photo of stacks (lower floor)

Canadian Literature & Poetry
in English

Book & Publishing History

Digital Collections

Early Canadiana Online A digital collection of works in English and French published from the time of the first European settlers up to the early twentieth century. The collection includes colonial, provincial and federal government publications, Jesuit relations texts, and an English Canadian literature collection with over 800 works of drama, poetry and fiction, biography and exploration written before 1900.
Canadiana Online: Serials Collection Early dailies, weeklies, specialized journals and mass-market magazines up to 1930. The collection includes publications for diverse ethnolinguistic communities, city directories, and annual reports from churches, schools, businesses and other organizations.
Early English Books Online Full-text digitized works printed in British North America (and other regions, including England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales), 1473–1700. Book about Canada mainly consist of exploration narratives and missionary accounts.
Eighteenth-Century Collections Online Full-text digitized works printed in Great Britain in the eighteenth century, encompassing an early historical stage of Canadian writing.
Multicultural Canada Newspapers, books, manuscripts, documents, photographs, audio files and other materials published and created by Canada’s immigrants.
Toronto Public Library Digital Archive Includes a range of digitized primary source materials, including historical maps, books, and assorted ephemera (postcards, advertisements, flyers, and tickets).

General History

History of the Book in Canada Fleming, Patricia, et al., editors Starting in 1997, a team of historians, librarians, and literary scholars from across the country took up the task of writing a comprehensive book on a history of the book and print culture in Canada. In three volumes. Volume One: “Beginnings to 1840”, Volume Two: “1840–1918,” Volume Three: “1918–1980.”
Z 206 .H58 2004 Stacks
The History of the Book in Canada: A Bibliography Bartlett, Mark C. et al., compilers Subject categories include printed books and printing, illustration, type founders and designers, book trade and publishing, libraries and librarianship, periodicals, newspapers and journalism.
Z 206 .B37 1993 Reference
The Perilous Trade: Book Publishing in Canada, 1946–2006 MacSkimming, Roy Chronicles the history of English-language publishing from World War II to the early twentieth century.
Z 481 .M35 2007 Stacks
Ultra Libris: Policy, Technology, and the Creative Economy of Book Publishing in Canada Lorimer, Rowland Reflecting cultural, political, and technological changes, this detailed exploration of Canadian book publishing displays trends of the industry from the last fifty years. Also discusses government policy and technology in the context of the the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences (1951) and the Ontario Royal Commission on Book Publishing (1972).
Z 481 .L673 2012 Stacks
“Literary Taste in Central Canada During the Late Nineteenth Century” Bissell, Claude T. An article published in the Canadian Historical Review (volume 31, no. 3, September 1950), exploring the importance and the effect of nineteenth-century journals in Canada, including the Literary Garland (1838–1851) and The Week: A Canadian Journal of Politics, Society, and Literature (1883–1896).
Literary History of Canada: Canadian Literature in English Klinck, Carl F. et al., editors A comprehensive reference work on the English literary history of Canada in four volumes, which includes essays on the history of Canadian literary publishing by bibliographer and librarian H.P. Gundy.
PR 9184.3 .L5 1976 Reference
Book Publishing and Publishers in Canada Before 1900 Gundy, H.P. Recounts the emergence of the publishing and bookselling industries and the development of the Canadian copyright law.
Z 483 .G8 Stacks
Paper Phoenix: A History of Book Publishing in English Canada Broten, Delores, and Peter Birdsall
Z 481 .B7 Stacks Oversize
“The Canadian Author’s Association in the 1920s: A Case Study in Cultural Nationalism” Vipond, Mary Analyzes the founding, early history, membership, and the aims of the Canadian Authors’ Association (CAA). Vipond also evaluates the effectiveness of the organization in promoting Canadian literature nationwide and copyright protection for Canadian writers. CAA members advocated that propagating national literature was an effective tool in stemming the influence American mass-media on Canadian cultural life. F.R. Scott, Leon Edel, A.J.M. Smith and other poets and writers associated with small literary magazines (such as the Canadian Mercury) were critical of this approach.
Upper Canadian Imprints, 1801–1841: A Bibliography Fleming, Patricia Lockhart
Z 1365 .F54 1988 Reference
The Canadian Private Presses in Print: A List of Books & Broadsides, Posters & Pamphlets, Ephemera Etc. Dobson, Lyndsay, compiler
Z 1028 .C36 1984 Reference

