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

Bibliography of the History of the Book in Canada: Help


Overview

Illustrative image of a book for the BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE HISTORY OF THE BOOK IN CANADA database.

The Bibliography of the History of the Book in Canada (BHBiC) database comprehensively catalogues publications on the history of print culture in Canada. The database contains records on a wide range of topics including: the practices of the printing and publishing industries; the history of print materials from their creation and production through distribution to reception by readers; the history of institutions, such as libraries, and their relationship to published works; the interconnections of manuscript, print, and electronic materials; and the economic, cultural, political, and societal influences that have affected the development of print culture in Canada.

The database provides coverage from the beginnings of print culture in the sixteenth-century in what is now Canada to the present. Records were created based on the following factors:

  1. the work addressed print culture in Canada (at least twenty percent of the content treated a print culture/book history topic);
  2. the work was written from an historical perspective;
  3. following the practice of the National Library of Canada, "Canada" was taken to mean the country as it is circumscribed by current national boundaries;
  4. with the exception of theses and dissertations, the item was published as a book or monograph, journal article, book chapter, microform, electronic publication (e.g., CD-ROM), or on the Web, and was published inside or outside Canada and written by a Canadian or non-Canadian;
  5. the work was published in any language, although most are written in French and English;
  6. the work was individually examined to ensure that the record was bibliographically accurate and the indexing precise.

Searching

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

Basic Search

The Basic Search option allows the user to search the Author fields or Keywords individually or in combination.

Both the Author and Source Author/Editor fields will be searched for terms entered in the Author text-entry box. All the following fields will be searched for terms placed in the Keywords text-entry box:

  • Article Title
  • Journal Title
  • Series Title
  • Source Title
  • Thesis Title
  • Web Document Title
  • Notes
  • Abstract
  • Topics
  • Broad Subject
  • Narrow Subject

If terms are entered in both search boxes, records containing both terms will be retrieved. Except for the Author and Source Author fields, 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.

The pull-down boxes contain lists of possible search terms for the Geographic Coverage, Time Period, and Reference Type fields.


Record Structure

The BHBiC database records are composed of the following fields:

Record ID: The identification number for a record.
Author: The person(s) or organization(s) responsible for the creation of a monograph, chapter, journal article, Web document, or thesis.
Monograph Title: The title of a monograph. This includes alternative titles but excludes parallel titles.
Article Title: The title of an article within a journal, a chapter or section within a monograph, or a page or document within a website.
Source Title: The title of a monograph containing the chapter or section.
Source Author/Editor: The person(s) or organization(s) responsible for creating the monograph from which the chapter was taken.
Journal Title: The full name of the journal as it is found on the title page.
Series Title: If a work is part of a series, the title of the series is included, along with the series number of the work.
Thesis Title: The title of a doctoral dissertation or Master's thesis.
Web Document Title: The title of a website, or a page within a website.
Place of Publication: The place of publication of a monograph, a series, or the institution where a thesis was completed.
Publisher: The name of the publisher of a monograph, a series, or the institution where a thesis was completed.
Year of Publication: The year of publication of a monograph, series, journal volume, thesis, or Web document.
Monograph Pagination: The number of pages of a monograph, or the pagination of a chapter or section within a monograph.
Edition: The volume, issue number of a journal, month or season of its publication, and the first and last page numbers of the article within the journal.
Journal Volume/Pages: The ISBN of the textbook.
Illustration: The presence of illustrations in a work.
ISBN: The ISBN of a monograph.
Reference Type: The uniform resource locator of a website or document.
URL: The reference type of a work, or of its source when it is part of a larger work.
Date of Access: The date on which a website or document was accessed.
Broad Subject: A list of broad or general subject areas of a work.
Narrow Subject: A list of narrower, more specific subject areas.
Topics: A list of personal or corporate names, events, and activities, such as names of publishers, authors, institutions, associations, committees, historical events, awards, and competitions mentioned in a work.
Geographic Coverage: A list of historical and current place names showing the geographic focus of a work.
Time Period: The date ranges showing the temporal focus of a work.
Language: The language in which the text was written. Most publications are in either French or English.
Library Location: The National Library of Canada code for the institution holding the copy that was examined. The list of library codes (Library Location Codes) used in BHBiC is available for reference.
Notes: Further information about a work, its author(s), or both.
Abstract: The abstract of a thesis or dissertation.
Reviews: Reference to published reviews of a work. The journal title, issue number, year of publication, pagination of the review, and name of the reviewer are included.

