Photo of Laure Rièse

Laure RiÈse



Laure Rièse fonds

Dates of Material:
1936–1994, 1996

6.81 m of textual records
525 photographs: b&w
574 photographs: col.
85 postcards
74 videocassettes
1 audiocassette

The Rièse collection includes the Laure Rièse fonds, records pertaining to Rièse's academic activities as well as materials relating to her personal life. There is also a separate but related collection of letters written by Samuel Beckett to Laure Rièse held by the library.

The Victoria University Library also holds the Rièse collection of monographs, a large collection of contemporary French literature containing presentation copies of the works of many of the French writers of our time. The collection includes a good selection of works by surrealistic writers and materials for the study of surrealism; it also includes materials on French social and cultural life.

Accessing the Collection

There are 3 ways to access the collection:

University of Toronto Catalogue: Contains all titles in the Rièse collection of monographs. These items can be browsed by doing an advanced search in the library catalogue and selecting Victoria (Pratt) Rièse Collection.

See the Inventory for a Collection of letters written by Samuel Beckett to Laure Rièse.
See also the University of Toronto Catalogue record for this inventory.

Guide to the Laure Rièse Fonds

Biographical sketch

Laure Eva Rièse (1910–1996) was an academic. She was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, the daughter of Frédéric Rièse and Laure Veuilleumier. She died, unmarried, in Toronto, Ontario.

Rièse went to Secondary School in Switzerland. She studied arts and literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, before moving to Toronto in 1928 where she assumed a teaching position at Victoria College’s French House while studying at the University of Toronto. She acquired a B.A. in 1933, an M.A. in 1935 and a Ph.D. in 1946, the first woman faculty member to gain one. As a Professor of French at Victoria University, she conducted courses in the study of French-Canadian authors, and Quebec’s place in la francophonie. At the same time she supported the teaching of theatre.

Rièse was a member of numerous organizations including Chairman of the Canadian Swiss Cultural Association, Honourary President of the Alliance Française, and founder and President of the French Salon in Toronto. She was also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in France (1971), the Officier d’Académie (1946), the Officier d’Instruction Publique, Officer of the Order of Canada, and Dame of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.

Rièse’s publications include L’Ame de la Poésie Canadienne Française (anthology) and Les Salons Littéraires féminins du Second Empire à nos jours (1962). She has written many articles and reviews for French Canadian and French American journals, and journals in France.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of Laure Rièse’s records pertaining to her activities as an academic and to her personal life. The fonds includes certificates; awards; contracts; correspondence with friends, and with Canadian authors; records relating to Rièse’s activities as a member of the Advisory Board of the Northrop Frye Centre; correspondence and other material relating to Gerard Mourge; diaries; manuscripts; photographs; videocassettes for a Television Française Ontario (TFO) production entitled Mini-portrait pour le lancement de la foundation; notebooks, agenda books and engagement calendars; notes for speeches and conferences; research files; teaching files; and travel journals.


Source of supplied title

Title based on contents of the fonds.


The fonds also includes 6 photographs: 4x5 inch b&w negatives, 4 photographs: 35 mm col. negatives, 1 photograph: col. slide, 6 drawings, and 12 posters. It is stored in 38 boxes.

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from Laure Rièse in 1994. File containing 1996 correspondence was acquired from the Riese estate.

Language of material

Some of the material is in English, some in French

Access conditions

Restrictions on access: No restrictions on access.

Finding aids

Detailed finding aid available: file level control.


No further accruals are expected.

Access points

Provenance access point: Rièse, Laure Eva, 1910–1996
Names as subject access points: Mourgue, Gérard; Northrop Frye Centre