Return to Home Pagefrançais
About the Project News Current Research Conferences Databases Related Sites
Navigation Navigation Navigation Navigation Contact Us Acknowledgements



VOLUME 1, March 2001

ISSN (Electronic version – English): 1496-5127


It was in Ottawa in the summer of 1993 during the Institute on Canadian Bibliography, sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of Canada (BSC) and the National Library of Canada, that the general editors first discussed a history of the book in Canada. In 1995 we chaired an exploratory session at the BSC meeting in Montreal and, the following year in Halifax, presented a preliminary report on behalf of our colleagues Leslie Howsam, Germaine Warkentin, and Bruce Whiteman. The founding conference at Ottawa in 1997 set the direction for the HBiC/HLIC project, now entering its second year as a Major Collaborative Research Initiative funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Although the work ahead is daunting, we are constantly encouraged by the energy of our community: the other editors, students and post-doctoral fellows, advisors, and colleagues across Canada and abroad. As project manager, Judy Donnelly enriches the team with her experience in book history, printing, and electronic publishing. We have also been pleased to welcome the collaboration of two noted scholars who are joining us in building the research infrastructure of the project: Paul Aubin for textbooks and Mary Williamson on the iconography of the book in Canada.

By this time next year, when the cycle of open conferences is complete, we will be working with collaborators in all regions of the country, writing our history.
Patricia Fleming and Yvan Lamonde


The Volume 1 University of Toronto site hosted a stimulating and congenial gathering of almost 100 colleagues at the first open conference on 24-25 November 2000. We are now revising and extending the draft Table of Contents for Volume 1, which was posted on the website before the conference and distributed there for discussion on the second morning. The next round of consultation will begin with the other editors, members of the Advisory Board and Editorial Committee, colleagues who attended the conference, and the wider community we reach through electronic discussion lists and the HBiC/HLIC website.

Janet Friskney, who joined the Volume 1 team as post-doctoral fellow for a seven-month term before taking up her position with Volume 3, made a notable contribution here as a colleague in the administration of the site and the project, and as a scholar in the creation of a bibliographic database of book history literature to 1840.

The work of the research assistants in Quebec City began in December 2000 with the goal to enrich the bibliographic record with archival materials, personal accounts or memoirs, and new information and illustrations related to the history of the book in Canada before 1840. These documents will allow our volume authors to support their texts with more complete contemporary evidence and to identify as yet unpublished sources. Le Musée de l'Amérique française in Quebec City, where the archives and rare books of the Séminaire de Québec are now on deposit, is our most important research resource. Contacts have also been made with religious orders and groups established in Québec before 1840 in order to explore their archives during 2001, and to examine their old books and other printed materials, items that often provide the first evidence of print in New France.

We hope as well in the next few months to document further the presence of the book in (French) Acadia, and to extend our knowledge of literacy during the French regime.
Patricia Fleming and Gilles Gallichan



PATRICIA FLEMING is Professor in the Faculty of Information Studies and Director of the Collaborative Program in Book History and Print Culture, University of Toronto. Her most recent publications, both with Sandra Alston, are a catalogue, Toronto in Print: A Celebration of 200 Years of the Printing Press in Toronto, 1798-1998 (Toronto, UTL, 1998) and Early Canadian Printing: A Supplement to Marie Tremaine’ 'A Bibliography of Canadian Imprints, 1751-1800' (Toronto, UTP, 1999). She has served as chair of the Toronto Centre for the Book since its founding.

GILLES GALLICHAN is Historian and Librarian at l'Assemblée nationale du Québec, where he works on the reconstitution of Quebec’ parliamentary debates before 1963. He has also been a reference librarian at l'Assemblée nationale, at the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, and at the ministère des Communications du Québec. In 1990 he completed a Ph.D. in history at l'Université Laval. Among his publications are Livre et politique au Bas-Canada 1791-1849 (Sillery, Septentrion, 1991); in collaboration with Yvan Lamonde, L'histoire de la culture et de l'imprimé: hommage à Claude Galarneau (Sainte-Foy, Presses de l'Université Laval, 1996), and, Les bibliothèques québécoises d'hier à aujourd'hui, Actes du colloque de l'ASTED et de l'AQÉI (Montréal, ASTED, 1997).