First-Nations Publishing

Looking at the Words of Our People: First Nations Analysis of Literature Armstrong, Jeannette, compiler The first collection in Canada of literary analysis on Native Literature written by First-Nations scholars. The book includes a critical essay by Greg Young-Ing about the marginalization of First Nations’ publishing industry.
PR 9188.2 .I5 L66 1993 Stacks

Royal Commissions on Book Publishing

Report, 1949–1951 Government of Canada Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences and Massey, Vincent
AZ 515 .A53 Stacks
Canadian Publishers & Canadian Publishing: Final Report of Ontario Royal Commission on Book Publishing, 1972 Government of Ontario Royal Commission on Book Publishing
Available Online Z 481 .O613 Stacks
Background Papers Government of Ontario Royal Commission on Book Publishing
Z 481 .O62 Stacks


Anthologizing Canadian Literature: Theoretical and Cultural Perspectives Lecker, Robert, editor Essays focus on anthologies as national metaphors, the controversies surrounding early literary collections, representations of First Nations peoples in anthologies, and the ways in which various editors have understood exploration narratives. In addition, the collection examines the representation of women in Canadian anthologies, the use of anthologies as teaching tools, and the creation of some very odd Canadian anthologies along the way.
PR 9184.6 .A58 2015 Stacks

Book Editing

Editing as Cultural Practice in Canada Irvine, Dean, and Smaro Kamboureli, editors Examines the role that editors in the production of literary and scholarly texts in Canada.
Available Online PN 162 .E265 2016 Stacks
Toronto Trailblazers: Women in Canadian Publishing Panofsky, Ruth The first-ever study of women in Canadian publishing, the book delves into the cultural influence of seven key women who, despite pervasive gender bias, helped advance a modern literary culture for Canada. Publisher Irene Clarke, scholarly editors Eleanor Harman and Francess Halpenny, trade editors Sybil Hutchinson, Claire Pratt, and Anna Porter, and literary agent Bella Pomer made the most of their vocational prospects.
Available Online Z 488.6 .T6 P36 2019 Stacks

Book Trade & Design

The Surface of Meaning: Books and Book Design in Canada Bringhurst, Robert Examines how Canadian book design (from the mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth-first century) was influenced by a national identity, culture, and history.
Z 483 .B74 2008 Stacks Oversize
The Beginnings of the Book Trade in Canada Parker, George L. Chronicles the history of the various aspects newspaper and book publishing, from 1751 to 1900, including authorship and subscription publishing. Also examines the development of the Canadian copyright law in relation to international copyright.
Z 483 .P37 1985 Stacks
“Bestselling Authors, Magazines, and the International Market” Peterman, Michael
Available Online PR 9184.6 .C26 2009 Stacks
Canadian Binders’ Tickets and Booksellers’ Labels Garlock, Gayle N. Explores the use of binders’ tickets and booksellers’ labels within the Canadian bookselling business, which demonstrate geographic trends and advertising methods in the commerce of books.
Z 483 .G37 2015 Stacks

Academic Publishing

Journal of Scholarly Publishing, “Special Section on the Future of University Press in Canada” Bradley-St-Cyr, Ruth, et al., eds. An issue devoted to the current scholarly publishing landscape in Canada, including articles on open access and its impact on academic libraries, the development and changes of the Wilfred Laurier and Concordia University Presses, copyright, academic publishing in Indigenous studies, and other topics.
On the Edge, at the Centre: A Life in History Hallowell, Gerald Hallowell recounts his career as a distinguished acqusitions editor, the history of the University of Toronto Press, and analyzes the role of book editors in scholarly publishing.

“‘A Press with Such Traditions’: Oxford University Press of Canada” Panofsky, Ruth Examines the changes in the publishing program of the Oxford University Press (which established a Canadian branch in Toronto on August 10, 1904) in the context of Canadian history and literature. Panofsky also analyzes the activities of the OUP’s managers, S.B. Gundy, W.H. Clarke, C.C. Johnson, William Toy, Lorne Wilkinson, and Richard Teleky.

