Canadian Literature

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Photo: Wouter van Doorn, via Flickr (CC license)

For specific research tips in English check the guide Literary Criticism: How to Write it, How to Cite it.

Article Indexes

Key Indexes

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Publication coverage: 1925 - present
Searches scholarly writing on literature, linguistics, modern languages, drama, folklore, national literatures, literary genres, etc. Indexes journals, books, conference proceedings, essay collections, bibliographies, and dissertations.
Publication coverage: 1892 - present (some primary texts date from 600 AD)
Access restricted to the Queen's community (4 user limit)
Searchable database of more than 350,000 works of English and American poetry, drama, and prose. Also indexes criticism from ABELL and MLA.

Other Useful Indexes

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Publication coverage: 1975 - present
Search for subjects, critics, and cited authors in articles published in 8,500 scholarly periodicals from the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, and Canada.
Publication coverage: Varies with publication
Indexes articles from over 700 Canadian newspapers and journals, including the following scholarly journals: Canadian Literature; Studies in Canadian Literature; Essays on Canadian Writing; University of Toronto Quarterly; American Review of Canadian Studies; Journal of Canadian Studies; Canadian Review of Comparative Literature.
Canadian Literary Periodicals Index Canadian resource
REF PS8001 .C294t (1992 & 1997)
Indexes Canadian primary materials and secondary sources, with sections on finding poetry, short stories, novels, plays, literary essays, critical essays, and book reviews. This index is a continuation of the Canadian Literature Index, REF PS8001 .C294t (1985-1988).
Publication coverage: Indexed articles: 1977 - present ; Full-text articles: 1983 - present
Print holdings: 1920 - 1998: Check QCAT
An interdisciplinary index to over 400 English and French Canadian periodicals indexed by author and subject, with special headings for book reviews, poems, film reviews, drama, and short stories.
Publication coverage: 1980 - present
Indexes articles from 243 of the most widely read French-language periodicals distributed in Quebec. Reviews are listed under the heading Livres- Comptes rendus. Covers the following print indexes: Periodex (1980 to 1983), Point de Repère (published 1984-1993) and Repère (published since 1994).

Books

Queen's owns the Edith and Lorne Pierce Collection of Canadiana, which contains books on Canadian history and literature, along with books of Canadian fiction, poetry, and drama written. The collection is searchable through QCAT; it is located in the W.D. Jordan Special Collections Library (2nd floor, Douglas Library).

To find books on Canadian Literature in QCAT, search by author, title, subject heading, or keyword.
  1. Find information on a single work with a keyword search. e.g. For books discussing The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood:
    "handmaid's tale" and atwood (keyword search)
  2. Find criticism on an author's works by searching for the author's name as a subject. e.g. For criticism on Leonard Cohen's works:
    cohen leonard (subject heading search)
  3. For criticism on a specific work by an author, you can select the corresponding subject from the subject list. e.g. For books on The Diviners by Margaret Laurence:
    laurence margaret (subject heading search) and click on Laurence, Margaret. Diviners
  4. Find information about the time period and country in which the work was written. e.g. For books discussing Canadian literature in the 21st century:
    canadian literature 21st century (subject heading search)
  5. If you find a book in QCAT that fits your research topic, click on Full record to see the subject headings. They can help you find other books on the same topic. e.g. If you're doing research on postcolonialism in Canada and the book Asian North American Identities: Beyond the Hyphen looks interesting, click on Full record to see subject headings which will help you find similar books.
  6. Subject headings can help you broaden or focus your search. Subjects from Asian North American Identities that can broaden your search:
    Assimilation (Sociology) in literature.
    Group identity in literature.
    Ethnicity in literature.
    Race in literature.
    Subjects that can focus your search:
    Canadian literature--Asian authors--History and criticism.
    Asian Americans in literature.
  7. To find information about a specific genre of Canadian literature, do a keyword search and check the subject headings of works for more leads.
    canadian and poetry (keyword search)
    Some subject Headings retrieved from this search:

