About the site

Peel's Prairie Provinces is a resource dedicated to assisting scholars, students, and researchers of all types in their exploration of western Canadian history and the culture of the Canadian prairies.

This website contains both an online bibliography of books, pamphlets, and other materials related to the development of the Prairies, as well as a searchable full-text collection of many of these items. As of Summer 2013, after 10 years worth of additions, Peel contains approximately 7,500 digitized books, over 66,000 newspaper issues (4.8 million articles!), 16,000 postcards, and 1,000 maps. These materials are extremely varied – rich in both text and images, providing an extraordinarily diverse picture of the Prairie experience. Many of the items date back to the earliest days of exploration in the region and include a vast range of material dealing with every aspect of the settlement and development of the Canadian West.

Materials selected for Peel are highly diverse in regard to the cultural experiences that they reflect. Although English-language titles predominate the collection, Peel also contains a very substantial body of materials in French, Ukrainian, and numerous other languages.

The online bibliography and digitized collections were built upon the original work of Bruce Peel and the updated records found within the third edition of the print Peel bibliography (Ernie B. Ingles and N. Merrill Distad, eds., Peel's bibliography of the Canadian Prairies to 1953, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003). The Peel bibliographic database continues the work of this latest print bibliography including items published after 1953, the terminal date for its print counterpart, as well as materials outside of the original scope of the bibliography.

Details on metadata conventions, controlled vocabularies and authorities used with the textual collections (newspapers, books, etc.) within the Peel's Prairie Provinces website can be found on the Metadata page. Similar information on the image collections can be found on the Prairie Postcards and Magee Photographs collection pages. 

Although this website and the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library at the University of Alberta share the same namesake, their collections are not identical. The Peel Special Collections Library contains copies of many – but not all – of the books and pamphlets listed in the database. In order to determine the physical materials available through the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, and of the University of Alberta Library in general, please consult the library's online catalogue.

Updated: June 2013

Collection Stats

Bibliographic records:10,527
Digitized Items:7,535
Digitized Pages:758,130
Newspaper Issues:67,019
Newspaper Pages:646,697
Newspaper Articles:4,909,669
Newly Mounted Issues:1,074
Images:16,298