Fonds MsC-184 - Duthie Books fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Duthie Books fonds

General material designation

  • Multi-media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on provenance of fonds.

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Statement of scale (architectural)

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  • [after 1957]-1999, predominant 1990-1999 (Creation)
    Duthie Books Ltd.

Physical description area

Physical description

2.96 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Duthie Books Ltd. was founded in 1957 by Bill Duthie (1920-1984), who worked as a publisher's representative in Western Canada prior to becoming a bookseller. In 1982, Bill and Mary Frances Macneill's daughter Celia Duthie took over as president and CEO, with siblings David Duthie and Cathy Legate serving as members of the board of directors.

The first Duthie Books location was on Robson Street in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company supplied books in different languages to the general trade market and through Macneill Library Service, its wholesale library division, which distributed to school and university and public libraries. Duthie Books published a quarterly book review journal entitled "The Reader," from 1981-1995; this was relaunched as "The New Reader" in 1996 and ceased publication in 1999.

In 1997, Duthie Books acquired Bollum's Books out of receivership. Duthie Books won "Chain Bookstore of the Year" from the Canadian Booksellers Association in 1998. In 1999, Duthie Books Ltd. underwent a strategic planning and restructuring process, and went from a peak of ten locations across Vancouver, to a single store in Kitsilano. This last Duthie Books location closed its doors in 2010.

Duthie Books Ltd. was a supporter of BC and Canadian authors and publishers; the company fostered a knowledgeable reading public and a vibrant book culture in the city of Vancouver for fifty-three years. Over those years Duthie Books worked with fine printers and artists like Takao Tanabe and Bob Reid to produce beautifully designed and printed bookmarks; these are gathered into a book entitled Duthie's Bookmarks, published in 2007 by the Alcuin Society.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of materials generated from Duthie Books Ltd.'s business activities selling and marketing books in Vancouver, BC. Fonds has been arranged into the following fourteen series: Administrative records (1971-1999); Renovation files and architectural plans (1993-1998); Business proposals (1992-1998); Strategic planning and restructuring files (1998-1999); Duthie Books 40th anniversary project files (1966-1997); Press clippings (1984-1999); Sales and marketing files (1993-1999); Publication files (1986-1999); Readers & Writers (Knowledge Network) program video recordings (1995-1996); Virtual bookstore venture records (1993-1994); Mail orders (1990-1992); Bookmarks ([1957?]-1999); Artworks and awards (1970, [199-]) and Ephemera ([199-]).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Records were in the custody of Celia Duthie prior to their acquisition by SFU Library Special Collections and Rare Books in 1999 or 2000.


Arrangement based on creator’s original divisions of records as they were received by SFU Library. Original order was maintained by the Archivist where it existed.

Language of material

  • English

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Some files are restricted due to personal information.

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Further accruals are not expected.

Physical description

Includes: 48 architectural drawings, 3 technical drawings, 56 floppy disks, 1 zip disk, 39 photographs, 25 video cassettes, 11 banners, 6 whiteboard dry erase sheets, 4 posters, 15 pieces production film, 2 audio cassettes, 12 buttons

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Created August, 2017. SS

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