Key Porter Books

In Other Words: How I Fell in Love with Canada One Book at a Time Porter, Anna A memoir by Anna Porter, owner of Key Porter Books.
Z 483 .P67 A3 2018 Stacks

McClelland & Stewart

New Canadian Library: The Ross-McClelland Years, 1952–1978 Friskney, Janet B. Analyzes the historical context of the New Canadian Library series, edited by Malcolm Ross and published by McClelland & Stewart, beginning in 1958. Also examines the simultaneous development of Canadian literary studies as a legitimate area of research and teaching in academe and acknowledges the NCL as a milestone in Canadian publishing history.
Available Online Z 483 .M33 F75 2007 Stacks

The Handover: How Bigwigs and Bureaucrats Transferred Canada’s Best Publisher and the Best Part of Our Literary Heritage to a Foreign Multinational Dewar, Elaine Investigates how Canada’s premiere national publisher, McClelland and Stewart, was eventually sold to Random House, a division of Bertelsmann, a German media giant.
Z 483 .M33 D48 2017 Stacks
Jack, A Life with Writers: the Story of Jack McClelland King, James
Z 483 .M3 K56 1999 Stacks
Imagining Canadian Literature: The Selected Letters of Jack McClelland Solecki, Sam, editor Sorted chronologically, the letters between the preeminent publisher and leading Canadian authors of the fifties, sixties and seventies offer an inside view of the personalities that contributed to Canada’s position in the international publishing market. Featuring Margaret Atwood, Pierre Berton, Earle Birney, Leonard Cohen, Margaret Laurence, Irving Layton, Farley Mowat, Peter C. Newman, Mordecai Richler, Gabrielle Roy, Michael Ondaatje, and Al Purdy.
Z 483 .M3 A4 1998 Stacks
Margaret Laurence and Jack McClelland, Letters Davis, Laura K., and Linda M. Morra, editors In this collection of annotated letters, readers gain rare insight into the private side of these literary icons. Their correspondence reveals a professional relationship that evolved into deep friendship over a period of enormous cultural change. Both were committed to the idea of Canadian writing.

“‘I am Being Taught My Own Work’: Editor Claire Pratt of McClelland and Stewart” Panofsky, Ruth Analyzes the career of Claire Pratt (1921–1995), who served as the senior editor at McClelland and Stewart between 1956 and 1965 within the context of book history and history of publishing in Canada. Developing and expanding the New Canadian Library (NCL) series was one of Pratt’ major editorial achievements. NCL continues to be recognized as a “prestige imprint on paperback editions of Canadian works.” Pratt also worked closely with Malcolm Ross, Peter C. Newman, Margaret Laurence, Irving Layton and other promient authors. The article is an important contribution to the study of women in the publishing sector.

Macmillan Company of Canada

The Literary Legacy of the Macmillan Company of Canada: Making Books and Mapping Culture Panofsky, Ruth Examines the contribution of publishers and editors (including Hugh Eayrs, John Gray, and Hugh Kane) to the formation of the Canadian literary canon, beginning with the establishment of Macmillan Canada in 1905.
Available Online Z 483 .M32 P35 2012 Stacks

“‘Head of the Publishing Side of the Business’: Ellen Elliott of the Macmillan Company of Canada” Panofsky, Ruth Ellen Elliott was secretary and director of Macmillan from 1937 to 1947 and one of the first professional women to hold a senior position in the Canadian publishing industry. An accomplished book editor, Elliott’s career brought her in contact with E.J. Pratt, Frederick Philip Grove, W.O. Mitchell, P.K. Page, and many other prominent authors and poets associated with Macmillan.
A Bibliography of Macmillan of Canada Imprints, 1906–1980 Whiteman, Bruce et al.
Z483 .M32 W48 1985 Reference

Ryerson Press

The House of Ryerson, 1829–1954 Pierce, Lorne
Z 232 .R9 P5 1954 Canadiana
On Publishers & Publishing Pierce, Lorne Pierce discusses the role of book publishing houses and editors in Canadian society during the early fifties.
Z 278 .P611o Old Class Pamphlets
Editor’s Creed Pierce, Lorne
Z 483 .P5 Canadiana
Both Hands: A Life of Lorne Pierce of Ryerson Press Campbell, Sandra Presents the life and work of Lorne Bruce Pierce (1890–1961), the influential, long-serving editor of the Ryerson Press, who was also known as a publisher, biographer, and literary critic.
Z 483 .P53 C34 2013 Stacks
The Ryerson Imprint: A Check-List of the Books and Pamphlets Published by the Ryerson Press Since the Foundation of the House in 1829 Wallace, W. Stewart
Z 1367 .R9 W3 Reference

