Special Collection: The Works of Harold Adams Innis (1894-1952)

Harold Adams Innis (November 5, 1894 to November 8, 1952) was a Canadian professor of political economy.

Excerpts from The Canadian Encyclopedia:

Harold Adams Innis, political economist and pioneer in communication studies ... Innis's earlier writings in economics and economic history gave rise to a distinctively Canadian approach to these subjects, and his later attempts to analyse the crisis in Western civilization led the way to a new emphasis on the importance of different modes of COMMUNICATIONS for understanding the nature and development of a society.

To a considerable extent, the detachment of our contemporary Canadian academic community from political involvement derives from his attitudes and efforts.

In drawing attention to the impact of the media of communications on the extent and duration of a civilization, Innis's communications researches culminated his lifelong attempt to explain the interpenetration between Canada and Western civilization.

Information on Harold Innis:


  1. A History of the Canadian Pacific Railway (1923)
  2. Peter Pond: Fur Trader and Adventurer (1930)
  3. Problems of Staple Production in Canada (1933)
  4. An Introduction to the Economic History of Ontario From Outpost to Empire (1935)
  5. The Cod Fisheries: The History of an International Economy (1940)
  6. Political Economy in the Modern State (1946)
  7. Minerva’s Owl (1947)
  8. The Diary of Simeon Perkins: 1766–1780 (1948)
  9. Empire and Communications (1950)
  10. A Plea for Time (1950)
  11. Roman Law and the British Empire (1950)
  12. The Strategy of Culture (1950)
  13. The Bias of Communication (1951)
  14. The Strategy of Culture (1952)
  15. Changing Concepts of Time (1952)
  16. Essays in Canadian Economic History, edited by Mary Q. Innis