Bibliographical Society of Canada Celebrates Its Fiftieth Anniversary: Looking Back and Looking Forward

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Although the origins of the Bibliographical Society of Canada (BSC) can be traced back to informal discussions among Lorne Pierce, Marie Tremaine, and E.C. Kyte as early as 24 June 1942, the BSC was not formally and officially launched until May 1946. This current year, 1996, marks the BSC's fiftieth anniversary. In the fall issue of the Papers (vol. 34, no. 2) we will feature a history of the BSC by Liana Van der Bellen.

The objectives of the BSC have been clear and laudable since its founding. They concern the promotion of bibliographical scholarship and publication, encouragement of the preservation of printed works and manuscripts (particularly those relating to Canada), the exchange of information concerning rare Canadiana, the coordination of bibliographical activity, and the establishment of appropriate bibliographical standards.

As a reflection of these objectives, we have witnessed an unprecedented growth in Canadian studies during the last fifty years. Numerous reports have been conducted which have called for a greater understanding of the diversity of Canadian culture, the most important of which is probably T.B.H. Symons's To Know Ourselves (1975). Institutions and programmes have been founded such as the National Library of Canada in 1953, the Canada Council in 1957, the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions in 1978, and the Canadian Studies Research Tools Program (1981 to 1991).

The BSC in conjunction with other agencies has sponsored three major conferences on the state of Canadian bibliography (1974, 1981, and 1992). Bibliographical publications relating to Canada have flourished. The recent edition of the Bibliography of Canadian Bibliographies / Bibliographie des bibliographies canadiennes (1994) contains 7,375 entries, representing over 10,000 editions and supplements, 75% of the entries having been published after 1973. Not only have a greater number of bibliographies been produced than ever before, but many of these are now recognized as landmark research tools that have charted previously unknown territory of our printed heritage. We salute the past winners of the Tremaine Medal and the many other fine bibliographers for their exemplary work in Canadian studies.

Since its inception, this journal has supported bibliographical scholarship, publishing history, and textual studies of a Canadian nature. …