Microform Research Collections

Most microform is acquired on subscription as microfilm reels of serials, or as a one-time order of backfiles of serials not easily obtainable in print format. Microform research collections by reason of their inconvenience, cost and equipment and storage requirements are ordered infrequently; indeed an online alternative, if available, is our clear preference. They are usually supported by funds which supplement the acquisitions budget. In the past, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) has provided support for the library’s acquisition of major retrospective collections, most notably in peace and women’s studies.

The contents of the Gerritsen Collection (Microfilming Corp. of America) and The History of Women Collection (Research Publications) are represented in the Novanet catalogue, as is the Canadian Drama Collection which reproduces 781 manuscript plays deposited at the U.S. Copyright Office between 1900 and 1945. The peace collections and the History of Witchcraft collection have printed catalogues which are kept adjacent to the cabinets where the collections are stored.

I.Women and the Peace Movement

  • Collected Records of the Woman’s Peace Party, 1914-1920 (23 reels of film)

From the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Published by Scholarly Resources on microfilm with a printed guide. The Woman’s Peace Party was founded in 1915 at the Washington meeting attended by Jane Addams and Carrie Chapman Catt to promote disarmament and woman suffrage and to oppose militarism. In 1919 the WPP became the United States Section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom , United States Section, 1919-1959 (97 reels of film)

The historical records, correspondence, and serials have been edited by the Archivist of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Published by Scholarly Resources on microfilm with a printed guide. In 1919 the United States section replaced the Woman’s Peace Party as the official national arm of the WILPF and renewed its mandate to promote international peace and co-operation and support the civil rights of women, war refugees, and conscientious objectors.

  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Papers, 1915-1978 (114 reels of film)

The International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace was founded at The Hague in 1915. In 1919 the name was changed to Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom with Jane Addams as the first president and Emily Greene Balch as the first secretary-treasurer.
The papers from the international headquarters of WILPF in Geneva have been deposited at the University of Colorado. The minutes, correspondence, pamphlets and serial publications are vital primary sources for researchers in Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Studies, Women’s Studies and History. The historical period covered includes World War I, the civil wars in China and Spain, the conquest of Ethiopia (Abyssinia), World War II, the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. The activities of movements to promote peace and international conflict resolution are well documented – in addition to the WILPF, these include the League of Nations, the War Resisters International Movement, the World Disarmament Movement, the Charter of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The collection is published by the Microfilming Corporation of America with a printed guide which includes a brief history of the WILPF.

  • War Resisters’ International : Archives, 1921-1974 (103 fiche)

Along with the WILPF and the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, the War Resisters’ International (WRI) took the lead in the cause of world disarmament in the years after World War I. With the purpose in mind to encourage direct war resistance, the WRI asked people to sign a pledge to refuse to serve in any future conflicts. By the late 1930s it had enrolled several hundred thousand people in 24 countries, and received active support from such notable peace activists as Albert Einstein. Documentation on the microfiche published by Harvester Press includes pamphlets, bulletins, newsletters, press releases and the minutes of meetings . There is no guide for this collection.

  • Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament : Archives of the CND, 1958-1985 (25 reels)

The CND was launched in 1958 to campaign for unilateral disarmament by Britain which at the time was the world’s third nuclear power along with the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. The Archives continue to 1985 when Joan Ruddock was chairperson.This collection consists of annual reports, serials and pamphlets from the CND published as part of The Left in Britain collection by Harvester Press.

  • Emily Greene Balch : Papers, 1875-1961(26 reels)

Balch (1867-1961) was active with the WILPF from 1919 to the end of her life. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 ,one of only ten women to win the peace prize since its inception in 1901 and with her colleague Jane Addams (1931) and Jody Williams (1996), one of three women from the United States. Her papers have been arranged by the archival staff of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection in three series: biographical, correspondence, and miscellaneous writings. The printed guide includes a chronology of her life.

  • Elizabeth Glendower Evans: Papers and Correspondence: 1856-1937 (11 reels)

Evans (1856-1937), was active in a wide range of progressive social and labour causes – international peace, trade unionism, consumerism, woman suffrage, civil liberties and criminal justice reform. Her papers are deposited in the Archives of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Radcliffe College. A brief guide accompanies the reels. The collection, microfilmed by Research Publications, was donated by E. Margaret Fulton who served as University President from 1978 to 1986.

