Fonds RBSC-ARC-1127 - Carol Coates fonds

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Carol Coates fonds

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

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Physical description

1.8 m of textual records

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Biographical history

Carol Coates was born in Tokyo, and she returned there for seven years from 1930 to 1937. Her work Fancy Free shows the influence of her Japanese experiences. Coates' works, one of which was a play entitled The Jade Heart, were privately printed during World War II. Her wartime poetry was printed in 1941, and her last published work was Invitation to Mood (1949).

Custodial history

The records remained in Carol Coates' custody until she donated some of her typescripts and drafts to the Special Collections and Archives Division of the University of British Columbia in the 1970s. Other material was transferred to the custody of her daughter, Mrs. Sylvia Platt, upon Carol Coates' death.
Accrual transferred to Rare Books and Special Collections by Coates’ daughter, Sylvia Platt, in 1997.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records pertaining to the life and literary career of Carol Coates, as well as that of her brother William H. Coates (1899-1976). It includes correspondence, designs, printed material and clippings. It also contains the typescript of tributes to W.H. Coates during memorial services in 1976 as well as the typescript of Carol Coates' "Invitation to Mood" (1974-1975). Accrual consists draft poems, both typed and handwritten, and handwritten school notes from a class Coates attended at UBC.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Carol Coates donated material in 1974, 1976, 1977 and 1978. Her daughter, Mrs. Sylvia Platt, donated the substantial bulk of the fonds in 1995.


Carol Coates had numbered or dated the title page of her notebooks containing rough drafts of her poetry, and her correspondence was arranged chronologically. Most of her handwritten rough drafts, final handwritten copies and typescripts of her poems are dated with the month and year below each piece, either showing the date it was written or the date it was copied into its final draft. Since she put a strong emphasis on chronological order in her work, the fonds have been arranged within function, and then by date. The poems are short, and there are many in a single notebook. In order to place a particular poem within a year, each work within the series of handwritten rough drafts and final drafts of poems have been noted in a separate file list. This will allow a researcher to locate the time period of a particular work in draft form, and then find the final typed version. Both incoming and outgoing correspondence has also been listed to the item level, with the name of the author, the date and the address. This information may be found in the file list following the series description.
Platt’s correspondence which accompanied the accrual indicates that the material was left out of previous accessions accidentally; therefore, the material has been arranged roughly into the series determined by the previous archivist to be the original order.

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