When I first came on board with the Canada’s Early Women Writers project, we had only paper files: you remember, single sheets slid into manilla folders? In many of these files were single pages typed out and mimeographed, referenced with the cryptic “Canadian Biographies Suppl.” The files used in the 1980s, housed at UBC, have long since disappeared (as crumbling loose-leaf papers in archives will do), so we were at a loss as to where to find another copy. We spent years asking other researchers, and searching online catalogues, to no avail. Recently, however, Val Lem (Liaison for English, History, Caribbean Studies, ACS and LLC at Ryerson University Library and Archives) contacted Carole with a catalogue entry from the TPL that looked particularly promising: “Canadian biographies, artists and authors. Canadian Library Association.” As I am in Toronto with some time on my hands at the moment, I set out to discover what this item (which they define as both “book” and—promisingly—”loose-leaf”) is.

Bingo! It is, in fact, the collection from which those pages had been copied. It was originally a collection of data from a survey sent out by the Canadian Library Association in 1946 and answered by as many artists and authors as the librarian receiving the list could locate. Here is the letter describing the project:

Given our expanded mandate, there are numerous authors in this file that we did not previously record the information for. I have copied those pages of interest to our project, but cannot post them online. I can, however, with the blessing of the archivists at the Margaret and Charles Baillie Special Collections Centre, publish the list of authors and artists contained in the file. So here it is.

I have posted the jpgs for easy viewing; the attached pdf file is searchable, but sadly not discoverable by search engines. If anyone wants to do the Canadian Studies world a favour, please consider transcribing the names for us…


Canadian biographies, artists and authors: The PDF
If you have problems with this link, it may be a browser issue. PDFs don’t work in my version of Firefox, but do in Chrome and Safari.

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