II. Canadian Drama Collection

In the preface to Canadian Plays – A Supplementary Checklist to 1945 ( Halifax N.S.: Dalhousie University, 1978), the late Dr. Patrick O’Neill of the Mount Saint University Speech and Drama Department, notes that many Canadians copyrighted their plays outside Canada .
The collection in the Mount Saint Vincent University Library consists of 46 microfilm reels of plays by Canadian writers written in the period from 1900 to 1945 and deposited in the United States Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. Many of the plays have never been published.
A collection was located by Dr. O’Neill in 1981.The fragility of some manuscripts meant that in a collection of 933 manuscripts, 781 could be filmed . Travel and microfilming costs were covered by a SSHRC grant.
Familiar names in the collection include Merrill Denison, Morley Callaghan, Mazo De la Roche, William Kirby, and Boris Karloff , who co-authored With a Grain of Salt (1913) while touring with a repertory company in western Canada. Lois Reynolds, Ray Lewis (Levinsky), and Doris Smith Conover represent pioneer women dramatists.
The authors were inspired by a wide range of subjects : Androids -” The Robot”, Hitler – “I’m a Dictator” , Suffragettes – “The Pickle Salesman and the Suffragist Barber”, Syphilis- “The Kiss That Kills”, Newsboys – “The Newsboy and the Fairy” and Women Railroad Employees- “The Conductorette”. The dramatic interpretations of Charles Dickens’ novels are of particular interest.
Access to the collection is provided by a printed catalogue arranged by subject, author and title. The collection is also catalogued in the Novanet database.

III. History of Women Collections

  • The History of Women Collection
    (1,200 reels of film)

This collection of nearly 8,000 monographs, 2,000 pamphlets, 800 photographs and 66 periodicals representing the history of women for four centuries before 1920 reproduces the holdings from several libraries with women’s history collections, the most important being The Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College, The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College, the New York Public Library and the Boston Public Library.
Author, title and subject access is provided both by a printed catalogue and the Novanet online catalogue.The collection was published by Research Publications and was purchased with a grant from SSHRC.

  • The Gerritsen Collection
    (17,556 fiche and 241 reels of film)

For 25 years Dr Aletta Jacobs, the first woman doctor in the Netherlands and a pioneer birth control advocate, and her husband Carl V. Gerritsen, collected books, periodicals, and pamphlets on and by women in many languages published from 1543 to the early decades of the twentieth century. After her death in 1929, the collection was purchased by the Crerar Library in Chicago which made significant additions. The greater part ofthe original Gerritsen Collection is now in the University of Kansas Library.
The microfilm collection not only includes reproductions of the works from the original Gerritsen Collection, but also the Crerar additions, and complementary materials, published to 1945, from dozens of other collections.
Access to titles, authors and subjects is provided by both a printed catalogue and the Novanet online catalogue.The collection was published by the Microfilming Corporation of America and was purchased with a grant from SSHRC.

IV. Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)
ERIC is an information system established by the United States Department of Education to provide ready access to educational literature. Until Dec. 31, 2003 ERIC operated 16 decentralized clearinghouses. Each clearinghouse acquired and processed information in specific subject areas. From 2004 the program has been centralized with the intention of ceasing the production of microfiche in favour of online access only. As of Dec. 1, 2004 the official ERIC database http://www.eric.ed.gov/ is still under development.
From 1992 to 2004 the Library has subscribed to the complete collection. In 2003 the Library acquired Saint Mary’s full collection of fiche from 1966 to Dec. 1995.
Subject, keyword and author access to both the ERIC Documents (ED) collection and the ERIC journals (EJ) article databases is provided by the ERIC link on the Articles Database page of the Library’s web page. Since no Library in Nova Scotia has a comprehensive collection of education journals, students are encouraged to use the Novanet catalogue for locations. ERIC documents are readily available either as online PDF documents or on microfiche.
In addition to the ERIC collection, the Library has the Microlog Collection of Canadian Education research reports on microfiche for the periods 1980 to 1988 and 1995 to 1997. This collection is indexed in the Canadian Education Index and in the CBCA Fulltext Education database which provides, as the name suggests, full-text of recent Canadian education materials.