CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Mazur, Carol and Sheila Pepper.

3rd ed. Toronto, OISE Press, c1984. 377pp, paper, $19.95, ISBN 0-7744-0288-1. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by P.J. Hammel

Volume 13 Number 3
1985 May

This bibliography has been prepared for researchers interested in Canadian content in the field of women's studies. The compilers adhered strictly to the dual criteria of Canadian content and relevance to women's studies (or feminist issues) when selecting items for inclusion. Although biographical works of Canadian women authors and artists were included, criticism of their work might not unless there was a direct relationship to feminism.

Although some 1983 publications are included, coverage extends primarily from 1962-1982. All forms of print are included, e.g. books, parts of books, articles, pamphlets, theses, and government publications; however, no audiovisual formats are included. No explanation is offered for this exclusion. Besides searching standard and specialized sources, e.g., Canadiana, Canadian Periodical Index, Sociological Abstracts, etc., the compilers also requested and received a significant number of items from some 350 Canadian women's organizations. Almost all of the items were examined first-hand in order to verify Canadian content and feminist relevance; when an item was not available for examination, it was included here only if it had first appeared in another "reliable source."

The first section of the work is an alphabetical list of subject headings under which items are listed in the bibliography. This list is complete with subject subdivisions, cross-references, and the page numbers on which the particular subject listing may be found. This is especially useful because the searcher can readily gain access to any subject in the bibliography without flipping through the entire list.

The second and major part of the work is the bibliography in which items are listed alphabetically by author, or title where no author is identified, within each specific subject area. The compilers do, however, warn us that, because the list was computer generated, certain alphabetizing conventions cannot be adhered to; an example is "The Economy" which would file under "T" not "E" in any given sequence. Still on the subject of alphabetization, but from a different point of view, one wonders whether the irregular sequence on page 55, items 1425-1429 (Gagnon, Quebec, Garneau, Gosselin, Quebec) is a human or machine-generated error.

The publisher's blurb claims "over 7000 items" are included in the bibliography. At first glance, this would seem conservative, since the serial numbers, assigned to the items, total 7584. The compilers, however, indicate that individual items may be repeated in the list if they have reference to more than one subject. One example is: Janet Willis's Where We Stand which appears at 1787 under the subject: "Discrimination in Education" and again at 2117 under: "Education, Continuing."

In some instances, where the title does not appropriately describe the nature of the work, explanatory notes are added to provide useful information. Some examples are: "For commentary, see Lillian Robinson below," "For reply, see Gentles above," "Issued also in abridged edition," "Brief to a Special Committee on Employment Opportunities for the 80's," "Proceedings of the third annual meeting."

Some French-language works are included, but it is not the compilers' intention to duplicate existing Quebec bibliographies. Generally, when both are English and a French edition exist, the English edition is cited, and a note is made to indicate the existence of the French edition. Because there is only one exception to this pattern, item 2853 where the entry cited is the French language version and the note refers to the English, one would tend to suspect a simple proofreading error.

Following the bibliography, is an author index to supplement the subject arrangement of the main list. Each name is followed by the serial number or numbers identifying the location of that author's work(s). One must, however, when using the author index, heed the earlier warning of the compilers; as entries may be duplicated in the body of the work, so different serial numbers following a single author's name may refer to the same item; for example, the "Willis, Janet" entry is followed by five serial numbers, two of which refer to the same item. If one were attempting to determine the total number of a single author's contributions, each serial number would have to be checked in the list in order to note such repetitions.

This work is, nonetheless, a significant achievement. Researchers, whether at the high school level or beyond, have available an extremely comprehensive source of Canadian content related to feminism. Further revision and expansion will indeed, as the publisher claims, make this the "standard tool for anyone engaged in research in women's studies."

P.J. Hammel, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan. Saskatoon, Sask.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works