Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays -- Research Guide

Canadian Literature

The Collection

The aim of the 19th century private collectors who began the Harris Collection was to acquire all American and Canadian poetry, plays, and music, and this is still the guiding principle of the Collection today. It is the largest collection of Canadian poetry and drama outside Canada, and is much larger than collections in most Canadian research libraries.

The Collection includes a number of great rarities, of which the foremost is Marc Lescarbot's Les muses de la Nouvelle France, a masque performed in Nova Scotia in 1606 and published in Paris in 1609. This is not only the earliest Canadian title, but the earliest title in the entire Harris Collection. In addition, there are extensive collections of major Canadian writers of the 19th and 20th centuries, including: Charles Heavysege, Margaret Atwood, Dorothy Livesay, Charles Mair, Merrill Denison, John Coulter, George Ryga, Earle Birney, Louis Dudek, Archibald Lampman, Duncan Campbell Scott, Bliss Carman, Richard Hovey, William Henry Drummond, Wilfred Campbell, E. J. Pratt, Irving Layton, Raymond Souster, James Reaney, Al Purdy, Michael Ondaatje, bp nichol, Margaret Avison, P. K. Page, Frank Davey, George Bowering, bill bissett.

French-language writers of note in the Collection include: Anne Hebert, Francois-Xavier Garneau, Louis Frechette, Emile Nelligan, Gas ton Miron, Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau, Gratien Gelinas, Marcel Dube, Marie-Claire Blais, Michel Tremblay, Felix-Antoine Savard, Alain Grandbois, Roland Giguere, Gilles Vigneault, Nicole Brossard, among many others. Included in the Collection are exten sive holdings of vocal music and hymnals, anthologies, and literary periodicals. There are also considerable holdings of Canadian poetry broadsides.

The Collection also includes a considerable amount of Canadiana relating to Walt Whitman. The Henry S. Saunders Collection, amassed by a Toronto book collector, includes many photographs as well as works by and about the very active Canad ian circle of "Whitmanites" of the late nineteenth century, most notably Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke, Whitman's editor, biographer, and literary executor.

See Also:
» French-Canadian Literature
» Broadsides

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Related Collections

In addition to the Harris Collection, Canada-related materials may also be found in the John Buchan Collection in the John Hay Library. Buchan (1875-1940), in later life Lord Tweedsmuir, was an author, editor, journalist, historian, member of the British Parliament and Governor-General of Canada from 1936 to 1940. The collection, the gift of Lyman Bloomingdale, Class of 1935, consists of several thousand books, manuscripts and letters of this prolific author, perhaps best known for his novel The thirty-nine steps.

Canadiana may also be found in the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection. Including over 30,000 books, 60,000 pr ints, 5,000 miniature soldiers, and numerous drawings, watercolors, photographs, and manuscripts, it is one of the world's largest collections devoted to military history and iconography. The Collection has perhaps the largest coverage of Canadian military history in the United States, including campaign and regimental histories and uniform pictures.

The John Carter Brown Library at Brown University is an internationally renowned, constantly growing collection of primary historical sources pertaining to the Americas, both North and South, before ca. 1825. It includes an extensive collection of Canadiana.

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Related Internet Resources

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Essential References

Amtmann, Willy
Music in Canada, 1600-1800.
[s.n.] : Habitex Books ; [Cambridge, Ont. : Distributed by Collier-Macmillan Canada, c1975]

The Annotated bibliography of Canada's major authors / edited by Robert Lecker and Jack David
Downsview, Canada : ECW Press ; Boston : distributed by G. K. Hall, 1979-1994

Ball, John Leslie
A bibliography of Canadian theatre history, 1583-1975. / John Ball, Richard Plant ; general editor, Anton Wagner
[Toronto : Playwrights Co-op, c1976]

Ball, John Leslie
The bibliography of Canadian theatre history : supplement, 1975-1976 Toronto: Playwrights Co-op, 1979

The Brock bibliography of published Canadian plays in English, 1766-1978 / edited by Anton Wagner ; compiled by Bonita J. Orosz Bryan, ... [et al.]
Toronto : Playwrights Press, c1980

Canadian Music Centre, Toronto
Canadian vocal music, available for perusal from the library of the Canadian Music Centre.
Toronto [1967]

Canadian writers, 1890-1920 : edited by W.H. New
Detroit : Gale Research, c1990

Canadian writers, 1920-1959. First series / edited by W.H. New
Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., c1988

Canadian writers, 1920-1959. Second series / edited by W. H. New
Detroit : Gale Research, c1989

Canadian writers before 1890 / edited by W.H. New
Detroit : Gale Research, c1990

Canadian writers since 1960. Second series / edited by W.H. New
Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., c1987

Cass-Beggs, Barbara
A reference list on Canadian folk music / prepared for the Canadian Folk Music Society by Barbara Cass-Beggs and Edith Fowke
Revised and updated.
[Montreal?] : Canadian Folk Music Society, 1973