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: 1619
Author: Gerson, Carole
Article Title: "Dragged at Anne's Chariot Wheels": L.M. Montgomery and the sequels to "Anne of Green Gables"
Journal Title: Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada
Year of Publication: 1997
Journal Volume/Pages: 35, no. 2 (fall): 143-159
Broad Subject: Authorship
Women
Publishing
Books
Narrow Subject: Authors
Publishers
International publishing
Children's literature
Fiction
Topics: Montgomery, Lucy Maud
Page, L.C. (publisher)
Anne of Green Gables (text)
Geographic Coverage: Canada
Time Period: 1841-1917
1918-1959
Language: English
Library Location: CaNSHD

Acknowledgements

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

Bertrum H. MacDonald, Editor
Anne MacKinnon, Elizabeth Millar, Pamela Maher, and David Luinstra, Research Assistants
Marcus Leja, Technical Assistant (2000-2002)
Rhonda Miller, Technical Assistant (2002-2005)
Adam Taaffe, Technical Assistant (2005-2006)

All records for the BHBiC database were edited and finalized by the Electronic Resources team in Halifax. Although most record compilation was done at Dalhousie, contributions have come from Nancy Earle, Janet Friskney, Sarah Brouilette, Travis De Cook and Catherine Owen at Simon Fraser University, and from Elise Moore at the University of Regina.

Dr. Haidar Moukdad and Dr. Louise Spiteri, of Dalhousie University, provided very helpful advice during the early stages of the development of the Website and the Thesaurus. Ideas and recommendations were received from HBiC/HLIC editors, post-doctoral fellows and research assistants and help with French terminology was given by Gilles Gallichan, Yvan Lamonde, Jacques Michon, Véronique Ponce, and Dominique Bouchard.

The initial records for this database were taken from Mark Barlett, Fiona A. Black and Bertrum H. MacDonald, The history of the book in Canada: a bibliography, Halifax: 1993, Canadian entries in the Annual bibliography of the history of the printed book and libraries, The Hague: published since 1970, and the Bibliographie des études québecoises sur l'imprimé, 1970-2001.


Getting Started with the Basic Search

Use the Basic Search to easily search the Bibliography of the History of the Book in Canada database using author names or keywords.

The Basic Search has two text-entry boxes: one for author names and one for keywords. Searching for authors will search both the Author and the Source Author fields. Searching for keywords will search the following fields: Article Title, Journal Title, Series Title, Source Title, Thesis Title, Web Document Title, Notes, Abstract, Topics, Broad Subject, and Narrow Subject.

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 printing press or typography.
  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 seven (7) 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. The "Authority Lists" link contains the various authority lists that have been used in the construction of this database.


Field Names

Each record in the database consists of up to 30 fields describing the work. 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 the searchable fields are 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 works from a particular publisher:

  1. Enter the name of the publisher, such as "Western Producer Prairie Books," into one of the text-entry boxes.
  2. Select "Publisher" 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 eight (8) 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 works by co-authors Morley and Beasley:
  1. Enter "Morley" 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 "Beasley" 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 works that were written by either Morley or Beasley, or both:
  1. Enter "Morley" 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 "Beasley" 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, Publish* will retrieve: "Publisher," "Publishing," and "Published."

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".


Subject Searching

All records have been assigned subject terms, which are listed in the BHBiC Thesaurus. The thesaurus contains two types of subject terms:

  1. Broad Subjects
  2. Narrow Subjects

See also Searching for Topics

To find records pertaining to a particular subject using the Basic Search, enter a subject term in the text-entry box labelled "Keywords".

  1. Enter the subject term, such as "Bookbinding" into the text-entry box labelled "Keywords."
  2. For best search results, type the term exactly as it is spelled and punctuated in the Thesaurus.
  3. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

To find records pertaining to a particular subject using the Advanced Search, enter the subject term(s) in the text-entry boxes and select the field name(s) from the pull-down lists. Broad and Narrow subjects can be used separately or in combination.

