The rich Celtic culture of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia has become well known, both in Canada and internationally, through music and dance. Perhaps not as well recognized, but at the heart of this cultural wealth in Cape Breton, is the Gaelic language. The Cape Breton Regional Library and the Cape Breton University Library have partnered to bring together their Gaelic language collections into one on-line bilingual catalogue. Each institution has been acquiring Gaelic materials for many years. These are rich, diverse collections of both adult and children’s materials, available for loan, both to local residents, and, through interlibrary loan, to persons outside Cape Breton.
The Gaelic catalogue was made possible through support from the Canadian Library Association and Heritage Canada’s Young Canada Works in Heritage Institutions. The catalog allows users to search by author, title, or subject. Each record will give users basic information about the material and list at which institution they can access it.
As can be seen in the accompanying chronicle, “Gaelic in Cape Breton: Past, Present, Future,” the fate of the Gaelic language in Cape Breton remains unclear. Projects such as this catalog will help to promote the resources available in Cape Breton to both residents and nonresidents. We hope that native and nonnative Gaelic speakers will take advantage of this rich resource.