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2017 Emerging Scholar Prize - Invitation

The Bibliographical Society of Canada (BSC) invites applications for the Emerging Scholar Prize. The Prize promotes the work of a researcher who is beginning his or her career in the fields of book history and bibliography broadly defined, including the study of the creation, production, publication, distribution, transmission, history, and uses of printed books, manuscripts, or electronic texts. Preference will be given to topics with a Canadian dimension.

The recipient of the BSC Emerging Scholar Prize will be invited to deliver a paper at the Society's annual conference. A revised, article-length version of the paper will be published in The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada / Cahiers de la Société bibliographique du Canada, subject to peer review. A grant of $500 accompanies the Prize and may be used to help the recipient attend the annual conference or to meet costs associated with research. The recipient will also receive a one-year complimentary membership in the BSC.

Students of any nationality enrolled in a master's or doctoral program (e.g., MA, PhD, MLIS) are eligible, as is anyone who has completed such a program within the last two years from date of convocation. Individuals holding tenure track/continuing appointments are ineligible, as are members of the BSC Award Committee, BSC Fellowship Committee, and the BSC Council. There are no restrictions regarding the topic of research so long as it relates to some aspect of bibliography or book history.

Applicants must submit the following documents electronically in English or in French, in a single PDF file in the following order:

  • A one-page cover letter that explains the applicant's interest in and suitability for the prize;
  • A brief CV (max. three pages);
  • An abstract (max. 750 words, incl. bibliography) of the proposed paper;
  • Proof of student status or of graduation within the past two years (copy of diploma, copy of student identification, or official or unofficial transcript).

As well, one confidential letter of reference should be emailed directly by the referee. The letter may be sent as text or an attachment, but it must include the referee’s contact information and any institutional affiliation.

All application materials, including letters of reference, should be sent to Chris Young, Chair, BSC Awards Committee,,, by December 9, 2016. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Paper submissions will not be accepted. The recipient will be announced in February 2017.

Additional information about the award and the BSC can be found at:

2016 Tremaine Fellowship

The BSC-SBC Fellowships Committee has awarded Ruth Bradley-St-Cyr the 2016 Tremaine Fellowship. Bradely-St-Cyr’s proposed project The Legacy of the Ryerson Press is an expansion of her PhD dissertation, which explored the last ten years of Ryerson Press from 1960 until it was sold in 1970. In the words of a referee, “The whole [PhD] made a significant contribution to scholarship on the history of the Press in particular and of Canadian literary publishing in general. The methodology involved close attention to archival materials, particularly to relevant files in the United Church of Canada Archives and to the papers of individuals involved with Ryerson Press. Interviews with former editors and employees of the Press also provided crucial primary material. Judicious in its analysis and arguments, the thesis made a solid case throughout.”

The Tremaine Fellowship supported project will answer the question, what is the legacy of the controversial 1970 sale of The Ryerson Press for Canadian publishing? Dr. Bradely-St-Cyr proposes to expand her study of Ryerson Press to include research of royal commission fonds and to conduct interviews with selected publishers and writers active in the 1960s and 1970s. A special effort will be made to interview those who testified before the royal commission. The documentation and views gathered will enable Dr. Bradely-St. Cyr to offer an evaluation of the changes in cultural policy that followed the sale, and the consequences of the policy changes, then and now, for the Canadian publishing industry.

As another of her references wrote, “the sale of The Ryerson Press and its aftermath was a watershed period for the Canadian book industry, one which greatly deserves more research and analysis as Canadian publishing faces on-going challenges. Dr. Bradley-St-Cyr is superbly equipped to write a book on the topic on the legacy of the Ryerson Press sale, having successfully completed a doctoral thesis at the University of Ottawa which examines the last decade of the Press, the conditions which led to its sale, and the controversy, studies and attempts at redress which followed.”

The Fellowships Committee concludes that Dr. Bradley-St-Cyr’s thorough knowledge of the subject is clear, and her proposed combined methodology of archival research and oral history work will ensure that her research will bring new insights into this moment in Canadian publishing and culture.