Ph.D. (History) Carleton University, 1999
Thesis: On a Mission for Culture: The New Canadian Library and Its Milieu, 1953-1978
PROJECT RESEARCH: A bibliographic database of book history literature to 1840

M.A. (Histoire) Université Laval, 1987; Researcher, specialist in book history of New France
Thesis: Le discours du savoir au Séminaire de Québec. La perception de l'éducation chez les professeurs du Séminaire de Québec sous le Régime français
PROJECT RESEARCH: Books and printing in seventeenth- to nineteenth-century Acadia; literacy in New France

Ph.D. Student (Français) University of Toronto
Thesis: Le personnage esquimau dans la trilogie d'Yves Thériault (Agaguk, Agoak, Tayaout)
PROJECT RESEARCH: Project translator, English to French

MISt Student (Information Studies) University of Toronto
PROJECT RESEARCH: Book history literature to 1840

Ph.D. Student (Information Studies) University of Toronto
PROJECT RESEARCH: Cross-volume database of printed catalogues related to print culture (libraries, auctions of private libraries, booksellers, publishers

MA Student (Histoire) Université Laval
Thesis (1903-1916)
PROJECT RESEARCH: Sources for the study of books, printing, and reading to 1840 in religious archives; the press and politics before 1840


The University of Regina and McGill University sites have both been busy with the organisation of the Prairie Print Culture Colloquium and the Volume 2 Open Conference. In anticipation of the latter event, the editors have drafted a working Table of Contents, which includes names of researchers who have published on various relevant aspects of nineteenth-century print culture. The team is now in a good position to discuss this document at the Montreal conference and to note gaps in existing research.

Sunny and friendly Regina was the site of the one-day Prairie Print Culture Colloquium (March 16) which focussed on print culture in the three prairie provinces from 1840 to the present. Speakers addressed a range of themes, including First Nations uses of, and interactions with, the world of print; the ethnic diversity of prairie presses; and, the uses of print in the evolution of a prairie culture (economic, political, and social). A panel of archivists and librarians discussed prairie resources for print history. Planning for this colloquium provided a wonderful opportunity for expanding our network of scholarly contacts in the Prairies, including First Nations scholars interested in print culture.

We are finalizing the programme for the open conference to be held in Montreal (McGill and Bibliothèque nationale du Québec) 18-19 May 2001, and look forward to a stimulating and productive gathering.

On the research front, Yvan Lamonde is supervising two research threads: Paul Aubin’ work on a bibliography of Canadian textbooks (expanding his previous work on Quebec textbooks), and a database of printed catalogues related to print culture (libraries, auctions of private libraries, booksellers, publishers).

Fiona Black is supervising four research assistants in the Prairies: three in Regina and one in Calgary. All are University of Regina students, and their initial investigations focus on searching for primary sources, ethnic publishing, a directory of the book and allied trades (principally relating to western Canada) literacy, and textbook availability and use. Draft reports on the status of these research threads will be available at the Montreal conference.
Fiona Black and Yvan Lamonde



FIONA BLACK is Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Florida, both on site in Tampa and via the Internet from Regina. She is also Adjunct Professor of English at the University of Regina. She has published on aspects of the Scottish contribution to Canadian print culture, and on emerging methodologies for comparative research in print culture. Recent publications are “'Horrid republican notions' and other matters: school book availability in Georgian Canada” Paradigm: Journal of the Textbook Colloquium 2.3 (Spring 2001) and two articles co-authored with Bertrum MacDonald, cited in this newsletter in his report on electronic resources.

