Canada is such a large country, and printed research materials before 1900 have been so scarce, that the work of historians and other scholars interested in Canadians has been seriously handicapped by the great distances between libraries. Often the material simply could not be found. These conditions were documented in a 1977 commission report, and in 1978 the Canada Council founded the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproduction (CIHM), with an endowment of two million dollars. This is the organization described in a letter to the editor in the last issue of this newsletter as handling original material with white gloves and great care. Their practices contrast with the general American custom of guillotining the folds of original material to separate the pages, thus destroying the book in the course of "preserving" (microfilming) it.
The CIHM microfilms Canadian monographs and pamphlets printed before 1900 and produces high-quality microfiche copies from the microfilm masters for distribution. The collection, expected to include tens of thousands of titles, will be distributed to institutions and individuals as a complete set, or on a title-by-title basis. The cost is low, the quality of reproduction high, and every title is catalogued. The catalog cumulates annually on computer-output microfiche and is made available in a binder format. Bibliographic descriptions in the Register are indexed by author, title, series, subject and class number. Cataloging data is available through the National Library of Canada, UTLAS in Canada, and OCLC outside Canada. Outside of Canada, inquiries for the title listings should be directed to University Microfilms International, Books and Collections, 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Ml 48106.
The address of CIHM is Box 2428, Station D, Ottawa, Out. K1P 5W5, Canada.