Fonds MS-2-783 - James Gray fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

James Gray fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Multiple media

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1941 - 2011 (Creation)
    Gray, James

Physical description area

Physical description

3 m of textual records. - 11 photographs. - 18 audio cassettes. - 14 audio reels. - 1 audio disc

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

James Gray (1932-2012) was a scholar and professor of English literature and language, particularly in the area of Samuel Johnson and 18th Century Studies. Born in Montrose, Scotland, James Gray studied literature at the University of Aberdeen before he left his studies for service in the Second World War (1941-1946). After the war, James Gray received a B.A. (1948) and M.A. (1951) in literature at Oxford University at Balliol College. He became an English professor (1951) at Bishop’s university in Sherbrooke, Québec. Eventually, he was head of his department (1958) and chair of the humanities (1971) at Bishop’s. He was married to Pamela Gray [1950?] and had one daughter, Caroline, in 1952. He received a PHD in literature from University of Montreal in 1970. During this time, he also served as faculty for the Canadian National Railways Staff Training Course (1959-1970). He came to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia appointed Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science in 1975 and Thomas McCulloch Professor Emeritus (1980). He wrote and lectured extensively on literature with a special focus on Samuel Johnson and 18th century studies, particularly in the area of theater and religious writing, and wrote the 1977 introduction to Thomas Raddall’s His Majesty’s Yankees. He was a member of the Editorial Committee of the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson for more than 10 years. He was a very active member, president and director of various literature and teaching associations, journals and publication initiatives. He was also a devoted philatelist. James Gray retired to Kentville, Nova Scotia.

Custodial history

The bulk of the material was donated by Pamela Gray, James Gray’s wife, upon Gray’s death in 2012. The rest of the material was donated in 2014 by Lloyd Melanson the executor of James and Pamela Gray’s estate.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of manuscripts of reviews, lectures, speeches, editorial work, articles, books, poetry, short fiction, and other publications; correspondence with other scholars and students regarding literature studies; course and teaching material; correspondence and records concerning work with associations, publishers, journals and societies including work with the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson; and personal files including personal records, philately research, and personal correspondence. Fonds also some photographs of James Gray and colleagues as well as audio recordings of lectures, speeches, and other works by James Gray.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Arrangement was imposed by the processing archivist.

Language of material

  • English
  • French

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  • English

Script of description


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