Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

ARCHIVED - History of the Book in Canada

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

Search Help

Canadian Textbooks: Help


Overview

Illustrative image of a girl reading a book for the CANADIAN TEXTBOOKS database.

This database contains bibliographic descriptions of Canadian textbooks. The definition of "textbooks" includes all print materials used in Canadian schools prior to university-level education. A book is declared "Canadian" when one of the phases of production (writing, publishing, printing) was completed in Canada. Titles published initially in a foreign country but reprinted in Canada, with or without modification, and with or without permission from foreign authors or publishers, are included in this database. Many records for books initially published in a foreign country (e.g., England, Ireland, France, and United States) but later reprinted in Canada have been included.

Textbooks published in Quebec have not been included in this database as they are already available in a similar online database: "Les manuels scolaires québécois dans le web" (www.bibl.ulaval.ca/ress/manscol/).

The current database (with close to 5000 records) offers only a small portion of Canadian textbook production. It was constructed from several collections: the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (CIHM), the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), and the two collections of the University of British Columbia. Because of the dispersed nature of these collections, it was impossible to catalogue these texts first hand. Therefore, records were constructed from bibliographic information produced by these different institutions.


Searching

There are two ways to search the Canadian Textbooks database: the Basic or the Advanced Search.

Basic Search

The Basic Search allows the user to search either the Author field or Keywords individually or in combination.

The Author text-entry box can be used to search the Author field. All the following fields will be searched for terms placed in the Keywords text-entry box:

  • Title
  • Series Title
  • Approbation
  • Discipline
  • Notes

If terms are entered in both search boxes, records containing both terms will be retrieved. Except for the Author field, where truncation may not be used, use the asterisk ( * ) to truncate terms.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search option facilitates sophisticated queries on specific fields, and allows for the selection of Boolean operators (i.e. AND, OR) between search terms. Enter search terms into the text-entry boxes, then select the appropriate Boolean operator(s) and field(s) from the pull-down boxes.


Record Structure

The Textbooks database records are composed of the following fields:

Record ID: The identification number for the record.
Author: The person(s) or organization(s) responsible for the creation of the textbook.
Title: The title of the textbook.
Reprint: A statement of the status of the reprinted edition on the title page of the text.
Edition: The particular edition of the textbook.
Place of Publication: The place where the textbook was published.
Publisher: The name of the publisher of the textbook.
Date of Publication: The specified publication date of the textbook.
Date of Copyright: The specified copyright date of the textbook.
Pagination: The number of pages within the main body and supplementary portions of the text (i.e. preface, appendices).
Retrieval Code: An identification code which may be used to identify different editions and reprints of published texts.
Illustrations: The presence of illustrations in a work.
Series Title: The name of the series to which the work belongs.
Approbation: A statement of authorization from an appropriate governing body.
Library Location: The National Library of Canada code for the institution which holds the physical version of the item, or the acronym CIHM for textbooks in the microfiche collections published by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions. The list of library codes (Canadian Textbooks: Field Descriptions) used in this field is available for reference.
ISBN: The ISBN of the textbook.
Call Number: The call number for the original copy of the textbook.
Notes: Additional notes prepared by the creator of the record.
Discipline: A descriptor for the subject of the textbook.

Record Example

NOTE: If a record does not contain any data in a field, that field will not be displayed with the record.

Record ID: 569
Author: Worcester, Joseph Emerson
Title: A primary dictionary of the English language [microform]
Place of Publication: Toronto
Publisher: J. Campbell
Date of Publication: [1868?]
Pagination: 185 fr.
Retrieval Code: 103186800
Series Title: Canadian series of school books
Library Location: CaNSHD
ISBN: 0665509006
Discipline: English dictionary / Dictionnaire anglais

Acknowledgements

The editorial team for the development of this database (2000 - 2008):

Paul Aubin and Bertrum H. MacDonald, Editors

The editors would like to thank Pierre-Luc Beauchesne and Frédéric Hardel who prepared and edited records for inclusion in this database.


Getting Started with the Basic Search

Use the Basic Search to easily search the Canadian Textbooks database using author names or keywords.

The Basic Search has two text-entry boxes: one for author names and one for keywords. Searching for keywords will search the Title, Series Title, Approbation, Discipline, and Notes fields.

Search for an author:

  1. Type the author name into the text-entry box labelled "Author."
  2. Enter just one name or if you know the first and last name, enter the last name followed by a comma and the first name or initial such as Smith, J. or Anderson, William.
  3. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Search for a keyword:

  1. Type the keyword into the text-entry box labelled "Keywords."
  2. Enter a single word, or a phrase exactly as you would expect to find it in the database such as Royal Readers or Chemistry.
  3. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Search for both an author and a keyword:

  1. Type the author name into the text-entry box labelled "Author."
  2. Type the keyword or phrase into the text-entry box labelled "Keywords."
  3. When both an author and a keyword are used, each record in the search results will contain both the author and the keyword.
  4. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Advanced Search

Overview

The Advanced Search permits sophisticated searching of up to five (5) fields simultaneously.

Enter search words into the text-entry boxes, select field name(s) and Boolean operator(s) from the pull-down lists, then click the "Submit" button to get the results from the database. Use the "Clear" button to remove text from the text-entry boxes and start a new search.


Field Names

Each record in the database consists of up to 19 fields describing the textbook. Visit the Field Descriptions section for a list of the field names and an explanation of what is contained in each field.