    Canadian poetry--Women authors.
    Canadian wit and humour, pictorial.
    French-Canadian poetry Acadian authors.
    Haiku, French-Canadian.
    Small presses--Canada
  8. To search for information on a specific literary/artistic movement or a group of writers:
    "confederation poets" (keyword search)
    "group of seven" (keyword search)
  9. Search for bibliographies on an author (including their writings and what has been written about them). e.g., Timothy Findley
    findley and bibliography (keyword search)

Book Reviews

You may need to search a number of indexes in order to find a review of a book. When searching print indexes, remember to search the volume for the year the book was published, as well as 1 to 2 years later, and a year earlier (sometimes books are reviewed prior to publication).

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Publication coverage: 1975-
Print holdings: 1975 - 2006: Check QCAT
"CBRA is an evaluative guide to Canadian-authored, Canadian-published, English-language publications. The reviews which are between 200 and 400 words are written by subject specialists ...."
Publication coverage: Varies with publication
An interdisciplinary index that includes book reviews cited in 8 major newspapers and 350 Canadian journals. Search by keyword combining the following three words: the author's last name ; a word from the title of the book; and the word review.
Publication coverage: Indexed articles: 1977 - present ; Full-text articles: 1983 - present
Print holdings: 1920 - 1998: Check QCAT
An interdisciplinary index to Canadian periodicals with special headings for book reviews, poems, moving picture reviews, Canadian drama, and short stories.
Online from 2001- (issue 169-) citations and some abstracts from 1986-
Publication coverage: 1980 - present
Reviews are listed under the heading Livres- Comptes rendus.
Publication coverage: 1965-present
Print holdings: 1965-2011
Broader range of reviews, but no excerpts.
Publication coverage: 1892 - present (some primary texts date from 600 AD)
Access restricted to the Queen's community (4 user limit)
Publication coverage: 1983 - present
Print holdings: REF AI3.R2 from 1900- (Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature)
REF AP3.R496 (1890-1922) (Nineteenth Century Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature)
In print, the last section in each volume provides a list of book reviews by author's last name.
Index to Book Reviews in the Humanities
REF Z1035.A1I38 (1961-1990)
Strong coverage of academic and non-fiction books; international in scope.

See also the guides to Finding Book Reviews and How to Write Book Reviews.

Dictionaries

Canadian English Language Dictionaries

The Canadian Oxford Dictionary
REF PE3235 .C36 2004

Guide to Canadian English Usage
REF PE3235 .F44 1997t

The Dictionary of Canadian Quotations
REF PN6081 .D528 1991t

Canadian French Language Dictionaries

Dictionnaire des Canadianismes
REF PC3637 .D815 1999t

Dictionnaire du francais acadien
REF PC3643 .C67 1999

Includes extensive bibliographical references.

Dictionnaire du Francais Quebecois
PC3645 .Q4 D52 1985

Biographies

Consult biographical dictionaries to get brief information about people, dates and events. For more sources, see Biographical Resources.

Writers

Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
Online

Presents persons who died between the years 1000 and 1920 (or whose last known date of activity falls within these years) and who played an important role in the formation of Canada.

Contemporary Canadian Authors
REF PS8081 .C65t 1995

Bio-bibliographical guide to fiction, general non-fiction, poetry, drama.

Who's Who in Canadian Literature
REF PS8081 .W46 (1997-98)

Canadian Writers since 1960
REF PS8081 .C32

Part of the Dictionary of Literary Biography; has 2 volumes.

Canadian Writers, 1920-1959
REF PS8081 .C312

Part of the Dictionary of Literary Biography; has 2 volumes.

Contemporary Authors: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide to Current Authors and Their Works
REF Z1224 .C76

Covers authors of fiction, general non-fiction, poetry, journalism, drama, film, television, and other fields. Title and call number varies for the period 1962-1981.

Related title: Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series
REF Z1224 .C592.

