In an attempt to improve long-term access to our digitized collections, we are currently migrating collections to a new system. As a result, access to several collections will be delayed as we complete the move. Please let us know if you need to view items from any of the digital projects currently affected and we will provide special access as capacity allows. Thank you for your understanding.

Additional Resources


The Liaison director (Jan M' Ghee) of Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula (CACSP) on Vancouver Island contacted us in November 2010 to ask for some original Al Purdy Manuscript material to use for a community project in Sidney, one of Purdy's former homes.  When Sydney removed Hydro poles a few years before they were left with unsightly Hydro boxes, which were effectively wrapped in digital copies of original art by local artists and for the one remaining box they hoped to wrap it with Al Purdy images. Using some images from U of S Special Collections, the Hydro boxes were wrapped with support from Purdy's publisher, his widow, and Jean Baird (who spearheads a fund-raiser to buy Purdy's old A-Frame) and images can be seen below.









Bibliography of Al Purdy's library in Sydney, British Columbia and Ameliasburg, Ontario: Ameliasburg Library List and Sydney Library List.   Lists compiled in 2007 by University of Toronto Professor Sam Solecki.  The asterisked items are considered particularly valuable.  The number occuring after each entry indicates condition, from 1 to 5, 5 being near-mint or mint.

Archival Collections

The Al Purdy Fonds, Queen's University Archives.

Purdy Papers, circa 1960 (General Archives 141 j), Lakehead University Library

The Al Purdy Papers, at the University of Toronto's Fisher Rare Books Library.

Alfred Purdy Fonds (1961, 1968), University of British Columbia Rare Books and Special Collections.

Additional Material

Yours, Al. Mississauga: Wombat Productions, 2006. First-person narrative film of several of Purdy's greatest poems starring Canadian icon Gordon Pinsent.

Web Links

100 Canadian Poets, Al Purdy. University of Calgary.

Al Purdy at the CBC Digital Archives.  Several videos from the vaults at CBC (may take a moment or two to load).

The Canadian Encylopedia. Alfred Wellington Purdy.

Canadian Poets, University of Toronto Library. Al Purdy.

Jones, D.G. "Al Purdy's Contemporary Pastoral". Canadian Poetry, University of Western Ontario.

Digital Tools

Wordle is a digital visualisation tool that creates a word cloud from a selection of text with more frequent words becoming larger words in the image.
The following is an example of a Wordle of MSS 4 1 I A 3 - drafts of poems written in the late 50s and early 60s.  Certain words like "Purdy" may be relatively uninteresting (presumably he signed his name a lot), but the large "One" in proximity to "man" and "old" might suggest a lonely quality to the poems, for instance. This visualisation does not answer such questions, but helps a researcher to pose them.

Additionally, there is tagcrowdMORE COMING SOON!

Books and Journals

The Bukowski/Purdy Letters: A Decade of Dialogue, 1964-1974. Edited by Seamus Cooney. Santa Barbara: The Paget Press. 1983.

Al Purdy reading his poetry

Video Readings Of Purdy's Poetry

Yours, Al.  Gorden Pinset plays Al Purdy in this quasi-biographical made for TV special.

"At the Quinte Hotel."  Gordon Downie [Tragically Hip] stars in this dramatic reading of the Al Purdy poem "At the Quinte Hotel."  Al Purdy narrates.

A slideshow with a reading o Purdy's "Transient" from a radio show in Vancouver:

A Video "For Al Purdy":