Fonds MsC-8 - Talonbooks fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Talonbooks fonds

General material designation

  • Textual records

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Edition area

Edition statement

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1963-2003 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

119 m of textual records and other material

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Talonbooks is the leading publisher of drama in Canada and has been publishing works by influential Canadian authors for over four decades. Its repertoire features authors of international stature, writing in the literary genres of poetry, fiction and drama, as well as non-fiction books in the fields of ethnography, environmental and social issues, cultural studies, and literary criticism. The company began as a magazine called Talon in 1963. It was run by David Robinson and some of his high school friends, and it later incorporated Jim Brown, who acted as both a writer and editor for the publication. Talon later joined with a small local press called Very Stone House and published its first poetry books in 1967. The association with Very Stone House ended a year later, and the Talonbooks imprint started appearing by itself. In 1969, Talonbooks published its first drama title, Colours in the Dark by James Reaney and its editorial focus began shifting gradually more toward drama until it became the companys area of specialization. Karl Siegler became the business manager in 1974 and then publisher, assisted by his wife Christy. In 2007 a majority interest in the company was purchased by Kevin and Vicky Williams. Talons authors have been the recipients of numerous prestigious national and international awards. Prominent Talon authors include Michel Tremblay, George Ryga, bpNichol, George Bowering, bill bissett and Mary Meigs.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of production records, correspondence, manuscripts and typescripts, proofs and galleys, promotional material, reference files, and business records, including financial statements, transaction records, royalty statements, and inventory records. Fonds includes records of the little magazine "Talon". Correspondence and manuscripts include contributions from Margaret Avison, Margaret Atwood, Victor Coleman, Bill Bissett, George Bowering, Jim Brown, Frank Davey, Gary Geddes, Barry McKinnon, bp Nichol, Michael Ondaatje, David Phillips, James Reaney, David Robinson, George Ryga, Audrey Thomas, Phyllis Webb, Michel Tremblay, Fred Wah, David French, Robin Blaser, David Arnason, Brian Fawcett and many others.

Notes area

Physical condition

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Finding aids

Inventories of the accessions are available in Special Collections: MsC-8 and MsC-8a to MsC-8i. Some inventories have item level descriptions.

Finding aid

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created May 20, 2014, LZ

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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