YVAN LAMONDE teaches Literature and History at McGill University, and has published on print culture in Quebec and methodological aspects of cultural and intellectual history. His most recent publications are Histoire sociale des idées au Québec (1760-1896) (Montréal, Fides, 2000) and, with Marie-Pierre Turcot, La littérature personnelle au Québec (1980-2000) (Montréal, BNQ, 2000).


Ph.D. (Histoire) Université de Montréal, 2000
Thesis: La carrière polyvalente de Gustave Francq, figure marquante du syndicalisme international au Québec (1871-1952) (à paraître)
PROJECT RESEARCH: Workers involved in print culture and the book trades in Quebec (1827-1920)

MA Student (History) University of Regina
Thesis: Student radicalism and student publications at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus, 1963-1974
PROJECT RESEARCH: Allophone publishing in Canada prior to 1918/Les publications des allophones au Canada avant 1918

MA Student (English), University of Regina
Thesis: Works of fiction by First Nations author Thomas King
PROJECT RESEARCH: Literacy and textbooks

Ph.D. Student (Langue et littérature françaises) Université McGill
Thesis: Histoire et théorie de la collection littéraire dans la littérature française (du XVIe au XXe siècle)
PROJECT RESEARCH: Theory and practice of reading in Quebec (1840-1920); preparations for Montreal conference

Student (English) University of Regina
PROJECT RESEARCH: Identifying primary resources for the prairie provinces from research tools and in archives and special collections in the three provinces; preparations for Prairie colloquium

MA Student (English) University of Regina
Thesis: The Double in Mary Elizabeth Braddon’ Lady Audley’ Secret
PROJECT RESEARCH: Identifying primary resources in Calgary archives and special collections


The Volume 3 Vancouver site enjoys an established office in the English Department at Simon Fraser University, where Janet Friskney took up residence as the post-doctoral fellow as of January 2001. Already very familiar with the project from her post-doctoral term with Volume 1 in Toronto, Janet brings substantial research expertise in Canadian publishing and cultural history, as well as management experience acquired in Toronto, where she helped with last December’ very successful Volume 1 Open Conference. On 1 March, HBiC/HLIC Vancouver hosted a gathering of about 25 local book history researchers. The event began with a few words from SFU president Michael Stevenson. Carole Gerson and Fiona Black then spoke briefly about the project and responded to questions. At Simon Fraser, we are now beginning preparations for the open conference for Volume 3, to be held at the Harbour Centre campus in downtown Vancouver, 15-18 November 2001. The call for papers has been posted, and we are looking forward to putting together an exciting programme. On the research front, graduate students in the English department at SFU have assisted with developing two important projects: a survey of allophone print culture in Canada’ many unofficial languages, and a compilation of theses and dissertations on topics pertinent to print culture in Canada.

The Sherbrooke site for Volume 3 has been established in the Département des lettres et communications at the Université de Sherbrooke. The year 2000 has been marked by the creation of the research team for the project and the organization of an international colloquium on “Les mutations du livre et de l'édition dans le monde du XVIII e siècle à l'an 2000” (9-13 May). This conference led to the establishment of productive contacts with colleagues from abroad already involved in collective projects similar to our own, and gave the editorial team the opportunity to meet for the first time since the SSHRC funding announcement and to put in place the research agenda for the coming months.

Two research assistants have participated since June in the activities of the Sherbrooke site: Josée Vincent, who is completing a doctoral dissertation on professional associations in the book trades in Québec, and Frédéric Brisson, a first-year student in the Master’ programme. Their contribution has been vital in helping to push forward two important dossiers: the evolution of bookselling in Canada from 1920 to the present, and the gathering of bibliographic information regarding published studies devoted to the history of the book in French Canada since 1994 (this will complete the information from Association québécoise pour l'étude de l'imprimé (AQÉI) already available online).
Carole Gerson and Jacques Michon



CAROLE GERSON is Professor in the Department of English at Simon Fraser University. Author of A Purer Taste: The Writing and Reading of Fiction in English in Nineteenth-Century Canada (Toronto, UTP, 1989), she has worked extensively on Canadian literary and publishing history, and, with Ann Cowan of the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing, co-supervised the creation of the Canadian Publishers' Records Database (CPRD). She was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2000. Her most recent work, with Veronica Strong-Boag, is Paddling Her Own Canoe: Times and Texts of E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) (Toronto, UTP, 2000).

