The Richler Library Project

In 2017, a team of scholars and librarians received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for “The Richler Library Project” designed to develop a rich catalogue of approaches for the processing, contextualization, theorization, use, and digital and public presentation of the materials that comprise Mordecai Richler’s personal library.

The Richler Reading Room

In 2013, Concordia University acquired Mordecai Richler’s personal library, related papers, and materials from the Richler estate. The Richler Library (RL) collection consists of over 5500 monographs, many annotated in Richler’s hand, thousands of pages of typescript, periodicals, personal agendas, correspondence, financial documents, photographs, prints and drawings, newspaper clippings, audio recordings, ephemera, personal documents, and realia. The materials are housed in The Richler Reading Rooms, a designated university departmental space, and are available for flexible use, manipulation and creative intervention.

Since 2013, the materials in the collection (books and non-book items) have been examined and catalogued with extensive metadata to facilitate searching, navigation and the identification of patterns within the collection relevant to particular modes of inquiry. As a displaced material footprint of Richler’s working environment, this collection provides unique case study material by which to explore, specifically, the material and creative processes of a major Canadian author, theoretically, the formulation of concepts useful for the theorization of authorship as well as the author’s library and collection, and methodologically, identification of the library’s components that may be used for research in a variety of disciplines, and for the development and application of research methods useful for the study of such collections.