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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:

Tremaine Medal - Call for Nominations

The Awards Committee invites nominations for the Marie Tremaine Medal, offered by the Bibliographical Society of Canada (BSC) for outstanding service to Canadian bibliography and for distinguished publication in either English or French in that field. The Tremaine Medal is accompanied by the Watters-Morley Prize, a $500 scholarly award.

Members of the Awards Committee or the Council of the Society are not eligible for the award while they are in office. Otherwise the award is open to all, without restriction. Nominations may not be put forward by the president or by members of the Awards Committee, but otherwise there are no restrictions in this regard.

Deadline: March 2nd, 2015

Nomination package: The complete nomination package must be sent electronically, and should include:

  • A letter of nomination (1-3 pages single spaced), summarizing the nominee’s contributions to Canadian bibliography.
  • The nominee’s CV, including a list of main relevant publications, projects and work supervised.
  • Three letters of support from experts in the field, addressing the significance of the candidate’s contributions.
  • A citation of approximately 750 words about the nominee, to be used as a basis, if the nominee is selected, for the award presentation and to be published along with the recipient’s response in the Papers/Cahiers.

Please send nomination packages and any questions to the Awards Committee at:

Additional information about the award and the BSC can be found here.

Emerging Scholar Prize - Invitation

The Bibliographical Society of Canada (BSC) 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:

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); one confidential letter of reference, 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 Geoffrey Little, Chair, BSC Publications Committee,, by 5 December 2014. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Paper submissions will not be accepted. The recipient will be announced in February 2015.

For more information, please contact Geoffrey Little,

2014 Tremaine Medal and Watters-Morley Prize Awarded

The members of the Awards Committee are very pleased to announce Pierre Hébert as the recipient of the 2014 Tremaine Medal and Watters-Morley Prize. The prize will be awarded at the Society's 69th Annual General Meeting.

Pierre Hébert, professor in the Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines at the Université de Sherbrooke, has prodigiously advanced book historical research in Canada. He is a pioneering researcher exploring questions relating to censorship in Quebec, and an important contributor to the documentation of Quebec's book and other cultural producers. He has supported the broader growth of Canadian book historical research through leadership of major research projects and networks, as well as through an enormous amount of direct research supervision. A member of the Royal Society of Canada, among his many contributions to the community are his current presidency of the Association québécoise pour l'étude de l'imprimé (AQÉI), and co-directorship of the Groupe de recherches et d'études sur le livre au Québec (GRÉLQ), Université de Sherbrooke.

We are extremely pleased to extend to Professor Hébert our recognition of his impressive output and career in service of advancing Canadian bibliography and book historical inquiry.


2014 Emerging Scholar Prize Awarded

The Bibliographical Society of Canada (BSC) is pleased to announce that Rachel Bryant, a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of New Brunswick, has been selected as the recipient of the Emerging Scholar Prize. Her paper, "Towards the (In)digitization of the Archive: Preserving, Sharing, and Protecting Indigenous Knowledge in New Brunswick," will be presented at the BSC's annual conference in May 2014 and will explore how the province of New Brunswick could both benefit and learn from controversial efforts to digitize Indigenous archival materials in the United States, particularly in New England. 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.

Ms. Bryant's timely and original paper intersects directly with her dissertation, which explores the ways in which Native peoples have re-inscribed themselves textually across the northeastern Canadian-American border over the past three hundred years through the resurrection of the Wampum belt and the use of cartographic space. She has been praised as an exceptional scholar with a remarkable research record and a strong commitment to the reconfiguration of bibliographical studies to address the needs of Indigenous writers and communities in North America. Her supervisors at the University of New Brunswick are Professors Jennifer Andrews and Elizabeth Mancke.

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.’

2014 Tremaine Fellowship

The members of the Fellowships Committee are very pleased to announce that Dr. Alison Rukavina has been awarded the Tremaine Fellowship for 2014. The fellowship, for her project ‘Sam Steele's Forty Years in Canada: Nation Building and Imperial Mythmaking’, will allow her to travel to the Steele archive at the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, University of Alberta, to complete her research on the publication history of Steele's memoir Forty Years in Canada (1915).

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.