The Tremaine Fellowship is offered in memory and through the generosity of Marie Tremaine (1902-1984), the doyenne of Canadian bibliographers. The Fellowship was instituted in 1987 and is offered annually to support the work of a scholar engaged in some area of bibliographical research, including textual studies and publishing history and with a particular emphasis on Canada. The Fellowship is open only to members of the Bibliographical Society of Canada (

2016 Emerging Scholar Prize Awarded

The Bibliographical Society of Canada (BSC) is pleased to announce that Christopher Doody, a PhD candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature at Carleton University, has been selected as the recipient of the Emerging Scholar Prize. His paper, “‘Now, my Boy, Listen to Daddy’: William Arthur Deacon and his Influence on the Governor General’s Literary Awards,” will be presented at the BSC's annual conference in May 2016 and will investigate the role of one influential figure in running and judging Canada’s premier literary prize from 1936 to 1960. A revised, article-length version of the paper will be published in the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, subject to peer review. The prize also includes a grant of $500.

Mr. Doody’s timely and original paper intersects directly with his dissertation, which examines the evolving concept of authorship in Canada during the first half of the twentieth century, from amateur scribe to state-sponsored professional, with a primary focus on the role of the Canadian Authors Association. His research record includes numerous publications and conference presentations, along with a strong commitment to editorial work, with a focus on digital technologies. His supervisor at Carleton University is Professor Jody Mason.

The Emerging Scholar Prize was established by the BSC in 2012 to support a scholar at the beginning of her or his career who is undertaking research in bibliography, book history, or print culture broadly defined, including the study of the creation, production, publication, distribution, and uses of manuscripts, printed books, or electronic texts.

Call for Papers

Gatherings: Communities of Print and the Book
Annual Meeting of the Bibliographical Society of Canada
30-31 May 2016
Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Calgary

In May 2016, the Bibliographical Society of Canada invites scholars to shift their communities of readers, communities of writers, communities of the book and of print. Organizers invite paper proposals linked to the following topics or any area broadly related to the conference theme. perspective from the national and global scale and to consider the printed word, the book, and texts on the micro-scale of the community. In tandem with the general Congress theme of “Energizing Communities,” the BSC-SbC will showcase papers by scholars examining:

  • Local and regional printers and publishers and their networks
  • The local and regional press: newspapers, newsletters, periodicals, almanacs
  • Print and online publications and ephemera of counter-culture, grassroots and activist movements
  • Authors and illustrators and their engagement with local and regional communities
  • Rural and urban public libraries
  • Microhistories of reading
  • The Canadian small press scene
  • Local, regional, and national book clubs
  • DIY publication and ‘zines
  • Book festivals
  • The bibliographical and book historical community in Canada – past, present and future

A one-page proposal and a brief biography of the author (one that includes full name, professional designation [professor, librarian, graduate student, etc.], institutional affiliation or place) should be submitted to:

Those invited to present papers must register for the BSC-SbC conference.

Deadline: Friday, 15 January 2016.

Please note that the Bibliographical Society of Canada will be involved in joint sessions at the 2016 Congress. Special calls, with earlier deadlines, will be issued separately for these joint sessions.

Call for papers

Working in the University of Calgary’s Canadian Literary Archives
A Round Table sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of Canada
and the Canadian Association for the Study of Book Culture (CASBC)
Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Calgary
Proposed Date of Round Table: Monday, May 30, 2016

For many decades, the library at the University of Calgary has made a significant commitment to collecting the archives of Canadian writers. Their extensive list of holdings ranges from well-known authors (such as Robert Kroetsch, Alice Munro, and Mordecai Richler) to fairly obscure figures; it also includes other participants in the country’s literary infrastructure such as ECW Press and Descant magazine. Taking advantage of the location of Congress 2016 at the University of Calgary, the BSC and CASBC are jointly sponsoring a round table on research in these archives and invite researchers to discuss their experiences.

Topics are open, and may include such matters as:

  • how the contents and gaps in the archive have shaped your research;
  • issues of gender, class, ethnicity and literary genre in relation to archival collections;
  • canonicity (who is collected);
  • serendipity in archival research;
  • the role of literary archives in the classroom.

We envisage a round table of 5 or 6 speakers who will make brief presentations of no more than 10 minutes, followed by a general discussion. Graduate students and those in the midst of archival projects are encouraged to participate.

Please submit a brief proposal (maximum 250 words) and a CV to

Deadline: Friday, January 15, 2016

Call for papers

People of the Book: The Use of Print Culture by Religious Communities
Proposed Joint Panel
The Annual Meetings of the Bibliographical Society of Canada and the Canadian Historical Association
Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
May 30-31 2016 - University of Calgary

Religious communities have historically ascribed divine revelation to particular sacred texts, placing the printed word at the heart of many faiths. In addition to these constitutive texts, however, a wide range of printed materials have been central in shaping the cultural identity, beliefs, and practices of religious communities around the world. Prayer books, periodicals, psalters, testaments, hymnals, tracts, commentaries, missals, and novels have been used to teach, inspire, censure, argue, study, and worship. The authority and importance ascribed to these printed materials have been contested and challenged based on various aspects of their authorship, production, reading, retail, and reception. These aspects of bibliography and book history provide important insights into the religious groups who employed them and the influence these groups had on the historical development of print culture.

