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About Portolan

The Portolan Bibliography was developed and is maintained by the Eileen Wallace Children’s Literature Collection with the broader support of UNB Libraries. It includes works of Atlantic Canadian children’s and young adult literature held by UNB Libraries, most of which can be found in the Eileen Wallace Children’s Literature Collection on the 4th Floor of Harriet Irving Library. Those works not located in the Wallace Collection (HIL-CLC) can be found in other areas of UNB Libraries according to the location code that accompanies their call number.

Return to Portolan Bibliography


Criteria for inclusion in Portolan are as follows:

The author is Atlantic Canadian. More specifically, this means:

  • Born in Atlantic Canada, or
  • Having spent a significant portion of his or her life in Atlantic Canada, or
  • Having made a significant contribution to the Atlantic Canadian literary world, or
  • Of Atlantic Canadian heritage, where this heritage plays a significant role in their writing.

The book is set in Atlantic Canada. This was determined by the presence of:

  • Atlantic Canadian place names
  • Obvious Atlantic Canadian settings (for example, a book that is set in Canada and takes place in an unnamed fishing community on the Atlantic coast)
  • Ocean adventures concerning the exploration of the Atlantic coast (for example, Captain's Courageous by Rudyard Kipling)

The book features Atlantic Canadian characters, even if the story takes place outside of an Atlantic Canadian setting.

The book is about Atlantic Canadian culture or history.

The book was published in Atlantic Canada.

The following sorts of books have not been included in the Database to any major extent:

  • Anthologies
  • Annuals
  • Children's periodicals, unless they are specifically Atlantic Canadian (for example, Ahoy).
  • Other collections in which Atlantic Canadian content cannot be easily determined.

The Portolan Bibliographic Record

In addition to the information found in the UNB Libraries Catalogue record for each book, Portolan records also contain the following information:

A detailed annotation of the book, including information about the format and content as well as the relevance of the book to Atlantic Canada. The levels of the books in the bibliography are described by the following terms, defined below:
  • Picture book: A book in which the illustrations are central to the story and are found on every other page if not every page.
  • Easy Reader: A longer, more challenging picture book. That is, fewer illustrations and more words, but illustrations still play an important role.
  • Chapter Book: A book in which the story is relatively short and relatively simple, sometimes in large print, divided into chapters where black and white illustrations are frequent but do not dominate the story.
  • Novel: A longer story, usually directed at young adults, with complex plots and characters and rare, if any illustrations.
Age Range
The age of children to whom the particular book is directed. The information for this section has been derived from notes from the publishers and book reviews, especially in Canadian Review of Materials and Resource Links.
This field contains the name of the province:
  • where the book is set
  • that the book is about
  • where the publishing house is located
  • where the author was born and/or resides
If the book meets the above criteria for more than one province, multiple provinces are listed.
Books in Portolan have been described using terms from a locally developed, children’s literature oriented, and regionally specific list of descriptors to facilitate precision in searching. A full list of descriptors is available.

For additional information about Portolan, please contact Sue Fisher, Curator, Eileen Wallace Children’s Literature Collection.