Inventory of the
Barry Callaghan fonds

Inventory #F0525

The digitization of this finding aid was made possible - in part or entirely - through the Canadian Culture Online Program of Canadian Heritage, the National Archives of Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives.


Fonds/Collection Number:F0525
Title:Barry Callaghan fonds
Dates:1884-2007, predominant 1946-2007
Extent:28.3 m of textual records
ca. 1,200 photographs : col. and b&w ; 43 x 56 cm and smaller
105 audio reels ; 0.6 cm
30 videocassettes : U-matic and VHS
29 film reels ; 16 mm
2.3 GB of textual records and other material
Biographical Sketch/
Administrative History:
Barry Callaghan (journalist, poet, literary critic, novelist, film maker, teacher, editor, publisher, and translator) was born in Toronto on 5 July 1937 to prominent Canadian author Morley Callaghan and Loretto (Dee) Callaghan. He grew up in the Annex, showing a particular aptitude for music and sports. The family moved to Rosedale in 1951, and within three years, Callaghan was exploring the night life of Yonge Street and Porters Hall on College Street, the city's only Black dance hall; these experiences would play an important role in his short stories and poems. Callaghan enjoyed success as a basketball player, a sport that took him to Assumption College (now the University of Windsor). By 1957 he had written his first poem, "The outhouse," which was published in the college's magazine. He joined Canadian Press (Broadcast News) as a reporter for the summer of 1958. After selling his short story, "The muscle," to CBC Radio Windsor in early 1959 and spending the summer reporting for CBC's television news, Callaghan enrolled in St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto. He earned his Master's degree in 1963, a year that also included regular appearances on CBC Radio to discuss books, and his marriage to Nina Rabchuck. He moved back to television in 1964, joining "Show on shows" (later known as "The umbrella") hosted by abstract expressionist painter William Ronald. His work for the show included interviews with several prominent writers, such as Marie-Claire Blais, Margaret Laurence, John Updike, and Patrick Kavanaugh. His first article of literary criticism on the work of Laurence was published in "Tamarack review" in 1965, when he left the doctoral program at the University of Toronto to accept a position as lecturer with Atkinson College at York University. Callaghan wrote and performed in the film, "The blues," featuring live performances by several musicians including Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry during 1966 and 1967. His involvement with mass media expanded in 1967, when he was appointed literary editor for "The Toronto telegram," one of the city's daily newspapers. Callaghan travelled across the country with Pierre Elliott Trudeau in 1968, leading to an extensive article in the "Telegram." Callaghan regularly appeared on television at this time, co-hosting "The public eye" with Peter Jennings, Norman Dapoe, and Jean Sauve. His career expanded into film making in 1969. Works include documentaries on social and political change in Quebec and the Chicago Eight (later Seven) trial. Films on Israel, the Black September War and Palestine, an interview with Golda Meir where Callaghan challenged Israeli policies, and an interview with Angela Davis (charged with conspiracy and murder due to her connections with the Black Panther Party) led to strong reactions; he was fired by the CBC, compelled to resign from the "Telegram," and experienced difficulty gaining tenure at York University in 1971. Harry Crowe, Dean of Atkinson College, successfully championed Callaghan's pursuit of a continuing appointment, and provided support and initial funding for Callaghan to start "Exile : the literary quarterly." His visit to Israel in 1969 also led to his involvement with Israeli actress Saya Lyran, which gave inspiration for "The Hogg poems and drawings" published in 1978. He subsequently became involved with CBC researcher and artist Claire Weissman Wilks, whose book of drawings was the first title published by Callaghan's Exile Editions in 1976. After a film making visit to South Africa later that year that included his imprisonment by secret police and expulsion, Callaghan's career focused on writing short stories and articles for "Toronto life" and "Punch" magazines, translating nine books of poetry and prose by writers such as Robert Marteau and Miodrag Pavlovic, appearing on CTV's "Canada AM" until 1979, when he became host of CITY TV's "Firing line" and "Enterprise," publishing his own poetry, writing a memoir, "Barrelhouse kings" (1998), revisiting work he had written between 1964 and 2004 through two volumes of collected essays, "Raise you five" (2005) and "Raise you ten" (2006), and nurturing an appreciation for horse racing. He won several awards for his creative work, including National Magazine Awards, an ACTRA award for best television host, the CBC Award for fiction, an International Authors Festival Literary Award, and the Toronto Arts Award for Writing. His work received considerable international attention, leading to invitations to lecture in Europe and Cuba, and his appointment as Writer in Residence at the University of Rome in 1989. Several of his books have been translated into seven languages including French, Italian, and Croatian. Callaghan retired from York University in 2003, and transferred control of "Exile : the literary quarterly" and Exile Editions to his son, Michael, in 2005 and 2006.
Scope and Content:

