CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Edited by Francess Halpenny.
Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press, 1990.
1305pp., cloth, $75.00.
ISBN 0-8020-3460-8. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Dictionary of Canadian biography-Indexes.

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up

Reviewed by Alison Mews.

Volume 18 Number 5
1990 September

The appearance of volume 12 marks the end of phase one of this series, which, begun in 1966, has a cumulative total of 6,520 biographies covering the years 1000 to 1900. The series is arranged chronologically with each volume including people whose death dates fall into the years covered by that volume. Therefore, the biographies included in volume 12 are those of persons who died in the last decade of the nineteenth century.

Volume 12 maintains the high standard of excellence set by the previous volumes. It includes 597 original signed biographies of the politicians, educators, artists, women and others who flourished during the period. The articles are arranged alphabetically with cross-references to name variations in the text proper and in the nominal index. The indexes comprise the final 107 pages and it is hard to imagine more complete access to the information presented.

The general bibliography gives the full citation to the primary and secondary sources on which the biographies are based. There are indexes providing the authority of the 450 contributors, occupational lists of persons included in the volume, geographical lists of persons by place of birth and by professional activity, and access to individuals mentioned in the volume. The series is co-published in French by the Université Laval, and an index of the first 12 volumes is planned for 1991.

Phase two of the project will bring the serires into the twentieth century and several volumes are already in progress. The biographies are both readable and scholarly and provide a fascinating account of the individuals who contributed to our social and political history, The series is an indispensable reference for Canadian high school, public and academic libraries in Cananda.

Alison Mews, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NF.
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