JACQUES MICHON is Professor in the Département des lettres et communications at the Université de Sherbrooke. He teaches the sociology of literature and the history of book publishing. He has directed the Groupe de recherche sur l'édition littéraire au Québec (GRELQ) since 1982. He is the author of many books and articles on publishing in Quebec, including a book on les Éditions Fides (1937-1978) entitled, Fides, la grande aventure éditoriale du père Paul-Aimé Martin (Montréal, Fides, 1998). He has also edited the first volume of l'Histoire de l'édition littéraire au Québec : la naissance de l'éditeur, 1900-1939 (Montréal, Fides, 1999), which received two literary prizes: the Prix Jean-Éthier-Blais de la Fondation Lionel-Groulx, Montréal, 2000, and the Prix Alphonse Desjardins du Salon du livre de l'Estrie, Sherbrooke, 2000.


MA Student (Études françaises), Université de Sherbrooke
Thesis: La librairie et le commerce du livre
PROJECT RESEARCH: Bookstores and bookselling in Canada after the 1930 census; bibliography of studies on books and printing in French Canada in the twentieth century

Ph.D. Student (English) Simon Fraser University
Thesis: Writer-in-residence programmes in Canada
PROJECT RESEARCH: An inventory of theses, dissertations, graduating projects etc., pertaining to Canadian book history, beginnings to present

Ph.D. (History) Carleton University, 1999
Thesis: On a Mission for Culture: The New Canadian Library and Its Milieu, 1953-1978
PROJECT RESEARCH: Conditions of authorship for Canadian writers of popular fiction in the late twentieth century; history of publishing for the visually impaired in Canada; planning for the Vancouver conference

MA Student (English) Simon Fraser University
Thesis: American poet Robinson Jeffers
PROJECT RESEARCH: A survey of allophone print culture in Canada, 1918-2000

Ph.D. Student. (Études françaises) Université de Sherbrooke
Thesis: Les associations professionnelles et le milieu du livre au Québec depuis 1921.
PROJECT RESEARCH: Coordination of research activities at the Sherbrooke site; planning for Vancouver conference; research on French-Canadian professional book trade associations


The Dalhousie University research site is charged with the responsibility for the development of databases to support the project, and with the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software for both analysis and display of variables that have influenced Canada’ print culture. The team at Dalhousie is currently working on the development of a comprehensive bibliographic database of publications about the history of print culture in Canada. This database is drawing on earlier work such as The History of the Book in Canada: A Bibliography compiled by Mark C. Bartlett, Fiona A. Black, and Bertrum H. MacDonald in 1993. The creation of this database is providing the student research assistants with experience in a number of tasks, including: selection of the software and design of the record structure, creation of a bilingual thesaurus of subject terms to index the publications, and development of the web interface. Because of the need to achieve a high degree of accuracy, all relevant publications are being examined directly before records are created. This database will eventually contain several thousand records and will be made publicly accessible later this year. Although the broad dimensions of print culture have been outlined by numerous scholars, the detailed topics that fall within the discipline, especially the terminology to describe these topics, have not been clearly delineated. Therefore, in order to build the indexes to the database, the Dalhousie team has developed a comprehensive thesaurus of subject terms, and is preparing a report which outlines the challenges of defining this subject territory in relation to information retrieval questions. To date no other country has developed a database of this nature; the Canadian database will thus serve as a model for related international work.

