Grace Irwin

Fonds number:
Title: Grace Irwin
Dates of Material:
1884–2008, predominant 1951–2001
2.57 m of textual records
290 photographs: b&w
Biographical sketch

Grace Irwin had a distinguished life as novelist, humanist and classicist. Born in Toronto in 1907, she attended Parkdale Collegiate Institute before attaining a B.A. (1929) from Victoria College, University of Toronto, and M.A. (1932) from University of Toronto. Ms. Irwin went on to a long and rewarding career teaching at Humberside Collegiate Institute, heading the Latin and Greek Department, 1942–1969. She wrote seven novels, including Least of all saints (1952), In a little place (1959), Servant of slaves: a biographical novel of John Newton (1961), Contend with horses (1969), and The seventh earl: a dramatized biography (1976), as well as poems and articles in periodicals. Grace Irwin served on the Senate, University of Toronto, 1952–1956, and received an Honorary Doctorate of Sacred Letters from Victoria University in 1991. In 1968 she was awarded the Centennial Medal of Canada, and in 2001 the Grace Irwin Secondary School Teaching Award was established by the Ontario Classical Association. Grace Irwin died in 2008.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of four series: records relating to writing,1925–2003; diaries/journals, 1920–1991 ; correspondence, 1907–2008; and records relating to family and various activities, 1882–2008

Source of supplied title

Title based on contents of the fonds

Immediate source of acquisition

Records initially acquired from Grace Irwin in 1995. 2009.04, 2009.11 and 2009.18 accessions acquired from John and Eleanor Irwin in 2008, 2009

Finding aids

Box/File list available

Access restrictions



No further accruals are expected

Access points

Provenance access points: Irwin, Grace, 1907–2008

Related resources

“The Case for Quiet”
An article written by Grace Irwin and published in Vic Report in 1977. It is based on her early work as a writer.

Internet Archive
Here you will find online versions of Drawing Room Plays and The Diary of a Showgirl