Skip to main content

Canadian Literature

Searching the Library Catalogue

Search QCAT, the library catalogue, to find literary works, books about literary works and authors (e.g. books of criticism, biographies, bibliographies, concordances, literary glossaries, dictionaries, and encyclopedias). 

Subject Headings vs Keyword Searching

Subject headings allow you to search the library catalogue for resources on a particular author or topic and are often more productive than keyword searches. 

Keyword searches work best if you have multiple concepts or topics. Use the results to find relevant titles and identify assigned subject headings for your topic in order to find similar books.   

To find information on a single work, try either an keyword search or subject search. For example:

   "handmaid's tale" and atwood  [keyword boolean search]
   Atwood Margaret 1939- Handmaid's tale  [subject heading search]

NOTE: You can also try just searching the author as subject and browse list of subjects for corresponding work. 

To find criticism on an author, search for the author as a subject.  For example:

   cohen leonard [subject heading search] and also note the sub-heading: Criticism and interpretation

To find information about the time period and country in which the work was written, try a subject heading search: 

   canadian literature 21st century

To find information about a specific genre of Canadian literature, try a keyword search and check the subject headings of retrieved results for more leads.

   canadian poetry {keyword boolean search]

From this keyword search, the following subject headings were retrieved:

   Canadian poetry Women authors
   Canadian wit and humour, pictorial

   French Candian poetry Acadian authors
   Haiku French Canadian

To search for information on a specific literary/artistic movement, try a keyword search: 

   "confederation poets"
   "group of seven" 

To find bibliographies on an author, do either a keyword search or a subject heading search for the author and then look for the subdivision "bibiography":

   finley and bibliography [keyword boolean search]
   findley timothy 1930-2002 Bibliography [subject heading search]

TIP:
If you find a book in QCAT that fits your research topic, look at the subject assigned as they can jelp you find other books on the same topic. For example: if you doing research on post colonialism in Canada and the book, Asian North American identitites: Beyond the Hyphen, looks interesting. To broaden the search or focus your search, look at the subjects assigned.

Subjects from this title that can broaden your search:
Assimilation (sociology) in literature
Group identity in literature
Ethnicity in literature
Race in literature

Subjects that can focus your search:
Canadian literature Asian authors History and criticism
Asian americans in literature

Subject Headings

  • Authors Canadian
  • Autrhors Canadian Ontario
  • Canadian fiction
  • Canadian literature
  • Canadian literature British Columbia
  • Canadian literature History and criticism
  • Children's literature Canadian
  • Canadian literature 19th century
  • Canadian literature (English)
  • Canadian literature Women authors
  • Canadian prose literature
  • Canadian poetry
  • Canadian poetry (English)
  • French Canadian fiction
  • French Canadian poetry
  • Novelists Canadian
  • Poets Canadian (English)
  • Prairie provinces in literature
  • Short stories Canadian

Browsing the Library Shelves

Browsing the library shelves is another strategy for locating information on a topic.  

Most books related to Canadian Literature (English)  are located in the call number range PS8001-PS8649 on the 4th floor of Stauffer Library. French Canadian literature can be found in the PS9000-PS9379 range.

Use the following call numbers as a a guide.

PS8001-PS8649 Canadian Literature
PS8001-8039 General
PS8041-8057 Canadian literary criticism
PS8061-8227 History/criticism of Cdn literature

     PSPS8111-8117 By period
     PS8129-8133 By region...
     PS8139-8227 Special forms
        PS8139-8159 Poetry
        PS8179-8199 Prose and prose fiction
PS8231-8379 Collections of Canadian literature
PS8400-8649 Individual authors

Authors are classified by name and period of productivity and then further classified by biography and criticism.