In conjunction with the project editors, the Dalhousie research team is providing advice on the design of other databases. In addition, Andrew Smith, a graduate student in the MLIS programme who has expertise in GIS, is beginning a pilot study of the application of GIS using twentieth-century data, which will lead eventually to larger scale GIS applications as the project develops. Bertrum MacDonald and Fiona Black have outlined the potential of GIS for print culture studies in their recent papers, “Using GIS for Spatial and Temporal Analyses in Print Culture Studies,” Social Science History 24, no. 3 (Fall 2000): 505-536, and “Geographic Information Systems: A New Research Method for Book History,” Book History 1 (1998): 11-31.

Indicators of print culture are found in a variety of media. M. Allen Gibson, a Nova Scotia philatelist, has advised the Dalhousie team that he has searched his extensive collection of Canadian stamps and identified all those that portray print culture in any manner.
Bertrum H. MacDonald



BERTRUM MACDONALD is the Director of the School of Library and Information Studies, Dalhousie University, and the recent recipient of the Marie Tremaine Medal awarded by the Bibliographical Society of Canada. He holds graduate degrees in History of Science and Library and Information Science. His research interests focus on the history of scientific communication in Canada, and the role of governments in print culture. He has been named a Dibner Library Resident Scholar by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC., for 2001.


Student MLIS (Library and Information Studies) Dalhousie University
PROJECT RESEARCH: Development of the comprehensive thesaurus of subject terms and building the database about the history of print culture in Canada; preparing database templates for the project

Student MLIS (Library and Information Studies) Dalhousie University
PROJECT RESEARCH: Testing and selection of software for the project database; construction of the Dalhousie website for the project


HBiC/HLIC’ first official conference – the open conference for Volume 1 – was held 24-25 November 2000 at the Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto. Nearly 100 scholars from across Canada (and a hardy Michigan couple) gathered to hear 20 papers which covered a wide range of topics relating to pre-1840 Canadian print culture. General themes explored were book evidence, various genres of print, publishing and the book trade, serials, libraries, collecting, and authorship. A lively, general discussion on the draft Table of Contents for Volume 1 provided the editors with valuable suggestions and comments. Abstracts of the conference papers are posted in French and English at the project website; we hope to mount a number of full-text papers within the next few months.

Aside from the formal sessions, two social gatherings were held. A Friday evening reception at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, hosted by University of Toronto Press, provided both a splendid and congenial setting for the close of the first day. Following the Saturday sessions, attendees were invited to join project team members at informal gatherings in local restaurants. The dinners were very successful, offering conference-goers the opportunity to mingle with fellow book historians they had not otherwise had a chance to speak with during two very busy days.

The organizers of the conference were extremely pleased with the response to the proceedings (not to mention the enthusiasm for the Volume 1 coffee mugs). A special thank-you must go to local arrangements committee members Sandra Alston, Anne Dondertman, and Janet Friskney, and to Sophie Montreuil, for the expertise and elbow grease they happily lent to the event.
Judy Donnelly


The project website is hosted by the University of Toronto Library. Our volunteer web administrator, Sandra Alston, a librarian at the University of Toronto, is one of our many book history colleagues and collaborators building this project. We also wish to thank, at the University of Toronto Library, Carole Moore, Chief Librarian, and Peter Clinton, Director of Information Technology Services, for full library support of the website and the project.


HBiC/HLIC is pleased to have adopted Cartier Book as the project font. Originally created by Canadian graphic designer Carl Dair, the first proofs of his new typeface, Cartier, were released on 1 January 1967 as his Centennial gift to the people of Canada. To ensure that the font made a successful transition into the age of computer typesetting, designer Rod McDonald worked closely with Dair’ sketches, respectfully and elegantly interpreting them into Cartier Book, the letters you are now reading. A most appropriate choice for our national project, Cartier Book is Canada’ first roman typeface.


