Kathleen Coburn fonds
Dates of Material:
9.54 m of textual records
688 photographs: col.
1160 photographs plus 4 albums: b&w
543 photographs: col. slides
16 microfilm reels: positive and negative
1 print: poster: col.
Kathleen Coburn (1905-1991) was an award winning academic and professor of English. She was born in Stayner, Ontario, the daughter of John Coburn and Susannah Wesley Emerson. She died in Toronto, Ontario.
Coburn was educated at Harbord Collegiate Institute in Toronto. She received a B.A. (1928) and an M.A. (1930) from Victoria College, University of Toronto. She proceeded to St. Hugh's College, Oxford, England, where she obtained her B. Litt. in 1932. The same year, she returned to Toronto and accepted a position as an instructor in the English Department of Victoria College. She also served as Assistant to the Dean of Women (1932-1935). She was appointed Professor of English at Victoria College in 1953 and Professor Emeritus in 1971. Her academic interest focused on English literature and the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Coburn received honourary doctorates from several universities, including Queen's University (1964), Trent University (1973), Canterbury (1975), University of British Columbia (1976), and University of Toronto (1978). She became honourary fellow of St. Hugh's College, Oxford, England in 1970. She was the recipient of several academic awards, including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship to study the unpublished writings of Coleridge in 1953 and 1957/58, the Leverhulme Award in 1948, the Order of Canada in 1974, the Chauveau Medal in 1979, and the Rosemary Crawshay Prize in 1990.
Coburn edited The Philosophical Lectures of S.T. Coleridge (1949) and The Letters of Sara Hutchison (1954). She was the general editor of The Collected Works of S.T. Coleridge (1968-). Her other publications include: The Grandmothers (1949), Inquiring Spirit (1951, 1979), In Pursuit of Coleridge (1977), and many articles, essays and published lectures.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of records pertaining to Kathleen Coburn's career as an academic and to her personal life. It is comprised of the following series:
- Series 1: General correspondence
- Series 2: Subject correspondence
- Series 3: Research and editorial records
- Series 4: Lectures and publication files
- Series 5: Scrapbooks and journals
- Series 6: Personal files
- Series 7: Graphic materials (photographs and slides)
Source of supplied title
Title based on contents of the fonds.
The fonds also includes 40 photographs: 35 mm b&w negatives, 448 photographs: 35 mm col. negatives, 1 photograph: 8x10 inch b&w negative, 1 photograph: 4x5 inch b&w negative 142 photographs: 6x11 cm b&w negatives, 540 photographs: 6x9 cm b&w negative, 1 photograph: 6x6 cm b&w negative, 20 photographs: 4.5x6.5 cm negatives 18 photographs: 4.5x4.5 cm col. negatives, 193 photographs: 1.5x1.8 cm col. negatives, 1 drawing, and 16 artifacts. It is stored in 82 boxes and 1 envelope.
Source of acquisition
Acquired from Freda Gough, Executor of the Estate of Kathleen Coburn, in 1992
Language of material
Restrictions on access: Individual files are restricted; see series level description in the available finding aid
Box/File List available at Series level
No further accruals are expected.
Provenance access points: Coburn, Kathleen, 1905-1991
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 1772-1834
Related Special Collections at Victoria University Library
“The Scholarly Adventures of Kathleen Coburn”
An article about Kathleen Coburn’s lifelong research into the life and poetry of Coleridge. It was published in Vic Report in 1981.