Mildred Claire Pratt

Fonds number:
Title: Mildred Claire Pratt
Dates of Material:
3.99 m of textual records
4 audio cassettes
402 photographs: col.
355 photographs: b&w
33 photographs: col. slides
15 photographs: 35 mm col. negatives
29 photographs: various sized b&w negatives
ca. 143 postcards
77 (pen, pencil and paint) drawings/sketches + 2 folders + 19 sketchbooks
ca. 50 engravings + 3 scrapbooks
20 woodblocks
98 woodcut prints
2 metal blocks
1 metal block print
2 copper plate engravings (1 mounted)
1 lithograph
1 linocut
2 paintings
Biographical sketch

Mildred Claire Pratt (1921–1995) was an artist, poet and editor. She was born in Toronto, the only child of Edwin John Pratt and Viola Leone Whitney Pratt. At the age of 4, Claire contracted polio and subsequently developed osteomyelitis, an inflammatory disease of the bone that afflicted her for the rest of her life. She died in Toronto, Ontario on April 5, 1995.

Pratt majored in English and Philosophy at Victoria College, University of Toronto and upon graduation in 1944 was awarded a gold medal in Philosophy. She then enrolled at Columbia University, New York City, to pursue graduate work in International Studies. When she returned to Toronto she established Claire Pratt Book Service, a personal advisory and purchasing agency, from 1946 to 1950. Between 1952 and 1954 she worked for Harvard University Press as an editor. From 1956 to 1965 she was Senior Editor for McClelland and Stewart. In 1965, ill health forced her to retire but she continued doing free-lance work for Oxford University Press, McClelland and Stewart, Press Porcepic, and Consolidated Amethyst. She also studied art at the Doon School of Art, Toronto and at the Boston Museum of Fine Art. She preferred working with woodcuts and her work was exhibited at shows across Canada and in Europe. Besides, she began writing poetry, and her poems were published in various poetry magazines in Canada and the United States. In 1965 she published Haiku. Her interest in genealogy was responsible for her travels to England, Newfoundland, and New Zealand and in 1971 she published Silent Ancestors. Her other published works include Music of Oberon (1975) and Black Heather (1980). Near the end of her life she completed work on editing her mother’s writings, Papers and Speeches and Viola Pratt: A Testament of Love, a diary her mother kept of Claire’s life. Pratt belonged to several organizations, including: Amnesty International, World Federalists, and the Professional Booksellers Association where she held the position of President from 1957 to 1958.

Custodial history

The fonds contains documents of Claire Pratt’s father and mother, which she inherited after their deaths.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records associated with Claire Pratt’s career as writer and artist, in addition to family records.

The fonds consists of the following series:

Source of supplied title

Title based on contents of the fonds.

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from Claire Pratt in 1994. In 1995 the Estate of Claire Pratt donated 6 woodcut prints to the Library. Correspondence between Claire Pratt and Delza Longman were given to the Alumni Office by Delza Longman and were transferred in 2008.

Language of material


Access restrictions

Restrictions on access: No restrictions on access.

Finding aids

Detailed finding aid available: file level control
Box/file list available.


No further accruals are expected.

Related material

Other material relating to Mildred Claire Pratt can be found in the E.J. Pratt fonds.

Access points

Provenance access point:
Pratt, Mildred Claire, 1921–1995
Pratt, E.J. (Edwin John), 1882–1964
Pratt, Viola Whitney, 1892–1984




The fonds is stored in 46 boxes, 1 loose binder and 1 loose file.

Related special collections at Victoria University Library
Related exhibitions at Victoria University Library

Staff Login (library)

Copyright © 2017 Victoria University Library. All Rights Reserved. Also find us on: Facebook logo