Fonds consists of documents created or accumulated by Barry Callaghan that reflect most aspects of his personal life and literary career. Exercise books, manuscript music scores, research notes on modern drama, poetry and literature, and letters written to his mother pertain to his education at the secondary, post-secondary, and graduate levels, while manuscripts for short stories, poetry, and a novel represent his early creative endeavours. The fonds includes extensive correspondence dealing with his personal and family relationships, as well as his active involvement with an international community of poets, writers, and artists. Teaching files include course outlines, essay topics, reading lists and bibliographies on North American and Russian literature, examination questions, and notes regarding his teaching methods at York University from 1970 to 2003. Journalism files deal with his travels with Pierre Elliott Trudeau in 1968, the crisis involving the Front de liberation du Quebec and implementation of the War Measures Act in 1970, culture, politics and economics in Quebec, and Callaghan's works of political and social commentary for CTV and CBC. The records of Exile Editions make up a significant portion of the fonds, and include manuscripts for books, page proofs, and correspondence. These files show the creative process in considerable detail, and in particular Callaghan's work as an editor and translator. Administrative records for the publisher consist of catalogues, promotional material, writers' guidelines, grant applications, financial documents, and reviews of publications. Callaghan's endeavours as a travel journalist are documented through research notes, manuscripts for articles, correspondence, and promotional literature from various attractions at the locations he visited, including museums, theatres, and tracks for horse racing, 1978 to 1995. Manuscripts and annotated page proofs for Callaghan's Hogg poems, short stories, novels, memoir, and non-fiction trace the development of these works, and in particular his skill and attention to detail as a wordsmith. Callaghan's involvement with radio and television is represented by a variety of sound and moving image recordings, including audiotapes of his interviews with Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, videotapes of his television shows for CTV's "W5" and CBC's "Weekend," and original film pertaining to the war in Palestine in 1970, his interview with Angela Davis in 1972, youth culture in California in 1974, John Updike, and "The blues." The fonds also includes considerable material created by or involving Morley Callaghan, including literary agreements, royalty statements, stories by and about Morley Callaghan, manuscripts for several books published by Exile Editions ("Joy in heaven," "The lost and found stories," "The man with the coat," and "A passion in Rome") that provide an understanding of the close working relationship between Morley and Barry Callaghan, letters of sympathy and funeral notices following Morley's death in 1990, and scripts for the CBC movie, "Hemingway vs. Callaghan," 2002-2003.

Restrictions on
Access and Use:
Access to some files is restricted, and requires application to the University Archivist and completion of a research agreement. Files with access restrictions are so noted in the file list.
Finding Aid: File list is available.
URL of Finding Aid:
Accruals: The fonds comprises the following accessions: 2007-055. Further accruals are expected.
Related Records: The Clara Thomas Archives holds the fonds of several writers who corresponded or taught with Barry Callaghan, or whose works were published by Exile Editions, including: bill bissett, F0266; Ray Ellenwood, F0474; Barbara Godard, F0236; Janice Kulyk Keefer, F0482; Margaret Laurence, F0341; Rohinton Mistry, F0180; B.W. Powe, F0104; Susan Swan, F0113; and Priscila Uppal, F0237.
Associated Material: The editorial and administrative records of "Exile : the literary quarterly" were donated to the University of Toronto, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library by Barry Callaghan in 2006. The Morley Callaghan fonds is held by Library and Archives Canada.
Immediate source of acquisition: Fonds was donated by Barry Callaghan in 2007.
Provenance Access Points:Callaghan, Barry, 1937-
Callaghan, Morley, 1903-1990

Date of creation: 2010/04/15
Date of last revision: 2010/04/16
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