The Rudy Wiebe papers, First Accession: 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.
At the annual meeting of the Bibliographical Society of Canada last year, it was pointed out once again that too few bibliographical projects are being proposed to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, even though the Research Tools Programme was established to encourage such projects. It is to help remedy this deficiency, and to make research resources in Canadian institutions more widely known, that the Canadian Archival Inventory Series was established at the University of Calgary. The Wiebe Papers is the fourth in the series, which includes inventories on Hugh McLennan, Alice Munro, Robert Kroetsch, and Joanna M. Glass (reviewed elsewhere in this issue of CBRA).
The publication begins with a useful biocritical essay, in which J.M. Kertzer reviews Wiebe’s writings and places them against his Mennonite background. In the archival introduction, Jean F. Tener, Sandra Mortensen, and Marlys Chevrefils set forth the methodology and arrangement of the book, and describe the collection. The inventory, which follows, has eight genres, from correspondence through novels, plays and interviews to miscellaneous — which, gratifyingly, is the smallest series, not an unwieldy catch-all. The work concludes with four indexes: titles A to Z, letters A to Z, dates, and personal and corporate names.
Each entry supplies the basic information such as author, genre, date and place of origin, length, method of transcript (typed, manuscript), a brief descriptive note, and the identifying code for retrieval. The continued repetition of Wiebe’s year of birth following his name throughout seems unnecessary despite the biocritical essay; no other personal names seem to bear dates.
The layout is spacious — although I would have preferred a larger type size — and the arrangement easy to follow. This is certainly an indispensable reference source for anyone interested in a leading Canadian writer.