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For immediate release

Recordings, documents, photographs and signed books open window on more than 5,000 authors, and history of author readings in Canada

TORONTO, November 25, 2009 ---- Authors at Harbourfront Centre has confirmed terms with Library and Archives Canada for the ongoing archiving of its unique collection of Canadian and international literary works and readings. Dating back to the inception of the now world-renowned reading series in 1974, the archive comprises documents and photographs, audio and video files, promotional materials, working files, and signed books from all Authors at Harbourfront Centre programming, including the International Festival of Authors, the weekly reading series, and festivals for young readers. It represents Canada’s largest archival resource of authors reading aloud from their own work.

Examples of archived information include: audio of authors such as Timothy Findley, Margaret Atwood and Irving Layton reading in the late ’70s; coverage of the Guinness World Record-breaking J.K. Rowling reading at Toronto’s SkyDome in 2000; video and audio footage of writers from around the world reflecting on the importance of Canadian greats such as Mordecai Richler and Paul Quarrington at tributes held in their honour.

A collection of books signed by every author who appears on the Authors at Harbourfront Centre stage represents a unique library of literary works across genres and from authors and publishing houses throughout the world. This collection dates back to September 2003.
“Through the archival fonds, Authors at Harbourfront Centre’s legacy as a forum for creative expression and a place of dialogue about literature will be preserved for the future and serve as a generous source for research,” said Catherine Hobbs, Archivist, Literary Archives (English-language), Library and Archives Canada.
“This agreement with Library and Archives Canada ensures that a unique collection realises its potential as an invaluable resource,” said Geoffrey Taylor, Director of Authors at Harbourfront Centre. “It chronicles not only the work of more than 5,000 individual authors, but the development of live literary entertainment in Canada.”

Donations will continue to be made by Authors at Harbourfront Centre. Work on the archives is ongoing at Library and Archives Canada.
For additional information regarding the archives, researchers may contact
Catherine Hobbs:


Since its inception in 1974, Authors at Harbourfront Centre has hosted over 5,000 authors from more than 100 countries, including 17 Nobel Laureates. Our season runs from September to June and includes the annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) (October 20–30, 2010), including YoungIFOA and IFOA Ontario; and the annual ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers with Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ (May 2010).

Media Contact:
Becky Toyne:; 416-973-5836
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