Collection MSG 925 - Tundra Books fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Tundra Books fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Based on provenance of fonds.

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Physical description

2.5 m of textual records

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Administrative history

Tundra Books/Les Livres Toundra was founded in Montreal by May Ebbitt Cutler in 1967, as an independent publishing house. Under Ms. Cutler's dynamic leadership, the Tundra imprint became synonymous with children's books publishing, featuring titles such as William Kurelek's A Prairie Boy's Winter, Ann Blade's Mary of Mile 18, Roch Carrier's Le chandail de hockey and Joan Finnegan's Look! The Land is Growing Giants, A Very Canadian Legend, with drawings by Richard Pelham. From 1971 to 1978, May Cutler operated an American branch of Tundra in Plattsburgh, New York for distribution purposes to the United States. In the thirty years of the company's existence, and until its sale in December of 1995 to McClelland and Stewart, May Cutler sought and published talented artists and authors from the most diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Today, McClelland and Stewart operates the company as a separate entity, producing and marketing books under the Tundra imprint.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The Tundra Books fonds contains a collection of archival records documenting Tundra's publishing history. It includes correspondence with Tundra authors and artists, most notably with William Kurelek. Parts of the archival material document the development and production of each title and May Cutler's dealings with government and funding agencies. The archival materials document a significant chapter in Canadian post-war publishing history.

Notes area

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Acquired from Tundra Books, 1998.


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Associated materials

McGIll LIbrary's Rare Books and Special Collections also holds a complete set of over 250 monographs published by Tundra Books/Les Livres Toundra, some of which have earned national and international awards. Many works were translated into French while some titles were published as bilingual versions. The monograph collection also comprises another 52 foreign editions published in Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Japanese, Spanish, Italian and other languages. There are also Tundra Calendars which reproduce some of the exceptional art works from the books as well as many Tundra publisher catalogues in both English and French.

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