Skip to Main Content

Canadian Literature

A guide to Canadian Literature

Canadian Literature


Canadian fiction can be found at the call numbers PS 8400- PS 8649. In the Killam Library, that will be on the 3rd floor.


Canadian poetry can be found at the call numbers PS 8273 - PS 8299. In the Killam Library, that will be on the 3rd floor. 


Canadian drama can be found at the call numbers PS 8305 - PS 8317. In the Killam Library, that will be on the 3rd floor. 


Searching for Primary Sources

Primary sources are original works of literature or direct or first-hand evidence (for example letters, photographs, or legal documents). This section of the guide suggests some examples of primary sources from different genres of Canadian literature and gives tips on how to find other primary sources. 

Finding primary sources in Novanet

To find primary sources in Novanet, use the Novanet Advanced Search. Add some primary source-related terms to the search for your topic. Examples of keywords that can help you find primary sources are: 

diaries pamphlets
sources archives
correspondence interviews 
notebooks personal narratives
speeches writings
fiction reports
pictorial works songs and music

Searching Archives

Archives hold mainly primary sources (letters, personal papers, legal documents, photographs, etc.). Many archives have websites with searchable catalogues. To find an archives' website, try using a a search engine (like Google), and searching a place plus the word archives, for example "Nova Scotia archives" or "Toronto archives." If you are researching a particular author or company, you can try searching their name plus archives, which may tell you which archives holds their papers, for example "Neptune theatre company archives" or "Donna Morrissey archives." 

Finding primary sources online

Google or other internet search engines can also help you find primary sources. Many library or museum collections are available online as digitized objects. Just use primary source-related terms to your search, for example "French revolution primary sources" or "world war 1 letters."