The fonds is organized in 2 series: PROFESSIONAL LIFE and PRIVATE LIFE.
The PROFESSIONAL LIFE series is comprised of 8 sub-series. The CORRESPONDENCE sub-series consists of letters, postcards and greeting cards from peers (artists, writers, professors, humanists, publishers) of Beissel including Angelika Arend, Werner Berchem, Werner Berg, Per Brask, Ronnie Brown, Anthony Cassils, Patrick Drysdale, Leo Enright, Heide Fruth-Sachs, Keith Garebian, Gary Geddes, Albert-Reiner Glaap, Amanda Hale, Jack Herbert, Jürgen Jankofsky, Anne Kulling, Renée Makino, Helmut Markus, Rob McLennan, Najwa Nasr, Anja Oppermann, Bruno Petrenko, Andrew Proctor, Uta Regoli, Walter Riedell, Gillian Rimington, Gerd Rohmann, Fruma Rothberg Sanders, Desmond Scott, John Smith, Richard Thain, Axel Vieregg and Norman Yates, to name a few. There is also an extended correspondence with Edward Lacey, Walter Bauer and Wolfgang Bottenberg.
The WRITINGS sub-series includes notebooks, manuscript and some correspondence related to Beissel's works in poetry (What If Zen Gardens, Season of Blood suite, Cantos North, The Dragon and the Pearl, Feel with your Eyes, etc.) and theatre (Inuk in the Sun, Under Coyote's Eye, For Crying Out Loud, Goya, The Noose and Improvisations for Mr. X., etc.) mostly but also essays (On the High Wires of the Imagination, Recovering the Child Inside or How to Write for Sarah and Jason, The Second Humanist Revolution: Eco-Humanism, Epic in Transition: A Challenge to the Contemporary Poet, etc.) and prose (The Sniper, As Flies to Wanton Boys, etc.). The sub-series also contains records related to the Irving Layton Festschrift published by Concordia that Beissel edited with Joy Bennett in the beginning of the 1990's.
The TRANSLATION sub-series includes notes and manuscripts of translations of works by Pablo Neruda, Tor Age Bringsvaerd, François Charron, Tankred Dorst, Shie Min, André Simard, Helmut Markus and Henrik Ibsen among others, but most notably Walter Bauer and Peter Huchel.
The CONFERENCES, TOURS AND RESEARCH TRIPS sub-series is comprised of correspondence, promotional material, speaking notes and travel reports related to Beissel's participation in many conferences, talks, festivals around the world including Peru, Kenya, China, Japan and Mexico but mostly in Canada and Germany where he often toured extensively. It also contains records one the Face-to-Face National Conference on Contemporary English-Canadian Theatre Beissel helped organize at Concordia University in 1975.
The TEACHING sub-series includes records related to Beissel's work at the University of the West Indies, the University of Alberta and the Munich University in Germany, but mostly at Concordia University as a full professor at the Department of English and as a coordinator of the Creative Writing Program he was instrumental in establishing and coordinating. The sub-series is comprised of correspondence, evaluations, some meeting minutes and course notes on modern European literature, Canadian literature and modern drama.
The COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT sub-series testifies of Beissel's involvement with different organizations and associations (the League of Canadian Poets, the Humanist Association of Ottawa, the Universities Faculty Committee for Peace in Vietnam, the Canadian Humanists Publications, the Book and Periodical Development Council, the Writers' Union of Canada, the International Theatre Institute, the Playwrights Guild of Canada and more) and his work as an editor of the magazines Humanist Perspectives and Edge. It is comprised mostly of correspondence but also includes some meeting agendas, minutes and notes.
The DISTINCTIONS sub-series is comprised of records related to the prizes and awards Beissel either won or was nominated for, including a Literary Award in Honour of Walter Bauer, an Ottawa Book Award and a Concordia University Alumni Associations Honorary Life Membership.
The MEDIA COVERAGE sub-series includes miscellaneous press clippings, reviews of Beissel's prose, poetry and plays as well as promotional material related to his publications, correspondence with poetry magazines as well as an extensive interview with Per Brask.
The PRIVATE LIFE series is comprised of 3 sub-series. The EDUCATION sub-series includes records related to Beissel's studies at University of Toronto: course notes, correspondence and syllabi of the courses he attended to. The sub-series also includes earlier course notes and writings [ca.1943-1950].
The JOURNALS sub-series includes the many diaries Beissel held between 1941 and 2015, including travel diaries written in Cuba, Kenya, Japan, England and China and a German war camp journal.
The CORRESPONDENCE sub-series consists of letters, greeting cards and postcards from friends and family members, including Beissel's parents and his daughters.