Throughout her life Page was an indefatigable correspondent. The surviving record of her correspondence extends over more than 70 years, from the 1930s to the last day of her life, in 2010. There are some 500 folders of letters from her correspondents in Library and Archives Canada, many of these prominent literary and cultural figures.
In 1987, PK purchased a computer which she found “a surprising companion when I am alone, working. Quite unlike a typewriter which isn’t a companion at all,” and in 1999, at the urging of Sandra Djwa she, reluctantly (“I am against the whole thing”) went online and set up an e-mail account, firstname.lastname@example.org. In her last years, e-mailing took the place of letter writing, and she established an ever widening circle of e-mail correspondents: there were some 2000 e-mail messages on her hard drive for the year preceding her death, providing a fascinating day-by-day, sometime hour-by-hour record of her personal and creative life.
Apart from numerous letters and e-mails to family, PK maintained lifelong correspondences with Florence Bird, Jori Smith and Jean Fraser, and a briefer, but intense, correspondence with F.R. Scott. Other correspondents include Patrick Anderson, Margaret Atwood, Pat Martin Bates, Earle Birney, Bill Bissett, Dionne Brand, Elizabeth Brewster, Don Coles, Alan Crawley, Stan Dragland, Atom Egoyan, Ralph Gustafson, George Johnston, Pat Lane, Doris Lessing, Dorothy Livesay, Jack McClelland, Michael Ondaatje, Desmond Pacey, Lorne Pierce, Al Purdy, Theodore Roszak, Idries Shah, A.J.M. Smith, John Sutherland, Miriam Waddington, Anne Wilkinson, George Woodcock and Jan Zwicky.
The Digital Page will include PK’s correspondence, with a brief summary of each letter and a full index; the accompanying print volume will comprise a selection of the correspondence of particular interest for the light thrown on PK’s life, her cultural and social milieu, and her artistic development.