Small, Private & Literary Presses

Experiment: Printing the Canadian Imagination. Highlights from the David McKnight Canadian Little Magazine and Small Press Collection McKnight, David An exhibition catalogue featuring over one hundred highlights of a large and extraordinary collection of Canadian little magazines and Canadian small press and micro-press imprints assembled by David McKnight, a librarian and collector who donated the collection to the University of Alberta Libraries in 2012. It now forms part of the Bruce Peel Special Collections.
Z 1369 .U55 2018 Stacks
Books without Bosses: Forty Years of Reading Between the Lines Clarke, Robert Clarke, and Kara Sievewright, illustrator
Z 483 .B48 C53 2017 Stacks

Children’s Books

Picturing Canada: A History of Canadian Children’s Illustrated Books and Publishing Edwards, Gail, and Judith Saltman Examines illustrated children’s books from geographical, historical, and cultural perspectives on the Canadian national identity, published between the 1890s to 2005. Also studies the institutions and the professionals involved in the Canadian book writing, publishing, and reading, including authors, publishers, illustrators, editors, librarians, booksellers, and critics.
Z 483 .E46 2010 Stacks

Journals & Journal Publishing

Experiment: Printing the Canadian Imagination. Highlights from the David McKnight Canadian Little Magazine and Small Press Collection McKnight, David An exhibition catalogue featuring over one hundred highlights of a large and extraordinary collection of Canadian little magazines and Canadian small press and micro-press imprints assembled by David McKnight, a librarian and collector who donated the collection to the University of Alberta Libraries in 2012. It now forms part of the Bruce Peel Special Collections.
Z 1369 .U55 2018 Stacks
The Little Magazine in Canada, 1925–80: Its Role in the Development of Modernism and Post-Modernism in Canadian Poetry Norris, Ken
PR 9190.5 .N67 1984 Stacks
Books in Canada vol. 1 (1971)–present (incomplete archive) vol. 22 (1993)–vol. 37 (2008) (incomplete archive) Publishes in-depth and evaluative reviews of contemporary Canadian literature.
Canadian Author and Bookman vol. 1 (1919)–v. 73 (1998) Includes articles on author and poets, as well as book reviews and essays related to book publishing, bibliography, and librarianship. Desmond Pacey criticized the journal for promoting uninhibited literary nationalism. The publication merged with Canadian Author to form Canadian Author and Bookman, April, 1940.
Canadian Children’s Book News Canadian Children’s Book Centre A magazine featuring reviews for recommended books, author and illustrator interviews and profiles of publishers and bookstores.
Canadian Forum vol. 1 (1920)–v. 79 (2000) Features short stories, poetry, and critical essays published by many preeminent Canadian authors and poets. Also published articles on Canadian cultural development.
Literary Garland vol. 1 (1838)–vol. 9 (1851) The journal was an important publishing platform for pioneer writing in the “new world,” featuring stories of travel to an unknown land and the challenges of frontier life. Writing as “Mrs. Moodie,” Susanna Moodie (1803– 1885) was among the most distinguished contributors. An index to the periodical, compiled by Mary Markham Brown, is available in-print.
Quill & Quire vol. 48 (1982)–present current year A magazine that publishes reviews of new book releases in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and articles about the Canadian publishing market, the book trade, and libraries.
Journal of Scholarly Publishing, “Special Section on the Future of University Press in Canada” 2003–present An academic, peer-reviewed periodical analyzing old and new challenges in scholarly publishing resulting from changes in technology and funding. Articles include advice on getting published in academic journals and books and address such topics as editorial and publishing policy, computer applications, electronic publishing, effective marketing and business management.
Publishing in Canada 2017–present A trade magazine published by Livres Canada Books, a non-profit organization. Its mandate is to support Canadian-owned and controlled book publishers’ export sales activities in order to help publishers improve their overall export results. Includes articles on new titles from Canadian publishers, publishers’ associations and their activities, literary and professional events in Canada, and other information.
Forum: Canadian Life and Letters, 1920–70: Selections from the Canadian Forum Granatstein, J.L., and Peter Stevens, editors
PR 9194.9 .F67 Stacks
“Canadian Nationalism and the Plight of Canadian Magazines in the 1920s” Vipond, Mary Studies the impact of the American periodical industry on Canadian magazine publishing. In the 1920s, due to the advances in printing technology, business practices, improvements in living standards, and increases in the attainment of formal education, Canadians devoted more time to reading Ladies’ Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post, and other periodicals imported from the United States. Vipond analyzes the efforts of the Magazine Publishers’ Association of Canada (MPAC) and other groups in curtailing the competition between Canadian and American periodical publishers for Canadian readership. The article was published in The Canadian Historical Review, volume 58, number 1 (March 1977).
The Little Magazine in Canada, 1925–80: Its Role in the Development of Modernism and Post-Modernism in Canadian Poetry Norris, Ken Analyzes the emergence of small-press publications in Canada (such as Alphabet, Tish, and Delta) which had their beginnings in the American modernist movement. Also includes a bibliography of Canadian little magazines and other titles related to the subject.
PR 9190.5 .N67 1984 Stacks
Editing Modernity: Women and Little-Magazine Cultures in Canada, 1916–1956 Irvine, Dean A critical assessment that shows the major roles played by women in disseminating modernisms through a series of little and not-so-little magazines. Dorothy Livesay was highly influential in the left-wing Masses; Eleanor Godfrey edited The Canadian Forum; Livesay and Floris McLaren helped to found Contemporary Verse and P.K. Page, Kit Shaw, and Peggy Anderson were primarily responsible for publishing Preview.
Available Online PN 4914 .L62 I79 2008 Stacks
Roughing It in the Suburbs: Reading Chatelaine Magazine in the Fifties and Sixties Korinek, Valerie J.
PN 4914 .W6 K67 2000 Stacks
Canada since 1960: A Left Perspective on 50 Years of Politics, Economics and Culture Gonick, Cy, editor Canadian Dimension is a left-leaning magazine first published in Winnipeg in 1963 that includes analysis of Canadian economic, social, cultural, artistic and political issues. Hundreds of Canada’s leading figures of the left have contributed to its pages over the years, writing about every major topic in Canadian public life. This book offers an account of the most important developments in Canadian history from the sixties until today, as seen and interpreted by scholars and writers on the pages of Dimension. Each chapter reviews a major theme, such as Canada’s relationship to the United States, the development of our health care system, the dynamics of Aboriginal-non-Aboriginal relations and the role of Canadian cultural work in shaping Canadian society.
F 1034.2 .C298 2016 Stacks
The “Alternative” Press in Canada: A Checklist of Underground, Revolutionary, Radical and Other Alternative Serials from 1960 Woodsworth, Anne A directory of obscure underground periodicals published in Canada up to 1960. The 413 titles are organized by geographic region and subject.
Z 6954 .C2 W66 Reference


