Fonds F00551 - Walter Spencer Avis fonds

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Walter Spencer Avis fonds

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Dates of creation area


  • [ca. 1948]-1989 (Creation)
    Avis, Walter Spencer

Physical description area

Physical description

8.5 m of textual records, 36 audio cassettes, 30 audio tape reels

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Walter S. Avis (1919-1979) was born in Toronto. He received his B.A. and M.A. in English from Queen's University in 1949, 1950, and his Ph.D. from University of Michigan in 1955. He was active in English language studies throughout his life. He became a Professor of English at Royal Military College, Kingston, in 1952 and was made Dean of the Canadian Forces Military College in 1974. He was internationally known as an historical linguist, and best known for his work on Canadianisms in English, dialectalogy and lexicography. He was both contributor to and editor for the Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles. the Concise Dictionary of Canadianisms and other dictionaries for Gage, Funk and Wagnalls and other publishers. From 1963 to 1971, Dr. Avis was a witness for the defense in a trademark case involving the use of the word "thermos." Dr. Avis was Dean of the Canadian Forces Military College and was awarded the Centennial Medal in 1967 and Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1978.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence with academic colleagues and publishing companies, files of writings (rough, draft and published), field notes, notebooks and legal records relating to the Canada Thermos trademark case.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Mrs. Faith Avis, 1982, 1990.


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  • English

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No further accruals are expected

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Location (use this to request the file)

  • Shelf: 3711.1
  • Shelf: 3726
  • Shelf: 3726.3
  • Shelf: SR1063.1-SR1063.61