Roch Carrier, Bibliothèque nationale du Canada
Roger Chartier, École des Hautes études en Sciences sociales, Paris
Ramsay Cook, Dictionary of Canadian Biography
Claude Galarneau, Université Laval
Robert A. Gross, A History of the Book in America, College of William and Mary
Francess Halpenny, University of Toronto
Ernie Ingles, University of Alberta
Wallace Kirsop, A History of the Book in Australia, Monash University
Warren McDougall, A History of the Book in Scotland, Edinburgh University
David McKitterick, A History of the Book in Britain, Trinity College, Cambridge
George L. Parker, Royal Military College
Eric Swanick, New Brunswick Legislative Library
Jean-Pierre Wallot, Université d'Ottawa
Ian Wilson, National Archives of Canada


Sandra Alston, University of Toronto
William Barker, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Michel Brisebois, Bibliothèque nationale du Canada
Antoine del Busso, Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal
Gwendolyn Davies, University of New Brunswick
Gwynneth Evans, Bibliographical Society of Canada, National Library of Canada
Leslie Howsam, University of Windsor
Kenneth Landry, Association québécoise pour l'étude de l'imprimé
Jean-René Lassonde, Bibliothèque nationale du Québec
Ian Maclaren, University of Alberta
Peter McNally, McGill University
William H. New, University of British Columbia
Kristen Pederson, University of Toronto Press
Denis Saint-Jacques, Centre de recherche en littérature québécoise, Université Laval
Germaine Warkentin, University of Toronto
Bruce Whiteman, University of California



PATRICIA FLEMING, University of Toronto
Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto
140 St. George St.Toronto ON Canada M5S 3G6
Voice: 416-978-2884 Fax: 416-978-7097


PATRICIA FLEMING, University of Toronto

YVAN LAMONDE, Université McGill
Département de langue et littérature françaises
Université McGill
3460 McTavish
Montréal QC Canada H3A 1X9
514-398-6887 (téléphone) 514-398-8557 (télécopieur)


PATRICIA FLEMING, University of Toronto

Reconstitution des Débats
Bibliothèque de l'Assemblée nationale, Québec
Edifice Jean-Antoine-Panet 1020,
rue des Parlementaires, 3e étage
Québec QC Canada G1A 1A3
418-644-5459 (téléphone) 418-646-4873 (télécopieur)


Department of English
University of Regina
Regina SK Canada S4S 0A2
Voice :306-585-4216 Fax: 306-585-4827

YVAN LAMONDE, Université McGill


Department of English, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby BC Canada V5A 1S6
Voice: 604-291-3631 Fax: 604-291-5737        

Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines, Université de Sherbrooke
2500 boul. de l'Université
Sherbrooke QC Canada J1K 2R1
819-821-8000, poste 2267 (téléphone) 819-821-7285 (télécopieur)


School of Library and Information Studies, Faculty of Management
Dalhousie University
Halifax NS Canada B3H 3J5
Voice: 902-494-2472 Fax: 902-494-2451


Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto
140 St. George St. Toronto ON M5S 3G6
Phone/Téléphone : 416-978-8688 Fax/Télécopieur : 416-978-7097


The project editors welcome information about research on the history of the book in Canada currently underway. We invite you to visit the project website or to contact any member of the editorial team.

The History of the Book in Canada project gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Major Collaborative Research Initiative Program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and our site universities: Simon Fraser University, University of Regina, University of Toronto, McGill University, Université de Sherbrooke, and Dalhousie University.

The Newsletter of the History of the Book in Canada is published annually by the History of the Book in Canada project.

Editors: Judy Donnelly, Patricia Fleming
Design & Production: Stan Bevington, Coach House Press
Translation: Véronique Ponce, Yvan Lamonde
Copy Editing & Proofreading: Janet Friskney, Andrea Rotundo
Printing: Coach House Press, Toronto
ISSN (Electronic version - English): 1496-5127

Please send your comments or requests for additional copies of the newsletter to:

Judy Donnelly
Project Manager
Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto
140 St. George St. Toronto ON, Canada M5S 3G6