Clery, Val

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Reginald Valentine (Val) Clery was born on January 26, 1924 in Dublin. After serving as a commando in the British army during World War II, Clery worked as a radio producer for the CBC’s London bureau. Clery eventually immigrated to Canada and Toronto in 1965 where he continued to work with the CBC, pioneering the concept of the “callout” radio show as manifested in the long running show “As It Happens”. Clery is perhaps best known for his role in the creation of the independent review journal Books in Canada, which he co-founded in 1971, but during his career he also published books within a broad and esoteric variety of genres including ghost stories, picture books, and cooking books. Clery also served as a Jazz music columnist for the Toronto Star. Clery passed away in Toronto on September 29, 1996 at the age of 72.


Martin, Sandra, “Lives Lived: Reginald Valentine Clery” The Globe & Mail, October 10, 1996, A22.

Dobbs, Kildare, “In Memory of Val Clery” Books In Canada, December 1996, 3.

Marshall, Douglas, “Val Clery & The Original Books in Canada” Books in Canada, December 1996, 2.


Accession No.
Dates of creation
1947 1989
Physical description

3 m of textual records

8 photographs
· prints (8 b&w)

8 audio recordings
· 8 audio cassettes (ca. 8 hrs.)

2 graphic materials
· 2 posters

· 1 mini flip book
· 1 ‘Val Clery’ name stamp

2 artifacts

Scope and content

This fonds consists of three series, divided primarily by subject  matter and reflecting Clery’s working division of his files. The series are: ‘Monographs’, ‘Print Journalism’, and ‘CBC Radio and Television’.
  The first series, ‘Monographs’, includes notes, clippings, book outlines, correspondence, book drafts, file cards, and promotional material related to various publishing projects undertaken by Clery.
  The second series, ‘Print Journalism’, includes interviews, typescripts, offprints, correspondence, financials, and clippings related to Clery’s work on: Books in Canada, On The Town, the Royal Commission on Book Publishing, Seasons of Canada, Socialist Commentary, Yorker, Moses Znaimer, and Canadian Publishing generally.
  The third series, ‘CBC Radio Television’, includes textual records related generally to Clery’s association with CBC and specifically to Clery’s work on As it Happens, An Act of God, Browndale, For All The Good Intentions, The Trains, Ballad of the Bicycle, and Metro Morning. Includes memos, program schedules, essays, program notes, marketing and promotional materials, clippings, contracts, interview transcripts, and CBC published manuals and ephemera.

This fonds includes textual material relating to the following radio and television

  • As It Happens (radio program, 1968-69)
  • An Act of God
  • Ballad of the Bicycle (television)
  • Browndale
  • For All The Good Intentions
  • Metro Morning (radio program)
  • The Trains

This fonds includes textual and audio visual material relating to the following books
and publications:

  • Socialist Commentary (magazine, 1964)
  • CBC Times (magazine, 1967-69)
  • Seasons of Canada (book, 1970)
  • Yorker (book, 1970)
  • Books in Canada (magazine 1971-1996)
  • Closed Circuit (magazine, 1973-74)
  • Sound Thinking (magazine, 1974)
  • Canada From the Newsstands : A Selection from the Best Canadian Journalism of the Past Thirty Years (book, 1978)
  • Doors (book, 1978)
  • Windows (book, 1978)
  • Angels (book, 1979)
  • Cities (book, 1979)
  • Dragons (book, 1979)
  • From The Kitchens of the World : A Canadian Feast (book, 1981)
  • The Solo Chef (book, 1981)
  • Executive Guide to Fitness (book, 1982)
  • Back To Roots (book, 1983)
  • The Haunted Land (book, 1983)
  • The Lumber King (book, 1983)
  • Buon Gusto! : The Best Recipes From Five Top Italian Restaurants in Toronto (book, 1987)
  • On The Town (article, 1989)


Rights and access

A)There is no access restriction.
B) Material is subject to copyright restrictions; please consult an archivist.