Nova Scotia Authors

About the Nova Scotia Creative Writers Collection

During his long tenure as University Librarian, Dr. Archibald MacMechan recognized the importance of collecting the creative writing produced by Nova Scotians.  Successive Dalhousie librarians have followed his lead and have continued to collect Nova Scotia’s creative writing as comprehensively as possible. The collection has now grown to approximately 2,000 titles and 110 literary journals. Works by all the major Nova Scotia creative writers are present in the collection – James DeMille, Marshall Saunders, James Oxley, William Fraser, Archibald MacMechan, Frank Day, W. R. Bird, Thomas Raddall, Charles Bruce, Ernest Buckler, Joyce Barkhouse, Budge Wilson, Harry Thurston, Lesley Choyce, Andrew Wainwright, Sheldon Currie, Sue Goyette …

Collection Highlights

While the signed first editions of the Nova Scotia writers who have achieved national and international  fame are definitely of enduring interest, it is their  modest early works that are  truly rare and significant for researchers interested in understanding the full body of their work. The simply produced early editions of Mi’Macq poet Rita Joe, the odes of Cape Breton poet William McKinnon, the Nova Scotia history inspired poetry of Andrew Merkel  and of those he mentored, the spirited poetry of Maxine Tynes and George Elliott Clarke, the moving scripts of Daniel MacIvor, the illuminated poetry of Boyd Chubbs, the beautifully illustrated younger reader works by Budge Wilson are just a few of the important  works to be found in the Nova Scotia Creative Writers Collection.


The comprehensiveness of the collection, which includes works in every genre and from each era, provides the researcher with the opportunity to study individual topics and/or author and/or genres. The collection serves the important role of documenting and reflecting the energy, integrity and talent of successive generations of Nova Scotia writers as they have sought to provide insights into the ever-evolving Nova Scotian experience.

More from Vessels of Light: A Guide to Special Collections in the Killam Libraryby Karen E. M. Smith.