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Tremaine Fellowship Call for applications

The Bibliographical Society of Canada invites applications for the Marie Tremaine Fellowship. Deadline for application: February 28, 2016

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, which is in the amount of $2,000.00, is open only to members of the Bibliographical Society of Canada.

For further details and application form please see the BSC-SbC website

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.

Emerging Scholar Prize - Invitation

The Bibliographical Society of Canada invites applications for its 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.

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 Prize 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 e-mailed directly by the referee. The letter may be given as text or sent as 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 Carole Gerson, Chair, BSC Awards Committee,, by 5 December 2015. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Paper submissions will not be accepted. The recipient will be announced in February 2016.

For more information, please contact Carole Gerson,

2015 Tremaine Medal and Watters-Morley Prize Awarded

Jennifer Connor The members of the Awards Committee are very pleased to announce that Dr Jennifer Connor will be the recipient of the Marie Tremaine Medal and Watters-Morley Prize for 2015. The Medal will be awarded at the Society’s 70th Annual General Meeting.

Jennifer Connor is Professor of Medical Humanities and History, Memorial University of Newfoundland and is Canada’s preeminent scholar of the history of medical print culture. Her book, Guardians of Medical Knowledge: the Genesis of the Medical Library Association, broke entirely new ground, and is complemented by dozens of scholarly articles that place Canada’s medical print culture in broader cultural and international contexts. In essence, she has defined an entire field of enquiry in Canada through her substantial and sustained successes in publication, leadership at conferences and in program development. Dr Connor’s extensive contributions to bibliographical scholarly communities include her recent editorship of The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada / Cahiers de la Société bibliographique du Canada.

We are delighted to offer this recognition of Dr Connor’s impressive contributions to advancing Canadian bibliographical scholarship.


2015 Tremaine Fellowship

The members of the Fellowships Committee are very pleased to announce that Alana Fletcher (Queen's University) has been awarded the Tremaine Fellowship for 2015 for her project, "The Story of the Story: Textual Interpretations of Uranium Mining on Great Bear Lake." Dr. Fletcher will use the fellowship funds to travel to Déline, NWT in order to catalogue works held at the Déline First Nations office and compile them in an annotated bibliography.


The Bibliographical Society of Canada is pleased to Announce the Discovery of 5 Previously Overlooked Winners of Governor General's Literary Awards

December 1, 2014 – A professor at the University of British Columbia has discovered, or rediscovered, five long overlooked winners of Governor General’s Literary Awards.

For over seventy-five years, Canada's Governor General's Literary Awards (or GGs) have served as this country's premier literary prize. In a new bibliography of the awards, released for the first time today, five new award-winning titles from 1948, 1963, 1965, and 1984 have been included. The bibliography was compiled by Andrew David Irvine of UBC Okanagan, with the assistance of Edmond Rivère.

Irvine’s painstaking scholarship has been recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, edited by Eli MacLaren. According to MacLaren, the publication of the new bibliography is a milestone: “The bibliography represents the culmination of years of detailed archival work. It's not everyday that discoveries like this are made.”

Prior lists of GG-winners have been made, but the task is more difficult than it might seem, especially since every year now adds fourteen winners in both official languages, not to mention many non-winning finalists. “It is a privilege to be able to publish scholarship of this calibre,” says MacLaren. “This bibliography will be of interest to Canadians, both to literary specialists and to the public, for years to come.” The new bibliography differs from previous bibliographies in other ways. It includes

  • the first division of winning titles into historically accurate award categories;
  • a full list of declined awards;
  • a full list of books by non-winning finalists who have received cash awards, a practice that began in 2002;
  • more detailed bibliographical information than can be found in most other lists; and
  • corrections of numerous minor errors that have commonly appeared in previously published lists relating to the awards.

Of the five titles inadvertently omitted from previous bibliographies, the first is the only book to have received a Governor General’s Citation, an award option that existed for three years but that was used only once. The award was given for the first book to win an award in the Juvenile category:

               Roderick L. Haig-Brown, Saltwater Summer, Toronto: Collins, 1948.