Dictionnaire des ecrivains Quebecois contemporains
REF PS9081 .L44 1983

Library and Archives Canada: Canadian Writers

Manuscript collections and biographical information on Canadian writers Marie-Claire Blais, Roger Lemelin, Carol Shields, Michel Tremblay, Jane Urquhart, and Elizabeth Smart.

Fiction Authors

ECW's Biographical Guide to Canadian Novelists
REF PS8081 .E28 1993

Canadian Writers and Their Works: fiction series
REF PS8187. C36

In 10 volumes.

Poets

ECW's Biographical Guide to Canadian Poets
REF PS8081 .E33 1993

Canadian Writers and their Works: poetry series
REF PS8141. C36

10 volume series.

Who's Who in the League of Canadian Poets
REF PS8081 .L43 1999

Canadian Poetry (University of Toronto)

Biographical information on 19th-century and contemporary Canadian poets.

101 poetes en Quebec
REF PS9295 .5 .Q4 .C46 1995

Dramatists

Directory of Canadian Plays and Playwrights
REF PS8177 .D57 (1981; 1982)

Most recent (2003) edition is held at the W.D. Jordan Special Collections, Douglas Library Building (Call # PS8081 .P528 2003)

Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia (Athabasca University)

A database of current and historical information on Canadian actors, playwrights, directors, producers, and designers.

Bibliographies

Consult bibliographies to find a comprehensive list of sources on a specific topic or a selective list of key works on a topic. To find out what bibliographies the Library has, do a subject search in QCAT.

Annotated Bibliography of Canada's Major Authors
REF PS8015 .A55 1979

In 8 volumes.

Bibliographie de la litterature outaouaise et franco-ontarienne
REF Z1392 .O6 D56

Books by Manitoba authors: a bibliography
REF Z1392 .M35 B66 1986u

Brock Bibliography of Published Canadian Plays in English, 1766-1978
REF Z1377 .D7 B75

Checklist of Printed Materials relating to French-Canadian Literature, 1763-1968
REF Z1377 .F8 B72 1973

Comprehensive Bibliography of English-Canadian Short Stories, 1950-1983
REF Z1375 .W46 1988

Contemporary Canadian Authors
REF PS8081 .C65t 1995

Bio-bibliographical guide to fiction, general non-fiction, poetry, drama.

English-Canadian Literary Anthologies: an Enumerative Bibliography
REF Z1375 .L43 1997

Includes bibliographic references with a chronological arrangement and a titles index. Does not include annotations.

French-Canadian Authors: A Bibliography of Their Works and of English-language Criticism
REF Z1377 .F8 K35 1990

Repertoire des theses litteraires canadiennes de 1921 a 1976
REF Z6511 .N26

Background Info

Overviews of Canadian Literature

Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada
REF PS8015 .E53 2002

The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature, Volume 1
PS8061 .C345 2009

Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature
REF PS8015 .O94 1997

A History of Canadian Literature
REF PS8065 .N49 2003

Checklist of Canadian Literature and Background Materials, 1628-1960
REF Z1375 .W3 1972

Canadian Literature: recent essays
PR9114. C35 1994t (Stauffer Library Books)

Canadian Encyclopedia
REF FC23 .C36 1988

Search your author and check left-hand column for Suggested Readings and Links to Other Sites.

Regional/Ethnic Literatures

Creating Community: A Roundtable on Canadian Aboriginal Literature
PS8089.5.I5 C73 2002 (Stauffer Library Books)

Ethnic and Native Canadian Literature
REF Z1376. E83M57 1990

Dictionnaire des oeuvres litteraires du Québec
REF PS9015. D53

In 5 volumes.

Revue d'histoire littéraire du Québec et du Canada français
REF PS9071.4 .H5 (1980-1988)

English-Canadian Literature to 1900: a guide to information sources
REF Z1375 .M68

Literary History of Alberta
PS8131 .A3 M45 1998 (Stauffer Library Books)

In 2 volumes. Includes profiles of writers and their texts from prehistory to twentieth century.

