The Robert Kroetsch papers, First Accession: An Inventory of the Archives at the University of Calgary Libraries


371 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-919813-45-3




Edited by Jean F. Tener and Apollonia Steele
Reviewed by Margaret Turner

Margaret Turner was Professor of English Literature at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.


The aim of the Canadian Archival Inventory Series, edited by Charles R. Steele, is to provide the basic research documentation which is frequently absent in Canadian studies. In the Robert Kroetsch inventory this has been successfully achieved by editors Jean F. Tener and Apollonia Steele. The inventory lists and describes the first installment of Kroetsch’s papers in a manner which is clearly and logically organized, easy to use, and sufficiently detailed to enable researchers to determine the contents and how to access them. In addition it provides specific references for subsequent researchers. The correspondence series will prove especially useful as it lists names and dates, and indicates the subject of correspondence both to and from Kroetsch. The personal and corporate name index complements this series, as do the alphabetical and chronological listings of his outgoing correspondence. The inventory of the manuscript series which is divided into fiction and non-fiction, clearly indicates form (typescript, holograph, revisions) and is complemented by the alphabetical listing of Kroetsch’s publications. The biocritical essay by Aritha Van Herk attempts to place Kroetsch and his work; instead it succeeds at placing Van Herk, as her style is heavily influenced by Kroetsch’s and her admiration of him and his work is apparent.

The book is well bound in paper and attractively presented. Several of Kroetsch’s titles are randomly scattered on the cover in various type faces and serve as palimpsest for the volume’s title, a method and effect particularly appropriate for his work. A second installment of Kroetsch’s papers, acquired in 1984, will be a supplementary publication.


“The Robert Kroetsch papers, First Accession: An Inventory of the Archives at the University of Calgary Libraries,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 25, 2024,