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Finding Aid

Copp Clark Company

Copp Clark Company fonds. -- 1856-1993. -- 10.8 m of textual records and graphic material. -- 29 photographs.

The history of Copp Clark Company can be traced back to 1841, when Hugh Scobie, a Scotsman opened a book and stationery store on King Street East in Toronto. In 1847 he produced the first edition of the Canadian Almanac and Directory, published annually thereafter. After Scobie’s death, the firm changed hands and names several times until 1869 when two employees, William Copp and Henry Clark, gained control, eventually giving the company the name of The Copp Clark Company Limited. By the early 1900s, Copp Clark had evolved into a major educational publisher of textbooks, primarily in language arts and mathematics. As well as producing books and stationery items, the company established its own typesetting, printing and binding operations, branching out into games and greeting card manufacturing. In 1900 the company moved to a new office and warehouse on Front Street in Toronto, but the building was destroyed by fire in 1904. Copp Clark acted as agents for many American and British publishers and published works by such notable authors as Sir Winston Churchill, G.K. Chesterton, Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling and Edith Wharton. In 1965 the business was bought by Pitman Publishing, and the name was changed to Copp Clark Pitman. Copp Clark Pitman was affiliated with Longman (owned by Pearson P.L.C.), which purchased the press in 1985. Copp Clark Pitman celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1991. In June 1998, Copp Clark Professional, the only remaining division of Copp Clark, closed its office on Front St. in Toronto. At that time, a major donation of Copp Clark imprints (post 1880) was received by the National Library. The company’s nineteenth-century publications were donated to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto in 1989. Copp Clark Professional is currently located in Mississauga, Ont., and is a leading publisher of financial calendars.

Fonds (13-1998) is arranged into 14 series: Historical; Board of Directors; Management Committee; Financial and Personnel; Service contracts; Property; Government; Publishers, agencies and subsidiaries; Royalty; Permissions & editorial; Publications -- books and other; Other companies; Miscellaneous and Framed items. The Royalty series is arranged into the following sub-series: author contracts; textbook contracts; royalty ledger and games; stationery & novelties contracts. Other companies series is arranged into the following sub-series: Canada Games & Copp Clark games; Cooperative Book Centre of Canada Ltd.; Hunter Rose and Mirror Offset; Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd. Fonds also contains six framed items. Researchers should note that the fonds is fragmentary and incomplete, focussing primarily on the business side of the company’s activities.

Title based on content of fonds.
The fonds was acquired from Copp Clark Professional in 1998.
Finding aid available in hard copy and electronically.
There are no access restrictions.
Further accruals are not expected.

Finding Aid

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Last Reviewed: May 15, 2003
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