Writers of Newfoundland and Labrador: twentieth century
REF PS8131 .N4 D4 1985

Genre-Specific Sources

A Reader's Guide to the Canadian Novel
REF PS8189 .M68 1987

George Woodcock's Introduction to Canadian Poetry
PS8141 .W66 1993 (Stauffer Library Books)

The Theatre of Form and the Production of Meaning: Contemporary Canadian Dramaturgies
PS8177 .K56 1999 (Stauffer Library Books)

Primary Texts

General information about primary sources

Early Canadiana Online

Full text collection of 3000 books and pamphlets documenting Canadian history and literature.

Canadian Poetry (University of Toronto)

Features poetry written by contemporary and 19th-century poets. Also includes author biographies and links to Canadian poetry journals, magazines, and presses.

Canadian Poetry: An Electronic Resource (University of Western Ontario)

Scholarly editions of early Canadian long poems, including full-text editions of the work of the Confederation poets. Also includes critical studies of Canadian poetry.

Canadian Poetry Archive (Library and Archives Canada)

A searchable database of poems from over 100 early English- and French-language Canadian poets, digitized from the collections of the Library and Archives Canada. Also contains some biographical information.

Bibliothèque virtuelle (Faculty Saint-Jean, University of Alberta)

Contains classic out-of-copyright texts of French-Canadian literature in rtf (rich-text) format. Browsable by author.

Le Centre de documentation virtuel sur la littérature québécoise.

Digitized 19th-century French-Canadian texts in pdf format from the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec.

Library and Archives Canada: Canadian Writers

Manuscript collections and biographical information on Canadian writers Marie-Claire Blais, Roger Lemelin, Carol Shields, Michel Tremblay, Jane Urquhart, and Elizabeth Smart. These e-collections include typescripts, correspondence, journals, notebooks, and miscellany.

e-Texts

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Canadian Electronic Library - Canadian Publishers Collection provides online access to non-fiction and reference books ... with searchable full text.

Websites

Canada's Early Women Writers (Simon Fraser University)

Presents biographical and publication information for more than 470 women who lived in Canada or wrote about Canada, and authored an English-language book or pamphlet of fiction or poetry that was published before 1940. Includes titles of publications and references to archival resources.

The Canadian Literature Archive (University of Manitoba)

Contains information on Canadian writers, literary organizations, and publications; includes the full-text of several out-of-print, out-of-copyright works of Canadian literature.

Canadian Poetry Archive

Features "selected poems from over 100 early English- and French-language Canadian poets. Digitized from public anthologies found in the National Library of Canada's rich literature collection, the poems represent some of Canada's most notable poetry from the 19th and early 20th centuries."

Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia (Athabasca University)

A database of current information about Canadian actors, playwrights, directors, producers, designers, composers, theatre organizations, and plays.

Impressions: 250 Years of Printing in the Lives of Canadians

Exhibition by Library and Archives Canada on the history of printing in Canada, with digitized images from all sorts of books, newspapers, advertisements, and pamphlets (most of which are from the 19th century).

Library and Archives Canada: Canadian Literature Links

Comprehensive list of links to excellent sites on Canadian drama, poetry, and fiction. Also lists Canadian writers' associations.

Online guide to writing in canada

Resources for Canadian writers and researchers in Canadian Literature, including event postings and links to Canadian literary journals, ezines, and First Nations publications.ooks ... with searchable full text.

Theses

[Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil on the Nature of Fire; Pen and Paper; Albert Einstein's Dissertation]

Queen's

To find theses and dissertations produced at Queen's, search the following:

Canada

Repositories

Search for full text of open access dissertations and theses by searching the following sites:

United States

International

TIP: The Library sometimes can have a copy of a dissertation from another university--either purchased by the Library, or purchased by an individual student or faculty member and later donated to the library collection so always check QCAT.