While libraries outside Canada have long held significant Canadiana collections, libraries within Canada have in the recent past developed collections rivaling those in external institutions. The Western Canadiana Collection at McGill University in Montreal is an example of a major collection of works developed by a Canadian academic institution. McGill’s collection was compiled through the work of private collectors, librarians, and an antiquarian book dealer collaborating during the second half of the twentieth century. This article recounts the history of the creation of McGill’s twelve thousand–item Western Canadiana Collection, with emphasis on the creative efforts of those responsible for its development and the circumstances leading up to its arrival at McGill University. The paper provides insight into the forces behind the formation of a rare book collection.


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pp. 176-192
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