The names of these fields are all listed in the pull-down lists of the Advanced Search. To search any of these fields, type the search text into one of the text-entry boxes and select the appropriate field name from the pull-down list beside the text-entry box. For example, to find textbooks in a particular series:

  1. Enter the title of the series, such as "Curriculum resource book series," into one of the text-entry boxes.
  2. Select "Series Title" from the list of field names beside the text-entry box.
  3. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Boolean Operators

The Advanced Search uses Boolean operators to facilitate searching up to five (5) fields in different combinations. There are two (2) Boolean operators: AND and OR.

  1. AND
    Combine two or more terms using AND to retrieve records that contain all the specified terms. For example, to find records for textbooks co-authored by Ballard and McKay:
  1. Enter "Ballard" into the first text-entry box and select "Author" from the list of field names.
  2. Select "AND" from the list of Boolean operators.
  3. Enter "McKay" into the second text-entry box and select "Author" from the list of field names.
  4. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.
  1. OR
    Combine two or more terms using OR to retrieve records that contain either one or more of the specified terms. For example, to find records for textbooks that were written by either Ballard or Mckay, or both:
  1. Enter "Ballard" into the first text-entry box and select "Author" from the list of field names.
  2. Select "OR" from the list of Boolean operators.
  3. Enter "McKay" into the second text-entry box and select "Author" from the list of field names.
  4. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Truncation

Truncation allows searching for different forms of a word by using a symbol to represent one or more letters.

The truncation symbol is the asterisk ( * ).

Right truncation: Use the truncation symbol at the end of a word or part of a word, to retrieve words that all begin with the same root, but may end with any combination of letters. For example, Read* will retrieve: "Reader," "Readers," and "Reading."

Internal truncation: Use the truncation symbol in the middle of a word if the letters in the middle are not always the same. For example, wom*n will retrieve: "woman" and "women."


Searching the Disciplines

Each record in the database has a field for the Discipline that describes the subject of the textbook. Refer to the authority list (Authority list for Displines) below when searching for particular subjects. Enter the text exactly as it appears in the authority list for best search results.

Search for a discipline using the Basic Search by entering the subject (e.g., History of Canada) into the text-entry box labelled "Keywords." Then click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Discipline can also be searched using the Advanced Search. Enter the subject into one of the text-entry boxes and in the pull-down list beside the text-entry box, select "Discipline." The Advanced Search also allows searching for more than one discipline. For example, to find records for textbooks about either

Drama or Theatre:

  1. Type "Drama" into the first text-entry box and select "Discipline" from the list of field names.
  2. Select "OR" as the Boolean operator.
  3. Type "Theatre" into the second text-entry box and select "Discipline" from the list of field names.
  4. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Authority list for Disciplines

The following is a list of the disciplines in this database. Enter the text exactly as it appears here for best search results.

Accounting
Agriculture
Algebra
Anatomy and health
Ancient history
Arithmetic
Arts
Astronomy
Automobile mechanics
Biology
Botany
Cabinetwork
Calculus
Calculus - differential and integral
Canada - literature
Chemistry
Civics
Clothing
Communications
Construction
Drama
Drawing
Economics
Electricity
English dictionary
English - composition
English - grammar
English - literature
English - phonetics and elocution
English - reading
English - second language
Family education
French - composition
French - grammar
French - literature
French - reading
French - second language
Geography
Geography of America
Geography of Canada
Geology
Geometry
German
Greek
Guidance
History
History of England
History of France
History of China
History of the Americas
History of the United States
History of Canada
Home economics
Latin
Law
Manual work
Marketing
Mechanics
Metallurgy
Multiple notions
Office technology
Official catholic catechisms
Ornithology
Pedagogy
Penmanship
Philosophy
Photography
Physics
Political science
Protestant catechisms
Russian
Sacred history, Bible history
Sciences - general
Shorthand
Singing and music
Spanish
Sociology
Teaching of ethics
Theater
Trigonometry
Typing
Varia
Woodwork
Zoology


Search Results

Viewing

To view the results of a search, enter the search terms in either the Basic or the Advanced Search then click the "Search" button. A list of records matching the search terms will be displayed. Each record in the list is called a "hit."

This list of hits shows the Author, Title, and Date of Publication for each record. If the search produces more than 20 hits, the results will be displayed on subsequent pages that can be accessed by clicking Next. Similarly, clicking Previous will return to the previous page of hits. There is an option to display 20, 30, or 50 hits per page.

To see the details about a particular record, click Full Display. This will show all the fields for that record. If a record does not contain any data in a particular field, that field will not be displayed with the record.


Search Tips

Searches are not case sensitive

This means that uppercase and lower case letters are considered the same. A search for McClelland will produce the same results as a search for mcclelland or MccleLLAND.

Searching for a phrase

Although no distinction is made between uppercase and lowercase letters, spacing and punctuation are not ignored. Searching for a phrase will find records only if they exactly match the phrase in these ways: the words must be in the same order, punctuation must be the same, and spacing between words and punctuation must be the same.

For example, searching for Campbell's British-American series will produce different results than Campbells American-British series. If the complete phrase is not known, partial phrases can be used.

Expanding a search

If a search finds very few or no matching records, the search terms need to be expanded. A search can be expanded by using less specific terms. For example, rather than searching for the full title of a textbook, search for just part of the title. This will help find more matching records.

Narrowing a search

If a search produces too many results, the search needs to be narrowed. This is done by making the search terms more specific. For example, to find textbooks about English literature may be too broad if only the term "English" is used to search the Discipline field. Using the more specific discipline term, "English - literature," will narrow the search and find fewer records.

Unsupported features

This database does not support some search features.

  1. Quotation marks (e.g., "Our country and its people") should not be used for phrase searching. The quotation marks are not necessary; the search engine will always look for an exact phrase match when two (2) or more words are entered in a single text-entry box.
  2. No proximity operators are supported for searching this database.
  3. No Search History is available when searching this database.