Out of This World: Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy
Out of This World: Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy opened at the National Library of Canada (NLC) in Ottawa in May 1995, and a concurrent mini-exhibit was planned for the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy facilities in Toronto. This was expected to be a significant literary event and an effective initiative toward reaching important new audiences. The Library wanted to catalogue their SF collection because science fiction was one of the fastest growing literary genres. The codeveloper of the Exhibition, Allan Weiss, had done extensive research and compiled A Comprehensive Bibliography of English-Canadian Short Stories (1988), which encompassed all genres of the Canadian short story including science fiction. He carried out much of his research at the National Library and was very familiar with the resources of the Merril Collection of Speculative Fiction. The National Library had commissioned an earlier visitor study for a Glenn Gould Exhibition (Filiatrault & Rubenstein, 1991). Findings indicated that the Library's exhibition was attracting "classic" museum-goers, academics and researchers, and that science fiction had the lowest appeal for users of the Library. Since the science fiction collections were attracting a very small group to the Library, the exhibit developers felt that was a reason for doing the CSF Exhibition.