Scholars specializing in the intersection of religion and print are invited to submit paper proposals to this joint panel to be held at the Bibliographical Society of Canada’s Annual Meeting, “Gatherings: Communities of Print and the Book,” and the Canadian Historical Association’s Annual Meeting, “Stories.” The panel organizers welcome proposals that consider the impact of religiosity on the production and dissemination of printed materials, and the ways in which print has shaped the beliefs and practices of religious communities.

Please send a brief 250 word proposal and a CV to Stuart Barnard and/or Ruth-Ellen St. Onge

Deadline: 12 October 2015

Those invited to present papers must register for the BSC and/or the CHA conference.


2014 Amtmann Fellowship

The members of the Fellowships Committee are very pleased to announce that Dr. Scott J. Gwara, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of South Carolina has been awarded the Amtmann Fellowship for 2014. His project, entitled ‘Medieval Books in the Dominion of Canada, ca 1840-1907’ will examine a collection of twenty-two manuscripts held in collections at the University of King's College, Halifax, the University of Toronto, and at McGill University, hoping to reveal ‘the historical, social, and pedagogical motivations for a new, esoteric connoisseurship in the Dominion of Canada.’

Open Journal System

The Papers/Cahiers of the Society are now available on the Open Journal System, which permits advanced search capabilities. The tables of contents for the most recent issues may be viewed, as well as all past issues in pdf format. To see the new site, click on 'Publications', then 'Journal' in the left sidebar.

Emerging Scholar Prize: Donors

The BSC Council initiated a fundraising drive in 2013 to establish the Emerging Scholar Prize. Several members of the BSC have already generously pledged their support, and we are happy to announce that a substantial amount has been raised. In order to ensure that the Prize is viable in the long-term, we are looking to raise $25,000 to create a stable endowment. If, after a reasonable amount of time, this is not feasible, monies raised to that point will be used to fund the Prize directly. Should the Prize be terminated, remaining funds will be distributed among the Society’s fellowship and awards programs.

Please consider making a gift to the Society in support of the Emerging Scholar Prize. You may wish to use a gift to honour a friend, mentor, or colleague. Gifts are tax deductible. Cheques, made out to “Bibliographical Society of Canada” with “Emerging Scholar Prize” in the memo field, can be sent to:

The Bibliographical Society of Canada
c/o Tom Vincent
304 Olympus Avenue
Kingston, ON K7M 4T9

The Society wishes to acknowledge the generosity of the following donors:

Sandra Alston
Guylaine Beaudry
Pat Belier
Fiona Black
Jennifer Connor
Anne Dondertman
Elizabeth Driver
Nancy Earle
Gail Edwards
Patricia Fleming
Alana Fletcher
Janet Friskney
Alan Galey
Carole Gerson
Nicholas Giguère
J. Godolphin
Greta Golick
Jeannine Green
C. Gryski
Edna Hajnal
Balfour Halevy
Robin Healey
Sushil Kumar Jain
Marcel Lajeunesse
Val Lem
Geoffrey Little
Bertrum MacDonald
Anne McGaughey
Eli MacLaren
Ian MacLaren
Don McLeod
Roger Meloche
Jacques Michon
Peter Mitham
Heather Murray
George Parker
Linda Quirk
Carl Spadoni
Apollonia Steele
Joeée Vincent
Tom Vincent
Germaine Warkentin
Mary Williamson
Joan Winearls
Alberta Wood

Canada’s Third National Book Collecting Contest

Poster 2012

Prizes were awarded to the winning entrants of the third National Book Collecting Contest in Vancouver and Waterloo on May 28, 2012.

The first prize went to Samuel Jang, of Victoria, B.C. for his collection Aesop's Fables.

The second prize winner was David Fernández, of Toronto, Ontario for his collection The Imaginary of Books: Homosexualities, Images, and Texts.

The third prize winner was Gideon Foley, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for his collection Tasteful Books.


The National Book Collecting Contest - Previous Winners

Poster 2011