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University of Waterloo. Special Collections & Archives Book Collection
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Artists books

  • Book Collection
  • 1934-2017

Artists’ books (defined as: books or book-like objects over the final appearance of which an artist has had a high degree of control; where the book is intended as a work of art in itself) can be located using the library catalogue. Authors include Palmer & Calvert, William Morris, and David Jones.

All items in this collection are located in Special Collections & Archives and are non-circulating.

B.M. Bower Western Novels Collection.

  • Book Collection
  • 1910-1950

The B.M. Bower Western Novels Collection, acquired in 2015, consists of over 70 American western novels written by Bertha Muzzy Sinclair (known as B.M. Bower) and her husband Bertrand Sinclair. Many of the books in this collection also feature pictorial cover art.

Bower, B.M.

British Women's Periodicals Collection

  • Book Collection
  • 1893-1977

The British Women's Periodicals Collection is made up of some 35,000 issues of British women's magazines published from 1893 to 1977. The majority of titles were published by the Amalgamated Press and publishers which it absorbed, and many copies are, in fact, copies from the publishers' own archives. Most titles in the collection are very rare.

Because these magazines were aimed at a mass market audience, the British Women's Periodicals Collection offers a unique opportunity to examine the interests and concerns of British women during the time period covered. The collection's content is primarily "popular" fiction written for a female audience, but magazines for children and youth are also well represented. Cooking, crafts, advice columns, fashion, health, and inspirational topics are also featured. Of particular interest are the advertisements, which illustrate contemporary attitudes in a vivid manner.

Eric Gill Book Collection.

The Eric Gill Collection includes works by and about Eric Gill (1882-1940), works illustrated by or designed by him, and works by and about his pupils and contemporaries. Eric Gill made contributions in numerous fields--as printer, type designer, letter designer, sculptor, engraver, stone cutter, and author.

The collection has been actively developed since the 1970's, and includes many rare, variant editions of Gill's works. The Library's Private Press Collection includes related material within the Hague and Gill Press Collection and the St. Dominic's Press Collection.

Gill, Eric

Fine bindings

  • Book Collection
  • 1630-1973

Many of the holdings of Special Collections & Archives represent fine bindings, unique bindings and the works of famous printers and binders. Examples include signed bindings, metal, velvet and papier-mache bindings, and bindings by well-known bookbinders such as Joseph Zaehnsdorf, and Sangorski & Sutcliffe.

Fred and Minnie Maines Library.

The collection is made up of approximately 600 books, periodicals, and ephemera related to spiritualism, psychic phenomena, and alternative religious movements. The book collection complements the archival portion of the donation, the Fred and Minnie Maines fonds.

The collection includes the library maintained by the Church of Divine Revelation and the Radiant Healing Centre, established by Newton and Jenny Pincock in St. Catharines. Fred and Minnie Maines continued to add to the collection over the years.

Many titles in the field of spiritualism are represented, such as B. F. Austin's The Prophet of Nazareth and the Seer of Poughkeepsie (Los Angeles: B. F. Austin, n.d.); Albert Durrant Watson's The Twentieth Plane (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1918); Florence Marryat's There is no Death (London: Rider, 1920); Thirty Years Among the Dead, by Carl A. Wickland (Los Angeles: National Psychological Institute, 1924); and several works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Several copies of Jenny Pincock's seance accounts, Trails of Truth (Los Angeles: Austin, 1930), are available, along with the original manuscript and notes.

Also present are numerous journals from the spiritualist community, such as Light: a Journal of Spiritualism, Psychical, Occult and Mystical Research, The Occult Digest, and Two Worlds: Monthly Magazine Featuring Spiritualism and the Supernormal. A complete run of Progression, published by the Radiant Healing Centre is present. Other subjects represented include the Theosophical Society, psychic healing, numerology, and vegetarianism.

Titles of Canadian literary interest include several first editions of works by E. J. Pratt (many of which are dedicated to Jenny Pincock and her husband, Newton, a childhood friend of Pratt's), a copy of Elsie Pomeroy's Sir Charles G. D. Roberts: a Biography (Toronto: Ryerson, 1943) which contains a dedication inscription to Jenny Pincock from Roberts' widow, Joan, and Jenny Pincock's own book of poetry, Hidden Springs (Privately printed, 1950), with an introduction by E. J. Pratt.