Directory of Canadian plays and playwrights / editor, Jane Cunningham
10th anniversary ed.
Toronto : Playwrights Canada, c1981

Dudek, Louis
The making of modern poetry in Canada; essential articles on contemporary Canadian poetry in English, edited by Louis Dudek and Michael Gnarowski.
Toronto, Ryerson Press [1967]

ECW's biographical guide to Canadian poets.
Toronto, Ont. : ECW Press, c1993

Eighteenth-Century Canadian poetry : an anthology/ edited by Thomas Vincent
Kingston, Ont. : Loyal Colonies Press, 1981, c1980

Encyclopedia of music in Canada / edited by Helmut Kallmann, Gilles Potvin, Kenneth Winters
2nd ed.
Toronto ; Buffalo : University of Toronto Press, c1992

Fee, Margery, ed.
Canadian poetry in selected English-language anthologies : an index and guide.
Halifax, N.S. : Dalhousie University, University Libraries-School of Library Service, 1985

Gnarowski, Michael
A concise bibliography of English-Canadian literature.
[Toronto] : McClelland and Stewart, [c1978]League of Canadian Poets

Jackson, Rick
Encyclopedia of Canadian rock, pop & folk music.
Kingston, Ont. : Quarry Press, c1994

Johnston, Richard
Folk songs of Canada; Edith Fulton Fowke, literary editor, Richard Johnston, music editor. Illus. by Elizabeth Wilkes Hoey
Waterloo, Ont., Waterloo Music Co. [1955]

Kallman, Helmut
A history of music in Canada, 1534-1914
[Toronto] University of Toronto Press [1960]

Livesay, Dorothy, comp.
40 women poets of Canada; edited by Dorothy Livesay, with the assistance of Seymour Mayne
Montreal, Ingluvin Publications [1971]

McQuarrie, Jane.
Index to Canadian poetry in English / compiled and edited by Jane McQuarrie, Anne Mercer, Gordon Ripley
Toronto : Reference Press, 1984

Morey, Carl
Music in Canada : a research and information guide.
New York : Garland Pub., 1997

Mount Allison University, Sackville, N. B. Canadian Studies Programme
A preliminary checklist of nineteenth century Canadian poetry in English based on entries in A checklist of Canadian literature and background material s, 1628-1960.
Second edition revised and enlarged (1972), with additions from other sources
Sackville, N. B. : Canadian Studies Programme, 1976

Norris, Ken
The little magazine in Canada, 1925-80 : its role in the development of Modernism and Post-Modernism in Canadian poetry.
Toronto, Ontario : ECW, c1984

O'Neill, Patrick B.
Canadian plays : a supplementary checklist to 1945.
Halifax : Dalhousie University, University Libraries, School of Library Service, 1978

The Oxford companion to Canadian literature / general editors, Eugene Benson & William Toye
2nd ed
Toronto ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1997
» See also Online Edition

Pacey, Desmond
Ten Canadian poets; a group of biographical and critical essays.
Toronto, Ryerson Press [1966]

Peters, Diane E.
Music in Canada : a bibliography of resources in W.L.U. Library.
Waterloo, Ont., Canada : The Library, Wilfrid Laurier University, 1991

Platnick, Phyllis
Canadian poetry : index to criticisms (1970-1979) = Poésie canadienne : index.
[Ottawa, Ont.] : Canadian Library Association, c1985

Poetry by Canadian women / edited by Rosemary Sullivan.
Don Mills, Ont. : Oxford University Press Canada, 1989

Roy, G. Ross, comp.
Canadian poetry : a supplementary bibliography./ compiled by G. Ross Roy and Michael Gnarowski.
Quebec : Culture, 1964
Note: A supplement to A check list of Canadian literature and background materials, 1628-1950, by Reginald E. Watters, published in 1959.

Sedgwick, Dorothy
A bibliography of English-language theatre and drama in Canada 1800-1914.
Edmonton, Alta. : [s.n.], 1976

Stevens, Peter
Modern English-Canadian poetry : a guide to information sources.
Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., c1978

Stuart, Ross
A chronological index of locally written verse published in the newspapers and magazines of Upper and Lower Canada, Maritime Canada, and Newfoundl and through 1815. / compiled by Ross Stuart and Thomas B. Vincent.
Kingston, Ont. : Loyal Colonies Press, 1979

Watters, Reginald Eyre
A check list of Canadian literature and background materials, 1628-1950, being a comprehensive list of the books which constit ute Canadian literature written in English, together with a selective list of other books by Canadian authors which reveal the backgrounds of that literature, compiled for the Humanities Research Council of Canada
[Toronto] University of Toronto Press [1960]

Who's who in the League of Canadian Poets : directory of members 1999/2000 [compiled by Edita Petrauskaite]
Toronto, Ont. : League of Canadian Poets, c1999

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