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Adam Shortt Library of Canadiana
University of Saskatchewan Libraries

Canada, Northwest; Prairie Provinces; Indians of North America; Arctic regions--Discovery and exploration; Railroads--Canada; Labour--Canada

The nucleus of the collection was purchased from Dr. Adam Shortt in 1918. Until his death in 1931, Dr. Shortt continued to donate additional material, notably Sandford Fleming's personal library. Considerable material on Western Canada was also collected by A. S. Morton and Edmund Oliver.

The collection includes material on the history of Western Canada, Arctic exploration, and native peoples. Particular emphasis is on prairie Canada. The collection is strong in early editions on exploration and travel in the Arctic and the Prairies, the fur trade, and the railways in the West. Early and rare Canadiana also forms part of the collection. The geographic emphasis is on areas now within Canadian borders. Also included is some material on the U. S. northern Plains and Oregon territories, during periods when these areas were intimately involved in Canadian affairs. Government publications after 1867 and current journals are excluded from the collection. Present acquisition priorities are for older rare material. Attempts are also made to purchase current monographic material on Canadian history and Western Canadiana. Recent collecting has focused on social history, especially labour and women's history.

English, French, and selected foreign language material.

17,000 monographs; scattered reels of microfilm; 12 linear metres of vertical files.

Bibliographic Access
The collection is accessible by on-line catalogue. There are finding aids for uncatalogued vertical file material. LC and NLC subject headings are used. LC classification is used. The holdings are recorded in the National Library Union Catalogue. Special bibliographies include two editions of the Peel bibliography (originally based on the Shortt collection); and Louis Riel and the rebellions in the Northwest (an annotated bibliography of part of the collection). Staff members have also compiled bibliographies on other parts of the collection, notably Canadian labour history.

Physical Access
The collection is in a special collections area which is open to the public. For further information visit:

Interlibrary Loan: No.

Reprography: As the condition of the material warrants.

Reference Assistance: Yes.

Publications Describing Collection
Louis Riel and the rebellions in the Northwest: an annotated bibliography of material in special collections, University of Saskatchewan Library. -- Saskatoon : University of Saskatchewan, 1985. Peel, Bruce. -- A bibliography of the Prairie Provinces to 1953. -- Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 1956. Peel, Bruce. -- A bibliography of the Prairie Provinces to 1953, with biographical index. 2nd ed. -- Toronto : University of Toronto Press, c1973.