Inventory of the
Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd. fonds

Inventory #F0280

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Fonds/Collection Number:F0280
Title:Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd. fonds
Extent:43.0 m of textual records
Biographical Sketch/
Administrative History:
Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd. was begun by Matie Molinaro in 1950 as Canada's first literary agency. Since that time it has represented the interests of several leading Canadian authors, performers and speakers including Marshall McLuhan, Harry Boyle, Mavor Moore, Celia Franca, Peter Stersburg, Lister Sinclair, Don Harron, and several others. The Service also ran a writer's retreat north of Toronto until the late 1980s. Molinaro has acted as a ghost-writer, written publicity, and translated material in her career as president of CSWS.
Scope and Content:

The fonds consists of correspondence, typescripts, financial records and related material of the Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd for the period, 1950-1990. The client files have been arranged in two different ways: alphabetically by name of the client or, chronologically, with an alphabetic sub-division under each year. This includes correspondence to and from clients, as well as correspondence with publishers, the media, sponsors of talks, radio and television producers, and others, publicity, and material relating to CSWS clients. For several of the clients the files also include resumes, photographs (for publicity purposes), schedules, travel arrangements, newspaper clippings, reader's reports, royalty statements, and contracts. The clients include Earle Birney, Harry Boyle, Celia Franca, Larry Henderson, Frank Rasky, McKenzie Porter, Clyde Gilmour, Stanley Burke, sports personalities (Lord Athol Layton, 'Cookie' Gilchrist), Ben Wicks, and Marshall McLuhan, among others. There are also typescripts of works (novels, memoirs, plays, radio scripts, television scripts, musical scores) by several authors, including established writers and unpublished (and unsolicited) novels, articles, short stories, and similar material. Financial records include invoices, cancelled cheques, bank deposit slips, cash books, etc. In addition, there are office diaries for the period, 1951-1965. There are copies of professional publications, publishers' catalogues, anthologies of plays, newsletters, copies of labour agreements between the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and ACTRA, ACTRA documents (constitution, etc), newspaper clippings, correspondence and related material from potential employers of CSWS' clients.

There is a separate collection of the correspondence of Marshall McLuhan, which was utilized in a published Correspondence volume, edited by his wife and Matie Molinaro, president of CSWS. In addition, there are galleys of McLuhan works ('Laws of the media,'), correspondence and reports of the Centre for Culture and Technology, lecture invitations, various television and film proposals, scripts, and related correspondence, as well as material about McLuhan (books, articles, newspaper clippings, etc), and the 'Management game,' which includes a sample deck of cards used in the game as well as orders for the game. There are also audio tape cassettes, and video tape cassettes, of recordings and interviews of CSWS clients' work, including, Victor Davies, Allan Gould, Lister Sinclair, and others.

Restrictions on
Access and Use:
Access is restricted. Written permission to view closed files must be obtained from Matie Molinaro, and directed to the Archivist, York University. All client files are closed until ten years after the death of the client; all financial records are closed for a period of 100 years after the first entry in the file; all files dealing with Marshall McLuhan are closed.
Finding Aid: File lists are available.
URL of Finding Aid:
Accruals: The fonds comprises the following accessions: 1972-002, 1984-006, 1985-008, 1986-010, 1988-011, 1989-028, 1990-018. Further accruals are expected.
Immediate source of acquisition: Accrual 1972-002 was purchased from Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd. in 1972. All other accruals were donated by the organization during the year of accession.
Provenance Access Points:Canadian Speakers' and Writers' Service Ltd.

Date of creation: 2002/04/04
Date of last revision: 2005/06/24
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