The fonds consists of manuscripts, correpospondence, photographs and audio recordings documenting the life's work and literary activities of Canadian poet Al Purdy and, to a lesser extent, the life of his wife Eurithe Mary Jane Purdy (b. Parkhurst). Includes correspondence with many of the major figures of Canadian literature including Margaret Atwood, Earle Birney, Michael Ondaatje, Dennis Lee, Timothy Findley, Diane Dawber, Susan Musgrave, George Woodcock, H.R. "Bill" Percy, Margaret Dyment, Rosemary Sullivan, Sid Marty, Fraser Sutherland, Ralph Gustafson, John Metcalf, James C. Deahl, Irving Layton, George Woodcock, Robert Fulford and many others. Carbon copies of many of Purdy's letters, both "incoming" and "outgoing," are also represented. The manuscripts cover all aspects of Purdy's literary activities, foremost as a poet, but also include rough notes drafts and final versions of his prose, plays, articles and reviews. Nearly every publication by Purdy throughout his career is represented, although his work from 1970 to 2000 is available in its entirety within this fonds, with drafts of some earlier works residing with other archival institutions. Also includes notes for speeches, lectures and presentations. Among the photographs are images of Purdy taken by professional photographers for book covers or other promotional purposes, family photographs and documents of trips to Peru, Mexico, Greece, among other destinations. Also includes photos from poetry readings. The fonds also contains published items, such as copies of Purdy's poems, prose and reviews; clippings and reviews of his work; and general articles about the author. Other material represented in this fonds document Purdy's activities judging writing contests, book tours, conferences and his own personal life.