Back to C Index

Finding Aid - Index

Clarke, Austin, 1934-

Austin Clarke fonds. -- 1960-1999. -- 22.5 m of textual records, sound recordings, and graphic material. -- 46 photographs: b+w -- ca. 820 photographs: col.

Austin Ardinel Chesterfield ("Tom") Clarke, author, was born in Barbados on 26 July 1934. His parents were Kenneth Trotman and Gladys Irene Clarke. His mother later married F.H. Luke. Clarke immigrated to Canada in 1956 and attended Trinity College at the University of Toronto for a short time. His interest in writing began early in life, and in the 1960s his short stories began to be published in Canadian and other periodicals. Clarke's stories and novels primarily centre around the plight of the immigrant West Indian in Canada, although his first two novels, The Survivors of the Crossing and Amongst Thistles and Thorns, take place in Barbados. He was a member of The Immigration and Refugee Board from 1983 to 1993; he also held a position with The Ontario Film Review Board from 1984 to 1987. Clarke was the inaugural recipient of The Rogers Communications Writers' Trust Fiction Prize for his semi-autobiographical novel The Origin of Waves, published in 1997. His 2002 novel, The Polished Hoe, won the Trillium, Giller and Commonwealth prizes. The author currently resides in Toronto, Ont. For further biographical material, please consult McMaster University's Library Research News (6, no. 1, Spring 1982) and Stella Algoo-Baksh, Austin C. Clarke: A Biography. (Toronto: ECW Press, 1994).

The fonds consists of eight accruals. The first accrual (9 m) is arranged into seven series consisting of: manuscripts, correspondence, personal files, Barbados, Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, teaching and audio tapes. The second accrual (12 cm) consists of one series primarily related to Survivors of the Crossing and material on the election campaign of 1977. The third accrual (1.44 m) is arranged into three series consisting of: manuscripts, diaries, correspondence and audio tapes. The fourth accrual (1.2 m) is arranged in three series consisting of: manuscripts, other material and correspondence. The fifth accrual (2.29 m), is arranged in six series consisting of: correspondence, material relating to The Ontario Film Review Board, published book manuscripts, unpublished novels, notebook and material received - not by Austin Clarke. The sixth accrual (5.1 m) is arranged in ten series consisting of: correspondence, periodicals, research files, invitations, tape recordings, articles, manuscripts, columns, essays and works by others. The seventh accrual (3.3 m) and is arranged in six series consisting of: correspondence, manuscripts, manuscripts by others, newspaper columns, printed material and other material. The eighth accrual consists of photographs, 46 b&w and ca. 820 colour of Clarke, his family, friends, politicians, and writers. Sound recordings on audio tapes in accruals 1 and 3 were converted to compact discs in 2007.

Title based on the contents of the fonds.
The first accrual was acquired in July 1982; the second accrual in the summer of 1982; the third accrual in December 1983; the fourth accrual in 1985; the fifth accrual (01-1989) in January 1989; the sixth accrual (09-1994) in September 1994; the seventh accrual (35-1999) in 1999; the eight accrual (29-2000) in July 2000, all from Austin Clarke.
Finding aid available in hard copy and electronically.
There are some access restrictions; within the first accrual, some Barbados files; within the fourth accrual, binder containing Board of Censors reports on films; within the fifth accrual, material relating to The Ontario Film Review Board and Film Review Board; within the sixth accrual, Boxhill and Marinak correspondence; within the seventh accrual, Zoppi correspondence can only be examined with Clarke's permission.
Further accruals are expected.

Finding Aid - Index

Back to Top


Last Reviewed: November 27, 2007