The other four titles are from multi-volume works in which multiple books – but sometimes not the full series – have won awards. Previous bibliographies have typically mentioned only a single title, leaving readers with the erroneous impression that only a single book was being listed.

Full details are as follows:

For the 1963 award year, both volumes of the two-volume English-language biography Brown of the Globe by J.M.S. Careless received recognition:

               J.M.S. Careless, Brown of the Globe: Vol. One – The Voice of Upper Canada 1818-1859, Toronto: The Macmillan Company of Canada Limited, 1959.

               J.M.S. Careless, Brown of the Globe: Vol. Two – Statesman of Confederation 1860-1880, Toronto: The Macmillan Company of Canada Limited, 1963.

That same year, two volumes of the three-volume French-language Histoire du Canada by Gustave Lanctot also received recognition:

               Gustave Lanctot, Histoire du Canada: des origines au régime royal, Montréal: Librairie Beauchemin Limitée, 1960.

               Gustave Lanctot, Histoire du Canada: du régime royal au traité d’Utrecht, 1663-1713, Montréal: Librairie Beauchemin Limitée, 1963.

For the 1965 award year, two volumes of the five-volume history of the Canadian military by James Eayrs, In Defence of Canada, received recognition:

               James Eayrs, In Defence of Canada: From the Great War to the Great Depression, [Toronto]: University of Toronto Press, [1965].

               James Eayrs, In Defence of Canada: Appeasement and Rearmament, [Toronto]: University of Toronto Press, 1965.

For the 1984 award year, both volumes of Le XXe siècle by Jean Hamelin et Nicole Gagnon received recognition:

Jean Hamelin et Nicole Gagnon, Le XXe siècle, Tome 1: 1898-1940, Montréal: Boréal Express (Les Éditions du Boréal Express), 1984.

Jean Hamelin, Le XXe siècle, Tome 2: De 1940 à nos jours, Montréal: Boréal Express (Les Éditions du Boréal Express), 1984.


Between 1936 and 2013, a total of 651 books have received Governor General's Literary Awards. A full bibliographical listing of all 651 books was released today in Volume 52, Issue 1 of the journal.


An article on Andrew Irvine's work can be found at:

2015 Emerging Scholar Prize Awarded

The Bibliographical Society of Canada is pleased to announce that Simran Thadani has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Emerging Scholar Prize for her project “The Case of the Unsigned Letters: Investigating a Unique Anonymous Writing-Book, London?, 1590?/1656.” Dr. Thadani will present her paper at the BSC’s annual meeting, which will take place at SHARP 2015 in Longueuil/Montreal. 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.

Dr. Thadani’s project considers the ways in which “Directions for Writing” — a stab-stitched pamphlet writing-book which survives in just one complete copy at Columbia University — looks different and works differently from other writing-books, interrogating it for clues to its origins and placing it within the broader contexts of its genre and of early modern anonymity. Dr Thadani concludes that “Directions for Writing” and other anonymous writing-books can play an important role for scholarship on the genre, by complicating our normal assumptions about “authorship,” authorial self-promotion, and the notion of the author-function underlying the text’s production.

Dr. Thadani received her PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. As an independent scholar she is presently engaged in producing a bibliography of the Arion Press in San Francisco; in compiling a new edition of ABC for Book Collectors with Nicolas Barker; and in mounting a retrospective exhibition of the works of the Grabhorn Press at the Grolier Club in New York. She also serves on the board of Letterform Archive, a newly-established non-profit organization whose collections relate to typography, calligraphy, lettering, and graphic design. In a letter of support, her PhD supervisor Peter Stallybrass praised her as someone who has “been at the centre of research on early manuscripts and printed books,” and who “has the ability to draw together in new ways academic scholars, special collections librarians, collectors, and booksellers.”

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.


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





The Bulletin

The Bulletin is published in the spring and fall each year, as the newsletter of the Bibliographical Society of Canada and is distributed to members together with the Papers/Cahiers. Each new issue of the Bulletin will now be made available on the website upon publication. Past issues will be digitized as time permits.

Members wishing to continue to receive the Bulletin in paper form should indicate this on their membership renewal form.