Grand River Conservation Authority Library

The Grand River Conservation Authority Library was donated in 2005, accompanying the archival records of the Authority and its predecessors.

The Library was maintained at the GRCA headquarters for reference and research use and consists of works by and about the GRCA, including both internal and external reports and studies, periodicals, and monographs.

Unpublished library items are described as part of the GRCA archives while published items are catalogued as print material and are listed in the library catalogue.

Grand River Conservation Authority

Gustav Seide Jakob Lorber mysticism collection

  • Book Collection
  • 1961-[2015]

Collected by Gustav Seide, this collection includes primarily works by 19th century German mystic Jakob Lorber and his circle such as Gottfried Mayerhofer. Also included are works by other mystics including Emanuel Swedenborg and religious texts including the Bhagavad Gita. Of particular note is a complete set of Lorber’s seminal work “Das große Evangelium Johannis” of the Great Gospel of John.

Seide, Gustav

Hogarth Press and Virginia Woolf Book Collection.

  • Book Collection

This collection is made up of 25 first or early editions of the 35 titles by Virginia Woolf as well as 62 titles printed by the Hogarth Press. 47 of the Hogarth Press items date from the 1917-1938 period during which Virginia Woolf was associated with the Press.

Highlights of the collection include a first edition of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, and its sequel, Three Guineas, and first editions of her last two novels.

This is a representative collection that contains one example from each of most of the different series (for example, the Day to Day series, Hogarth Letters, Hogarth Essays), and examples of very early printings of some 20th century writers, such as Robert Graves, Edith Sitwell, and Gertrude Stein.

Hogarth Press

Lady Aberdeen Library on the History of Women.

Included are some 1400 items which document the history of women through biographies and memoirs, literature, historical works, and records of women's organizations in Canada and elsewhere. Highlights among the older works in the collection include an 1852 edition of Roughing it in the Bush, by Susanna Moodie; the 1879 edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe; and the 1836 edition of The Backwoods of Canada, by Catherine Parr Traill.

The University of Waterloo has issued a catalogue of the collection: A Catalogue of the Lady Aberdeen Library on the History of Women in the University of Waterloo Library, compiled by Jane Britton (Waterloo, Ont.: University of Waterloo Library, 1982).

Marie Stopes and the History of Birth Control Book Collection.

This collection, funded by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Kaufman Footwear of Kitchener, Ont., consists of about 400 items published between 1906 and the 1980's related to the British birth control pioneer, Dr. Marie Stopes. A collection of archival material, the Marie Stopes archive, complements the book collection.

Included are first and scarce editions of Marie Stopes' writings on contraception, her early works in the fields of botany and geology, as well as much of her literary output. First and variant editions of her best-known books, Married Love, and Wise Parenthood, both published in 1918, are also present. The collection includes first editions of Stopes' first two published works, The Study of Plant Life for Young People (London, 1906, call number F9984), and Ancient Plants (London, 1910, call number G7956).

The collection contains an extensive selection of supporting materials about contraception and family planning by other authors. Highlights include Annie Besant's pamphlet, Law of Population (London: n.d., call number F11010), early issues of the journal, Birth Control News (call number HQ763.B46x), L. Darwin's What is Eugenics (1932, call number F9966), and W. J. Robinson's Fewer and Better Babies (New York: 1934, call number F10053).

Stopes, Marie

Private Press Book Collection.

The Private Press book collection includes items from more than 1,000 presses in Canada, Great Britain, and the United States. This collection has been developed as a representative collection, with intensive coverage of selected presses, such as Hague & Gill, St. Dominic's Press, Nonesuch Press, and Golden Cockerel Press, to provide scope for in-depth study of the history and development of these particular presses. A sample selection from a wide range of other private presses gives an overview of the private press movement in the twentieth century.

