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Canadian Book Catalogues : Help

Overview

Illustrative image of books for the CANADIAN BOOK CATALOGUES database.

The Canadian Book Catalogues database is a comprehensive collection of bibliographic records of printed catalogues that contain a list of books. The database consists of records of catalogues of publishers, booksellers, public and private libraries, and book auctions. Catalogues for which there is no known copy are included. Lists of books appearing in newspapers or periodicals were excluded.

The database provides coverage from 1780 to 1950 of catalogues that were published inside Canada, or that were published outside Canada yet represent Canadian collections. The records were created based on bibliographic references, and on catalogue records of libraries, archives, and online collections, such as Early Canadiana Online (www.canadiana.org/ECO/mtq) developed by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microproductions. When possible, the accuracy of the records was verified by examining the individual printed or microfiched copies of a catalogue.

The database records contain up to 19 fields, allowing searches by title, year, number of pages, language, and place of publication, as well as by publisher, bookseller, printer, auctioneer, institution, and catalogue type. The database enables researchers to quantify the output of catalogues by a particular institution, town, province, or type, and to identify a variety of patterns over a period of time. The database also facilitates further research into the contents of catalogues by conveniently identifying a location where each catalogue can be examined.

From the contents of catalogues, researchers can determine the relative importance of a literary genre, document what was available to readers, and gain insight into the intellectual world of the Canadian past.


Searching

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

Basic Search

The Basic Search allows the user to search either the Compiler and Owner fields, or Keywords individually or in combination.

Both the Compiler and Owner fields will be searched when terms are entered into the Compiler/Owner text-entry box. All of the following fields will be searched for terms placed in the Keywords text-entry box:

  • Title
  • Institution
  • Printer
  • Auctioneer
  • Place of Printing
  • Place of Publication
  • Publisher
  • Notes
  • Type

If terms are entered in both search boxes, records containing both terms will be retrieved. Except for the Compiler and Owner 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.


Record Structure

The Catalogues database records are composed of the following fields:

Record ID: The identification number for the record.
Compiler: The owner of the material represented in a catalogue.
Title: The primary title of a catalogue.
Institution: The name of the institution that caused a catalogue to be produced.
Printer: The name of the party responsible for printing a catalogue.
Auctioneer: The party (individual/firm) responsible for selling by auction the materials listed in a catalogue.
Place of Printing: The city/town and province where a catalogue was printed.
Place of Publication: The city/town and province where a catalogue was published.
Publisher: The name of the party responsible for publishing a catalogue and making it available to the public.
Date of Publication: The year of publication.
Extent of Work: The number of pages in a catalogue.
Illustrations: The presence of illustrations in a catalogue.
Sort Order: The organizational order of a catalogue.
Language: The language in which the text was written. Most material is either French or English.
Location: The National Library of Canada code for the institution holding a copy. The list of library codes (Canadian Book Catalogues: Field Descriptions)
CIHM: The number of the microfiche when a catalogue has been published by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions.
Notes: Further information about a catalogue.
Entry in Bibliography: Bibliographic information about a bibliography which lists a catalogue.
Type: The specific type of catalogue.

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: 10
Owner: Blake, William Hume
Title: Catalogue of books belonging to the library of the Hon. Wm. Hume Blake, to be sold by auction, at Messrs. Wakefield, Coate & Co's rooms, at 7 o'clock, p.m. of Thursday, October 2nd, 1856
Institution: Wakefield, Coate & Co.
Printer: Henry Rowsell
Auctioneer: Wakefield, William
Place of Printing: Toronto, ON
Place of Publication: [Toronto, ON]
Publisher: [Wakefield, Coate & Co.]
Date of Publication: 1856
Extent of Work: 22 p.
Sort Order: Classification par numéro de lot / Arranged by lot number
Sort Order: Classification par numéro de lot / Arranged by lot number
Language: Anglais / English
CIHM: 89994
Notes: Titre de la couverture. Consiste en 356 lots qui représentent 737 titres. / Cover title. Consists of 356 lots representing 737 titles.
Type: bibliothèque vendue à l'encan / book auction

Acknowledgements

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

Yvan Lamonde and Bertrum H. MacDonald, Editors
Andrea Rotundo, Research Assistant

