. Manuscripts.
III. Proofs.
IV. Published Material by R. Gustafson.
V. Newspaper Clippings.

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This fonds requires vetting by an archivist before release.

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