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Ralph Gustafson Collection of Canadian Poetry
McGill University, Rare Books and Special Collections Library

Canadian poetry (English); Canadian poetry (English)--20th century

The collection constitutes part of the personal library of the Canadian poet Ralph Gustafson. He began to collect seriously during the Second World War as part of his work on an anthology he was preparing for Penguin Books. That anthology became the Penguin Book of Canadian Verse. The collection was acquired in 1991 and has been kept as a unit.

The collection consists of volumes of Canadian poetry covering the century or so from roughly 1880 to 1980. It is rich in presentation and association copies and contains most of the rarest books of Canadian verse since the time of the Confederation poets. The rarities include W.W.E. Ross's Sonnets and Laconics, Dorothy Livesay's Green Pitcher, and virtually complete runs of the books of poets like F.R. Scott, John Glassco, Louis Dudek, Irving Layton and others.


2 000 titles.

Bibliographic Access
The collection has been kept together and is fully catalogued using LC subject headings and classification. The holdings are recorded on MUSE (McGill libraries online catalogue).

Physical Access
The collection is open to the public upon registration with the Department and the presentation of a suitable piece of identification. For further information visit:

Interlibrary Loan: No.

Reprography: Limited.

Reference Assistance: Yes.

Publications Describing Collection
None at present.