While all records for this database were edited and finalized by Yvan Lamonde, Département de langue et littérature françaises, McGill University, in Montreal, and Andrea Rotundo, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto, contributions were received from members of the Editorial Team, including Patricia Fleming, Jacques Michon, Janet Friskney, and Judy Donnelly, and from research assistants, including Jean-Philippe Chartré (McGill University), Pearce Carefoot, Mary D'Angelo and Patricia Richl (University of Toronto). Contributions were also received from Judith Ginsberg and Balfour Halévy (York University), Richard Landon (Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library), and Karen Smith (Dalhousie University)


Getting Started with the Basic Search

Use the Basic Search to easily search the Canadian Book Catalogues database using author names or keywords. The Basic Search has two text-entry boxes: one for Compiler or Owner names and one for keywords. Searching for keywords will search all the following fields:

  • Title
  • Institution
  • Printer
  • Auctioneer
  • Place of Printing
  • Place of Publication
  • Publisher
  • Type
  • Notes

Search for a Compiler or Owner:

  1. Type the name into the text-entry box labelled "Compiler/Owner."
  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 Haight, W. or Broughton, Frederick.
  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 Canadiana or Public auction.
  3. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Search both the Compiler/Owner and keyword fields:

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

Advanced Search

Overview

The Advanced Search permits sophisticated searching of up to six (6) 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 20 fields describing the catalogue. 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 catalogues by a particular publisher:

  1. Enter the publisher name, or part of the name, such as "Wakefield," 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 six (6) fields in different combinations. There are three (2) Boolean operators: 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 auction catalogues by Shaw and printed by Nolan:
  1. Enter "Shaw" into the first text-entry box and select "Auctioneer" from the list of field names.
  2. Select "AND" from the list of Boolean operators.
  3. Enter "Nolan" into the second text-entry box and select "Printer" 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 auction catalogues that were either auctioned by Shaw or printed by Nolan, or both:
  1. Enter "Shaw" into the first text-entry box and select "Auctioneer" from the list of field names.
  2. Select "OR" from the list of Boolean operators.
  3. Enter "Nolan" into the second text-entry box and select "Printer" 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, auction* will retrieve: "Auctions," "Auctioneer," and "Auctioned".

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, gentlem*n will retrieve: "gentlemen" and "gentleman".


Searching the Type field

Each record in the database has a field for the type of catalogue. Refer to the authority list (Type Authority List) below when searching for particular terms. Enter the text exactly as it appears in the authority list for best search results.

Search for a Type using the Basic Search by entering the appropriate term (e.g., Book Auction) into the text-entry box labelled "Keywords." Then click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Type can also be searched using the Advanced Search. The list of terms used for Type are listed in a pull-down list. To find records matching one of the terms, select it from the pull-down list then click the "Submit" button. For example, to find records for catalogues of a mechanics' institute:

  1. Select "mechanics' institute" from the Type pull-down list.
  2. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

The Advanced Search also allows searching for more than one type of catalogue by using the Type pull-down list in combination with one of the text-entry boxes. For example, to find records for catalogues of private libraries or special libraries:

  1. Type "private library" into one of the text-entry boxes and select "Type" from the list of field names.
  2. Select "OR" as the Boolean operator.
  3. Select "special library" from the Type pull-down list.
  4. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Type Authority List

The following is a list of terms used in the Type field. Enter the text exactly as it appears here for best search results.

academic library
antiquarian bookseller
book auction
bookseller
business or mercantile library
company library
depository library
factory library
free library
government library
law library
legislative library
mechanics' institute
medical library
mobile library
national library
parish library
printer
prison library
private library
private school library
professional library
public library
publisher
publisher's agent
regional library
religious library
rural library
school district library
school library
science library
social library
special library
subscription library
Sunday school library
urban library


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 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 Catalogue Of Books will produce the same results as a search for catalogue of books or CAtalOGUE OF booKS.

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 Arranged by author and subject will produce different results than Arranged by subject & author. 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 catalogue, 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 catalogues that are arranged alphabetically by author, using just the term "alphabetical" to search the Sort Order field may be too broad. Using the more specific phrase, "alphabetical by author" will make the search more specific and find fewer records.

Unsupported features

This database does not support some search features.

  1. Quotation marks (e.g., "rare book collection") 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.