The Joanna M. Glass Papers: An Inventory of the Archives at the University of Calgary Libraries
William F.E. Morley was Curator of Special Collections, Douglas Library, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario.
The archival introduction, by the series editor Charles R. Steele, reminds us of what most researchers in Canadian studies have long been frustratedly aware: that there is a great dearth of basic keys to bodies of Canadian literature. These keys are what the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada calls “research tools,” and they include catalogues of printed collections and inventories of archival holdings. It is with this need very much in mind that the Canadian Archival Inventories Series has been established. The University of Calgary Press, and particularly the library’s Special Collections Division, is to be warmly congratulated. The present work on Joanna M. Glass, compiled by Jean M. Moore and Jean F. Tener, is Literary Papers No. 8 in the series.
The publication begins with Diane Bessai’s 20-page biographical and critical exposition of Glass and her works, which forms an excellent introduction to the subject. Next is the archival introduction, which outlines the plan and methodology adopted in the series and concludes with notes on the acquisition and arrangement of the papers. The inventory is similarly arranged; it begins with a correspondence (about 85 percent of the total number of entries) and biographical series (scrap-books, photographs) which is followed by literary genres (plays, novels, short stories and essays), and concludes with a sound cassette series of radio broadcast tapes. Appended to the volume are A to Z lists of publications and letters; a chronological list of letters; and an index. The four access points of the inventory together greatly facilitate its use and usefulness.
As with other titles in the series, an abundance of white space on each page, certainly important in a bibliographical work, has been offered at the expense of reduced type size; less white space could be off-set by larger type with bold-face first words to distinguish the entries. Each entry provides an adequate description of the item along with a brief but consistently good contents note, although the repetition of Glass’s year of birth at every mention of her name seems quite unnecessary. The running heads are appreciated and the index stood up well during a spot check.
One suggestion for future editions would be to add a portrait of the subject on the publication’s frontispiece; even a black-and-white half-tone would add a personal element.