The Globe and Mail 1884–2013 1884–present (incomplete archive)
Toronto Star 1894–1900 1900–1971 1971–present
A History of Journalism in Canada Kesterton, W.H. Analyzes the history of newspaper publishing and journalistic production between 1752 (the publication of the Halifax Gazzette, the first newspaper in Canada) and the mid-1960s. Details individual histories of the major Canadian English and French newspapers: The Globe and Mail, Le Devoir, Le Presse, and the Vancouver Province.
Available Online PN 4904 .K4 Stacks
From Politics to Profit: The Commercialization of Canadian Daily Newspapers, 1890–1920 Sotiron, Minko Examines the role of Canada’s first mass communication medium in shaping Canadian politics and national consciousness and how their publishing model developed into a profit-driven industry.
Available Online PN 4908 .S63 1997 Stacks

Major Scholarly Journals

Book History no. 1 (1998)–present Publishes articles on the creation, dissemination, and reception of script and print, including the history of the book in Canada. The official publication of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing. Peer-reviewed.
Mémoires du livre / Studies in Book Culture vol. 1 (2009)–present The focus of the journal is to advance scholarship on the Canadian book history: agents and institutions involved in the production, dissemination, and circulation of texts, materiality, content, practices, and usage of books.
Amphora no. 159 (2011)–present Articles on a wide range of topics related to the book arts: collecting, typography, type design, typesetting, calligraphy, paper making, ornamentation, illustration, printing and binding. Not peer-reviewed.

created by: Agatha Barc | updated: 21 January 2020