Fonds 1233 - Ralph Novek Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Ralph Novek Collection

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Reference code

CA JPL-A 1233

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1936 - 1948, 2006 (Creation)
    Novek, Ralph, 1917-1989

Physical description area

Physical description

0.05m of textual records ; 9 photographs : b&w, col.

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Ralph Novek was born to Jewish immigrant parents in Montreal on April 10, 1917. His father, Joseph Novek, left Poland in 1905 after being warned by the Russian officers that used Joseph’s father’s tailor shop that Joseph and his brother, Israel, were to be arrested because of their socialist Bundist activity. Joseph traveled first to England and arrived in Montreal in 1906. Joseph married his cousin Helen Finestone in 1916.
Ralph Novek married Shulamith Litman in 1939. The couple supported themselves through Shulamith’s dress designing and Ralph’s writing jobs. In 1945, Ralph Novek founded the Burns Advertising Company with Arthur Burns, running the business until his retirement. In addition to advertising, Ralph Novek also wrote radio plays for the CBC and contributed articles on theatre and progressive themes to various journals.
Ralph Novek also translated into English, Benjamin Sack’s History of the Jews in Canada. Novek was related to Sack through his marriage.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Collection consists of photocopied typescripts of Novek’s radio plays (originals destroyed) and copies of Progressive Theatre, Northern Review, and Today. Collection also contains biographical information on the Litman, Sack, and Novek families.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English
  • Hebrew

Script of material

  • Hebrew
  • Latin

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Restrictions on access

Access may be restricted for file 3.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

This description was created by Archival Practicum Student Suzanne Ngsee on February 13th, 2024.

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    Script of description


      Accession area