  1. Enter a Broad subject term (e.g., Bookbinding) into a text-entry box and select "Broad Subject" from the list of field names.
  2. Enter a Narrow subject term (e.g., Binders' tickets) into a text-entry box and select "Narrow Subject" from the list of field names.
  3. For best search results, type the terms exactly as they are spelled and punctuated in the thesaurus.
  4. Select the appropriate Boolean operator (AND, OR).
  5. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Searching for Topics

Most records have been assigned topic terms concerning people, corporations, events, activities, or publications that are discussed in the work. These terms include names of publishers, authors, institutions, associations, committees, historical events, awards, newspapers, periodicals, monographs, or competitions mentioned in a work.

Search for topics using the Basic Search by entering the term or phrase (e.g., Cobblestone Press or Moodie, Susanna) into the text-entry box labelled "Keywords." Or use the Advanced Search by entering the term or phrase into one of the text-entry boxes and in the pull-down list beside the text-entry box, select "Topics." For example, to find records for works that are about either Susanna Moodie or Catherine Parr Trail:

  1. Enter one topic into the first text-entry box and select "Topics" from the list of field names.
  2. Select "OR" from the list of Boolean Operators.
  3. Enter the second topic into the next text-entry box and select "Topics" from the list of field names.
  4. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Searching Geographic Coverage

To find records concerning particular geographic areas use the "Geographic Coverage" pull-down list on the Advanced Search. The records have been assigned terms describing geographic coverage and these terms are all available in the pull-down list on the Advanced Search. See the list of geographic terms (Geographic Coverage) for a full list of the terms and the dates to which they apply. Find records that are concerned with a particular geographic area by selecting the geographic term from the pull-down list labelled "Geographic Coverage."

Records may contain more than one geographic term. With the Advanced Search, records concerning more than one geographic area can be found simultaneously. For example, to find records for material that is concerned with the areas of "Maritime Provinces" and "Ontario":

  1. Enter one geographic term in a text-entry box and select "Geographic Coverage" from the list of field names.
  2. Select the second geographic term from the "Geographic Coverage" pull-down list.
  3. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Geographic Coverage can also be searched in combination with other fields. To find records for works written in French that are concerned with the geographic area of "Alberta":

  1. Enter the language in a text-entry box and select "Language" from the list of field names.
  2. Select the geographic term from the "Geographic Coverage" pull-down list.
  3. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Searching the Time Period

The authority list used for this field is:

  • Before 1600
  • 1600-1750
  • 1751-1840
  • 1841-1917
  • 1918-1959
  • 1960 to the present
  • All periods

Searching by Reference Type

To find records for particular types of reference material, use the "Reference Type" pull-down list on the Advanced Search. Database records have been assigned a "Reference Type" from an authority list to describe the reference type of a work, or of its source when it is part of a larger work. The authority list, available in the pull-down list on the Advanced Search, includes:

  • Autobiography
  • Bibliography
  • Biography
  • Catalogue
  • Dictionary
  • Directory
  • Encyclopedia
  • General History
  • Index
  • Inventory

Find records for a particular reference type by selecting the appropriate term from the pull-down list labelled "Reference Type."

With the Advanced Search, more than one reference type can be found simultaneously. For example, to find records for works that are either "Biography" or "Autobiography":

  1. Enter one reference type term in a text-entry box and select "Reference Type" from the list of field names. Type the term exactly as it appears in the authority list above for best search results.
  2. Select the second time period from the "Reference Type" pull-down list.
  3. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Reference Type can also be searched in combination with other fields. To find records for dictionaries written in French:

  1. Enter the language in a text-entry box and select "Language" from the list of field names.
  2. Select the reference type from the "Reference Type" pull-down list.
  3. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

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 "Submit" 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 Upper Canada will produce the same results as a search for upper canada or UPPer CanaDA.

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 Canada West will produce different results than West Canada. 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 book, search for just part of the title. This may help to 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 articles about the history of job printing, it may be too broad if only the term "printing" is used to search the subject fields. Using the more specific subject term, "Job printing," will narrow the search and find fewer records.

Unsupported features

This database does not support some search features.

  1. Quotation marks (e.g., "school district libraries") 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.