formerly the Archives and Collections Society  

The John Morgan Gray collection

John Morgan Gray, whose collection provided a number of books for this library, was variously a publisher, historian and author. He was best known as one of Canada's prominent book publishers. He joined the Macmillan Company of Canada in 1930 and except for five years during World War II remained with the firm until his retirement.

During the war he served in northwest Europe with the Canadian Intelligence Corps, retiring with the rank of major. He was decorated with an MBE and was Mentioned in Despatches. Shortly after returning from overseas he took over management of Macmillan; when he retired in 1973 he was president, chairman, and chief executive officer of the firm.

He was also for many years a keen student of history, an interest that was reflected in the list of distinguished historians who published with Macmillan, among them Donald Creighton, J.M.S. Careless, James Gray, Charles Stacey, and Joseph Schull. He was himself the author of Lord Selkirk of Red River and the first volume of his memoirs, Fun Tomorrow. Many years earlier he also published a boys' adventure story, The One-eyed Trapper.

At the time of his death in 1978 Mr. Gray was researching the 1837 Rebellion in Ontario and planned to write about it. Most of his books that were donated to the library are drawn from that work.

He served as president of the Ontario Historical Society and the Champlain Society.


Revised: 3 December 2011