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Robert Bringhurst fonds
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Robert Bringhurst fonds

  • MsC-154
  • Fonds
  • 1913-2013, predominant 2000-2013

Fonds consists of correspondence, manuscripts, notes, articles, and promotional materials created or accumulated by Robert Bringhurst over the course of his career as a typographer and writer. The majority of records were created in 2000 or later, as the donor had also donated records to Library and Archives Canada in the past.

The records include manuscripts of several of his major publications, as well as draft versions and speaking notes for many essays written and talks delivered throughout his career. Also included is correspondence with friends, publishers, and colleagues, translated editions of many of his books, and promotional materials such as posters and brochures for many conferences, festivals, and other events Bringhurst participated in. The fonds also contains some personal records, including birth, marriage, and death certificates from his immediate family. A timeline of major life events and activities has been included by the donor.

The records have been arranged into the following six series: Biographical material (2013); Personal records (1913-2013); Chronological files (1954-2013); Correspondence (1971-2013); Manuscripts (2013); and Broadsides and posters ([ca. 2000-2013]).

Bringhurst, Robert

RB [Robert Bringhurst] timeline

File contains a timeline of Bringhurst's life and work from 1946-2013, a list entitled "Significant teachers," a reproduction of an article entitled "Hans-Lukas Teuber: A Tribute" from a 1994 issue of the journal "Cerebral Cortex," and a reproduction of an article entitled, "Hans-Lukas Teuber" from the National Academy of Science's periodical "Biographical Memoirs."

Personal records

Series consists of personal records from Bringhurst and his immediate family. Personal records from his parents include letters between the two, as well as official records such as birth, death, and marriage certificates. Materials arising from Bringhurst's personal activities include passports and numerous daybooks, dating from 2000-2013.

Offprints & stray publications 1973-1998

File consists of the following publications: a book review of "Haida Art" by George F. MacDonald; "In Praise of Gorgias"; "Pebble/Pond/Errata Slip: A Codicil to Ocean/Paper/Stone"; "Postscript to a Translation of Empedocles"; "Eight Poems and Translations"; "Fast Drumming Ground"; "Some Notes on Verse and Versification" (draft).

The book and its form

File consists of a course packet issued to each student in a course Bringhurst taught at Simon Fraser University in 1984, entitled "The Book and its Form: An Historical Anatomy of Literate Culture."


File consists of letters, maps, and ephemera from travels in Europe.

Gaoyuan’s Chinese translations

File consists of the publication "The Burning Words" by Gaoyuan Wei, autographed by the author and inscribed to Bringhurst. Appendix 2 is a poem by Bringhurst entitled, "Of the Snaring of Birds."

Parmenides 1995

File consists of research, notes, and drafts for the book "The fragments of Parmenides & an English translation."

Cuentos del cuervo

File consists of the book "Cuentos del Cuervo: Mitos y Leyendas de los Indios Haida," Spanish translation of "The Raven Steals the Light."


File consists of notes, correspondence, an advertisement, and a concert program related to a talk delivered at Western Washington University.


File consists of notes, conference schedule, and correspondence related to two speaking engagements in Italy: a presentation at the conference "Italy and Canadian Culture: Nationalisms in the New Millenium," held in Udine, and at a seminar entitled "The Mediation of Culture: Literary Publishing in Canada and Italy," held in Rome.

Lincoln, Nebraska

File consists of correspondence related to a panel presentation entitled "Writing about Native America," part of an event hosted by University of Nebraska Press.

Tom Molloy-Nisga'a mss

File consists of an unedited first draft of the book "The World Is Our Witness: The Historic Journey of the Nisga'a Into Canada" by Tom Molloy and Donald Ward, as well as a letter from the publisher, Fifth House Publishers.

Purdy April 2000

File consists of a draft of a piece in memory of Al Purdy, as well as the published piece in the Globe and Mail newspaper.


This file consists of various pieces of writings and transcriptions of talks by Bill Reid, many of which are reproductions.

Rochester-Oct 2000

File consists of correspondence, notes, conference programs, and an edited version of the keynote address Bringhurst delivered at the American Printing History Association conference at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Bancroft lecture

File consists of correspondence, a presentation, notes, and advertisements related to a Bancroft Roundtable facilitated by Bringhurst at the University of California Berkeley Faculty Club.


File consists of a program brochure and notes related to a trip to Rethymno, Crete.

Joe Sheridan

File consists of a letter and an annotated copy of the essay "Rain wept time in the Badland: Anthems of liquid movement" by Joe Sheridan.

Wildfred Laurier

File consists of 2 copies of a talk entitled "The humanity of speaking: The place of the individual in the making of oral culture," The Laurier Lecture presented at Wilfred Laurier University on November 8, 2001, notes and correspondence related to the talk, and a reproduction of an Observer article about Osama bin Laden from October 28, 2001.

Zapfest-San Francisco

File consists of correspondence, a lecture entitled "Zapfest lecture: Breathing through hands," notes, an event poster, an and invitation to a reception, all related to the event, "Zapfest-Calligraphic type design in the digital age: An exhibition in honour of the contributions of Hermann and Gudrun Zapf," held at the San Francisco Public Library in September and October of 2001.


File consists of correspondence, presentation notes, an airplan boarding pass, a business card, and a conference program related to the conference "TEXTure-Reading/Writing/Sensing: Teaching word relationships in the context of new technologies."

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