Maple Leaves: Discovering Canada through the Published Record

by Brian Lavoie

The Canadian contribution to literature, music, film, and other forms of creative expression is rich and deep. In this report, we explore the contours of this contribution, as it is manifested in the collections of libraries around the world.

Using WorldCat, the world’s largest and most comprehensive aggregation of data describing global library holdings, and mapping the information with Wikidata to identify publications authored or otherwise created by Canadians and Canadian organizations, we trace the boundaries of the Canadian presence in the published record: i.e., materials published in Canada, by Canadians, or about Canada. We then take a deeper dive into these materials, highlighting some distinctive features of the Canadian presence that help create a more detailed picture of how Canada and Canadians have influenced, and continue to influence, the broad sphere of the published record.

How big is Canada’s contribution to the published record? Using a methodology developed by OCLC Research and applied in several previous studies, 10.9 million distinct publications were identified in WorldCat that fell into at least one of the three categories of materials constituting the Canadian presence in the published record.

The largest work in Canadiana in terms of number of publications is Anne of Green Gables, by Prince Edward Island–born author Lucy Maud Montgomery. This work has been published and re-published over a thousand times!

Read the full report to find out the most “popular” works, authors, and more, along with shifting patterns over time, materials published in the languages of Indigenous peoples, and more trends revealed in the rich data made possible by WorldCat.

Special thanks to Library and Archives Canada/Bibliothèque et Archives Canada for their invaluable consultation on this report, and for coordinating the French translation.

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Suggested citation:

Lavoie, Brian. 2019. Maple Leaves: Discovering Canada through the Published Record. Dublin, OH: OCLC Research. https://doi.org/10.25333/ek4v-ag09.

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