Fonds F02589 - Harvest House Ltd. Publishers fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Harvest House Ltd. Publishers fonds

General material designation

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Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1958-2001 (Creation)
    Harvest House Ltd. Publishers

Physical description area

Physical description

19.12 m of textual records, ca. 110 photographs, 1 audio reel

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

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Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Harvest House was a small English-language publishing house established in 1960 by Maynard and Anne Gertler in Montreal. The Directors of the company were Ann, Maynard and Leonard Gertler. At one time it was the most important English-language publishing house in the province. The publishing house operated along the lines of a one-person university press with an initial focus on Québécois literature in translation. Harvest House produced English-language translations of the works of Québécois intellectuals, academics, novelists, and poets, fostering a significant cultural exchange within Canada at a time of significant cultural division. The Gertlers were not only unique for the type of material they chose to translate, but also for the manner in which they approached the production side of the business. Although they received some funding, much of the early translation work was carried out prior to the inauguration of the Canada Council’s translation grants program in 1972. Harvest House also made a determined effort to produce inexpensive editions of translated works, intended for the mass market and not as specialty items. Each of their books came out in both cloth and paperback version simultaneously.
The production of literature in translation was later accompanied by books about science, the environment, history, urban planning, and biography, as well as reprints of classics produced by authors such as Henry David Thoreau and Emile Zola. Harvest House also ventured into bilingual publications in collaboration with the French Canada Studies Programme at McGill, producing books such as Bilingualism as a World Problem (Mackey) and Canadian Society During the French Regime (Eccles) continuing with their philosophical stance of helping to create and foster a knowledge base for all Canadians across language divides. Throughout the 1960's and 1970's the Press produced an average of four books a year. This rate of production decreased in the 1980's and ended when Harvest House sold its assets to the University of Ottawa Press in 1995. The sale included 100 titles, 31 of which were still in print. Maynard Gertler passed away in April of 2011.

Custodial history

Some of this material was transferred from the Gertler farmhouse to the Archives on a temporary receipt in 2008 for use in a book history project. The remainder of the material was transferred, and the entirety of the fonds was gifted, in 2010.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of predominantly textual records created over a 35 year span reflecting the operations of Harvest House Ltd. Publishing and includes correspondence, manuscripts, galleys, book covers, cover art, promotional material, book review clippings, contracts and financial information. The material has been arranged by the archivist into the following series: Published projects; Administrative files; and Unpublished materials.

Notes area

Physical condition

There are documents that may appear mouldy, they have been treated by the conservator and pose no further threat to the papers or the researcher.

Immediate source of acquisition


The filing scheme of the donor has been respected in most series. Each book or manuscript project was boxed individually and labelled with the name of the publication. Unpublished manuscripts constituted their own series. In some cases multiple files were condensed into one file if they were similarly titled.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

(302) Map 66.1

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access


Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright restrictions may apply to some of the material.

Associated materials


No further accruals are expected

General note


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Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Description created on 01/12/2011. Last updated 09/07/2015.
Archivist(s): Heather Home

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

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Location (use this to request the file)

  • Shelf: 2151
  • Map cabinet: (302) Map 66.1
  • Shelf: 5106.1
  • Shelf: 2229.5