J. M. S. Careless

Title: J. M. S. Careless fonds

Date(s) of creation: 1852-1997; predominant 1959-1997

Physical description: 4.51 metres of textual, graphic, moving images, and sound recordings records

Admin. history/Biographical Sketch:
James Maurice Stockford Careless (1919 - ) is one of Canada’s most distinguished English speaking historians.  A professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of History since 1945, Dr. Careless has made significant contributions to Canadian historiography with his seminal works on George Brown, metropolitanism, and urban history.

Born in Toronto February 17, 1919, Professor Careless graduated from the University of Toronto Schools in 1936.  He then attended Trinity College, University of Toronto, where he received a B.A. in 1940.  Professor Careless went on to graduate studies in history at Harvard University.  There, he acquired an A.M. in 1941 and Ph.D. in 1950.  During the Second World War, Dr. Careless served with the Canadian Naval Headquarters and the Department of External Affairs.  In 1945, he joined the faculty of the University of Toronto as a Lecturer in the Department of History.  Dr. Careless was appointed Assistant Professor in 1949, Associate Professor in 1954, full Professor in 1959 (Chairman of the History Department, 1959-1967), and University Professor in 1977.  In this capacity, Dr. Careless taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Canadian, political, ethnic, urban and intellectual history.  Dr. Careless was made University Professor Emeritus in 1984, Senior Fellow Emeritus of Massey College in 1985, Senior Research Associate at Victoria College in 1987, and Donald Creighton Lecturer at the University of Toronto in 1987. In addition to his responsibilities at the University of Toronto, Professor Careless has traveled and lectured in Canada, United States, Great Britain, Australia, India and Japan.  He received the Rockefeller Award to Cambridge University in 1955-1956, the Carnegie Award to Australian universities in 1958, a visiting professorship to the University of Victoria in 1968-1969, and a Senior Research Fellowship at the Australian National University in Canberra in 1978.   

Dr. Careless is the author or co-author of numerous outstanding histories.  Most notably, his work, Canada,A Story of Challenge, has been a standard one volume history of Canada for nearly four decades.  In 1953, it won the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction.  Similarly, his two volume biography, Brown of the Globe, remains the definitive treatment of Upper Canadian politician and journalist, George Brown.  The book won the Governor General’s Award in 1963. Dr. Careless has also published many articles and reviews in both scholarly and popular journals.   His many public services include: Member, Ontario Historic Sites Board, 1954-1975; Director, Ontario Heritage Foundation, 1975-1981; Trustee, Ontario Science Center, 1965-1973; Member, Ontario Commission on Post Secondary Education, 1969-1973; Chairman, Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, 1980-1985; and Chairman, Mult-Cultural History Society of Ontario, 1978-1988.  In addition, Professor Careless served as co-editor of the Canadian Historical Review, 1948-1958, and as President of the Canadian Historical Association, 1968-1969.  He also acted as advisor to the National Film Board’s historical series from 1961 to 1966 and to the National Museum of Man’s Urban historical series from 1976 to 1982.  In addition, Dr. Careless has contributed to various radio and television projects for the CBC and TVO.   

Professor Careless has received many honors and distinctions throughout his career.  These include: the Governor General’s Award in 1953 and 1963; the University of British Columbia Medal for Biography in 1960; the Tyrrell Medal, Royal Society of Canada, in 1962; the Cruikshank Medal, Ontario Historical Society, in 1967; and the City of Toronto Awards in 1984 and 1985.  He has also been made a Doctor of Laws or Letters from Laurentian University in 1979, Memorial University in 1981, University of Victoria in 1982, Royal Roads in 1983, McMaster University in 1983, University of New Brunswick in 1984 and University of Calgary in 1986.  Professor Careless was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1981 and the Order of Ontario in 1987.  He also received the National Heritage Award in 1987.  J. M. S. Careless married Elizabeth Isobel Robinson on December 31st 1940.  The couple has five children. 

Scope and content:
This fonds contains correspondence, course and research notes, diplomas, manuscripts  including “Canadian Heritage”, “Brown of the Globe”, “Ontario frontier and metropolis”, offprints, and photographs documenting J. M. S. Careless’ activities as student, with the Department of External Affairs during World War II, as a professor of history at the University of Toronto, and as a member of historical societies and heritage organizations.  Also includes 19th century correspondence of George Brown.  Included in this fonds is a recording of an oral history interview conducted by Paul Bator in 1983.

Access/Use: Open

Finding aids: Finding aids available in Reading Room.

Related records in a different fonds: None

Accruals: Further accruals are expected.

Corresponding accessions: B1986-0038/ B1998-0034/ B2001-0020