Andrew & Eric McLuhan Talk About Marshall McLuhan’s Personal Working Library

 Andrew McLuhan

Andrew McLuhan, the grandson of famed communications theorist Marshall McLuhan, visited the Fisher Library in January 20, 2014, to discuss McLuhan’s working library, which is now housed at the Fisher. Andrew discussed his role in cataloguing the McLuhan Library, some of the interesting discoveries he made, and how he came to understand his grandfather through Marshall McLuhan’s heavily annotated books.

The full talk can be seen below, or by visiting the Fisher’s YouTube Channel at

McLuhan enthusiasts will also be interested in this nine-page holograph letter [not there now, Feb. 2018] from Marshall McLuhan to “Francis” (possibly educational theorist, Francis Shoemaker) written in the late fall of 1957.  In it, McLuhan holds forth on ideas that help shape The Gutenberg Galaxy(1962): moveable type as the “first instance of the mechanization of handicraft,” radio and television as “new languages come to enrich our own,” and the way different political climates (Soviet vs. Western) change the effect of media technologies.

The letter was recently discovered pressed between the pages of McLuhan’s copy of William Cahn’s The Laugh Makers.  It is just one example of the many valuable findings in the personal working library of Marshall McLuhan.  Work continues with the processing of the library, with a full release of all books and laid-in materials expected mid-spring of 2014. (Source: )

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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