Private Press Collection

Rosa Breithaupt Clark Architectural Collection

The Rosa Breithaupt Clark Architectural Collection is the result of an endowment made by the late Herbert Spencer Clark in 1982 in memory of his late wife, Rosa Breithaupt Hewetson Clark, formerly of Kitchener. Included in purchases made through this endowment are exemplary treatises from the sixteenth to the twentieth century supportive of the School of Architecture's cultural history emphasis.

Awards made in 1987 and 1990 by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada under their programme supporting the development of specialized research programmes enabled the collections to grow significantly. The first grant was dedicated to the purchase of landmark titles in the history and theory of architecture. Since the discourse of architecture ultimately looks back to the Roman writer, Vitruvius, it was appropriate that the first acquisition using these funds was a rare edition of a Vitruvian treatise printed in 1536.

The second of the SSHRC grants was awarded in 1990 specifically to support the collection in an area of critical importance: architectural developments in Northern Europe and on the North American frontier which have a profound effect on architectural theory and urban development in Canada.

A third award made by SSHRC allowed the Library to purchase The Dictionary of Architecture issued by the Architectural Publication Society (1853-1892), described as a monument to nineteenth-century scholarship.

Schantz Russell Family Library.

Included are 19th-century Canadian imprints, books on horticulture, early school textbooks, scarce local imprints, such as the 1886/89 County of Waterloo Gazetteer and Directory and the Assessment Roll of 1897 of the Town of Berlin, and a selection of Victorian literature. There are extensive runs of early 20th-century periodicals, such as The Youth's Companion, St. Nicholas, The Ladies' Home Journal, and the Canadian Forestry Journal. The Schantz/Russell Family library offers a unique insight into the reading habits and the interests and activities of a Canadian family in Berlin, Ontario during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Tobias Schantz (1842-1925) worked as an itinerant book salesman at the end of the 19th century, and more than 40 examples of books known as "salesman's dummies" are present in the collection. These books were made up by the publishers as samples for their salesmen to show to potential customers. Each one displays the most noteworthy features of the book offered for sale, including the table of contents, the illustrations, selections from the text, and examples of the variety of elaborate binding styles available. Blank pages at the end of each sample book were used by the itinerant salesman to record his orders and, in this collection, some of the dummies contain up to as many as 8 pages of hand-written lists of local subscribers to the books that Tobias marketed in his trips around the region.

Seagram Museum Rare Book Collection

In 1997, the Seagram Company and the Seagram Museum donated the rare book collection and the early archives held by the Seagram Museum Library to the University of Waterloo Library.

The collection of more than 1200 titles covers every aspect of the beverage alcohol industry. Topics include distillation, wine and wine making, brewing, viticulture, bottling and cooperage, taxation and government regulations, temperance and prohibition, the culinary arts, and advertising.

The collection complements the University of Waterloo Library's existing research collections in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the history of technology as well as the decorative arts, temperance, and social history.

The earliest imprint is the 1545 Italian translation of Charles Estienne's Vinetum..., an early work on viticulture. Other notable early works include De Secretis Remediis aut Potius Thesaurus by Konrad Gesner (1554), and Livre du Vigneron et du Fabricant du Cidre ... et Autres Vins de Fruits by Joseph de Mauny de Mornay (1838).

The collection includes many examples of fine bindings and illustrations.

Also present is a small group of books that belonged to the Seagram family.

Seagram Museum

Sol Eisen Collection of Canadiana, Americana, Mexicana and Incunabula.

The Sol Eisen Collection of Canadiana is a collection of 179 rare, and in some cases, previously unrecorded, books, pamphlets, and printed ephemera from Quebec, Ontario, and Western Canada. The collection was presented to the University of Waterloo Library by Morton Eisen of Toronto in 1993. Sol Eisen (1898-1974), a Toronto lawyer, first began his "collecting hobby" with baseball cards in 1911. The focus of his collection eventually turned to rare books, and the variety and quality of the material he acquired are testimony to the diligence and enthusiasm with which he pursued his hobby.

Highlights of the Sol Eisen Collection of Canadiana include its earliest imprint, Nehiro-Iriniui Aiamihe Massinahigan (1767), a book of prayers and catechism for the Montagnais Indians by the Jesuit missionary, Jean Baptiste de La Brosse. This is one of the few books ever to be printed in the Montagnais dialect. Also important among the early imprints is, Traite de la loi des fiefs (1775), a compilation of four publications by Francois Cugnet which sets forth the basic principles of the civil law of the French Regime (still in force in the Province of Quebec).

Several imprints are of great rarity. Included in this category are a children's book printed in Brockville in 1826 entitled, First Book for Children; an 1839 edition of Wilson's Border Tales; and two previously unknown almanacs, The Upper Canada Almanac and Provincial Calendar for the Year of Our Lord 1831, and The Toronto Farmers' and Mechanicks' Almanack for the Year of Our Lord 1838. Other items not noted in the standard bibliographies include an 1879 broadside printed in Winnipeg entitled, A Grand Display of Manitoba Products ... Selected for the Ottawa Exhibition. Only one other copy is known to exist of Swift's York County Almanac for the Year 1832, which is also of interest by virtue of its printer, William Lyon MacKenzie.

Other notable items include two books printed in the Cree language at Moose Factory, one in 1896, and the other in 1859.

The Bertram R. Davis "Robert Southey" Collection.

The collection centres on Robert Southey and Bristol and gives an overview of the social, political, and literary upheaval which gave birth to the Romantic movement and shaped the rest of the nineteenth century. The collection also contains material on Spain, Portugal and Brazil, Russia and Napoleon, France and the Revolution, as well as numerous works on travel in the British Isles and elsewhere. Also present is a selection of twentieth-century works which elucidate Bertram Davis' interests, friendships, and scholarly connections.

Almost all of Robert Southey's published works are represented, and almost all of these are in the first edition. Several works were formerly owned by Robert Southey.

The University of Waterloo has published a catalogue of the collection: Catalogue of the Bertram R. Davis "Robert Southey" Collection compiled by Jane Britton (PR4467 .U55x 1990).

Urban Planning Town Guide Collection.

  • Book Collection

Special Collections & Archives holds a variety of town guides from cities across the UK. Most significant urban centres in the British Isles are represented, and there is a comprehensive collection of guides to places which became Greater London in 1965.

The guides can provide a benchmark for assessing the very substantial changes which have affected British urban places in the past 60 years, and may be of interest to researchers in a variety of disciplines.

The town guides vary in size from a slender brochure of 30 pages for a small Urban District to large-format volumes of over 300 pages for a major City and County Borough such as Liverpool.

William Blake Collection.

  • Book Collection

The William Blake Collection consists of more than 200 titles of which the majority are facsimiles of Blake's works or privately-printed reprints and editions containing facsimiles of the illustrations. The collection also forms part of a larger collection devoted to joint painter-illustrator-author books that include followers of Blake, e.g. Palmer & Calvert, William Morris, Eric Gill, and David Jones.

One of the highlights of the William Blake Collection is the 1951 Trianon Press edition of William Blake's Jerusalem.

Blake, William

William Dendy Library.

The William Dendy Library consists of more than 3,500 books and 2,500 periodical issues. For the most part, the collection focuses on the history of architecture, but other topics, such as music and literature, are featured as well.

Women and Work Collection.

  • Book Collection

The Women and Work collection consists of 74 contemporary British and European imprints which focus upon women and the workplace.

Included are autobiographical accounts, which range from Dorothy C. Keeley's The Crowded Stairs: Recollections of Social Work in Liverpool 1919-1940 (London: National Council of Social Services, 1961) to Sex work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry (London: Virago Press, 1987). Other personal accounts include: The Life and Writing of a Working Woman (London: Virago Press, 1984) by Ada Nield Chew, which describes her work in the Women's Trade Union League and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; and Front Line Heroines: Stories of Ten Soviet Women (Soviet War News, 1945).

Commentaries on women in the workplace are represented by such titles as Women in Industry: a Marx House Syllabus (Southampton: Lawrence and Wishart Ltd., [n. d.]); Helping Women at Work: the Women's Industrial Council, 1889-1914 (London: Hutchison, 1985); and Willing Hearts and Ready Hands: the Labours and Triumphs of Earnest Women (London: Nelson, 1883).