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Société canadienne pour la recherche nautique

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The Keith Matthews Awards

Best Books | Best Scholarly Articles

Award Criteria:

  1. The books and articles considered for these awards must be published in the year for which they are judged. 
  2. Books and articles must be either written or edited by a Canadian author or be on a Canadian maritime topic. 
  3. Books do not have to be published by a Canadian publisher.
  4. Articles must have been published in the Society’s journal. 
  5. Books and articles must have a maritime focus and can include works of history, geography, sociology, anthropology or other disciplines.
  6. Authors or members of CNRS may self-nominate books; all articles (and only articles) published in the Society’s journal will be considered. 
  7. If no book or article is deemed worthy of an award in a given year, no award is given.

Terms of Reference:

  1. Publishers typically will submit books they consider worthy of review. The Chair of the Awards Committee may also contact publishers to solicit books for review by the members. 
  2. All full-length articles based on original research appearing in the Society’s journal are eligible for consideration; normally research notes, commentaries and review essays are not considered.
  3. When more than one article or book is worthy of note, an Honourable Mention or Special Recognition may be awarded.
  4. Once the Awards Committee members have reviewed the submissions and reached a consensus, the Chair of the Awards Committee will advise the successful authors and their publishers of the decision. 
  5. Formal announcement of the Matthews Awards is made at the Society's AGM. 
  6. The Chair of the Awards Committee ensures that award recipients in both categories receive a certificate signed by the President of CNRS and the Chair of the Matthews Awards Committee. 
  7. The costs related to the Matthews Awards will be authorized by the Treasurer. 
  8. The Chair of the Awards Committee will report to Council on the activities of the Committee and to the Society's membership at the AGM. 

Keith Matthews Awards Recipients for books

First awarded in 1985, the award is for a book published in the previous year.

2023: Russel A. Potter, Regina Koellner, Peter Carney, & Mary Williamson, May We Be Spared To Meet On Earth: Letters of the Lost Franklin Arctic Expedition. (Montreal, QC: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022).
Honourable Mention: Robert G. Allan, with Peter A. Robson, Workboats For the World: The Robert Allan Story. (Maderia Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2022)
Erika Behrisch Discovery, Innovation, and the Victorian Admiralty: Paper Navigators. (Cham, CH: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022).

2022: Barry Gough, Possessing Meares Island: A Historian’s Journey into the Past of Clayoquot Sound. (Maderia, B.C.: Harbour Publishing, 2021).

2021: T. Joseph Scanlon, edited by Roger Sarty, Catastrophe: Stories and Lessons from the Halifax Explosion. (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2020).
Honourable Mention: Eileen Reid Marcil, PS Royal William of Quebec: The First True Transatlantic Steamer (Baraka Books of Montreal, 2020).
Book Deserving Special Recognition: Helen Edwards (ed.), Dutchy’s Diaries: Life as a Canadian Naval Officer, In His Own Words, 1915-1929. (Edwards Heritage Consulting 2020).

2020: John MacFarlane and Lynn Salmon, Around the World in a Dugout Canoe: The Untold Story of Captain John Voss and the Tilikum. (Harbour Publishing, 2019).
Honourable Mention: Antony Adler, Neptune’s Laboratory: Fantasy, Fear, and Science at Sea. (Harvard University Press, 2019).
Book Deserving Special Recognition: Not awarded

2019: Anthony B. Dickinson and Chesley W. Sanger, After the Basques: The Whaling Station of Newfoundland and Labrador. (DRC Publishing, 2018).
Book Deserving Special Recognition: Rick James, Don’t Never Tell Nobody Nothin’ No How: The Real Story of West Coast Rum Running. (Harbour Publishing, 2018).

2018: Barry Gough, Churchill and Fisher: Titans of the Admiralty. (Seaforth Publishing, 2017).
Michael L. Hadley and Anita Hadley (eds.), Spindrift: A Canadian Book of the Sea. (Douglas & McIntyre, 2017).
Honourable Mention: Cheryl Fury (ed.), The Social History of English Seamen, 1650 - 1850. (Boydell Press, 2017).
Book Deserving Special Recognition: Not awarded

2017: Chesley W. Sanger, Scottish Arctic Whaling. (John Donald, 2016).
Book Deserving Special Recognition: Colin Henthorne, The Queen of the North Disaster: The Captain’ Story. (Harbour Publishing, 2016).

2016: Faye M. Kert, Privateering: Patriots and Profits in the War of 1812. (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015).
Honourable Mention: Adam Shoalts, Alone Against the North: An Expedition into the Unknown. (The Penguin Group, 2015).
Honourable Mention: Glenn Stein, Discovering The North-West Passage: The Four-Year Odyssey of H.M.S. Investigator and the McClure Expedition. (McFarland & Company, 2015).
Book Deserving Special Recognition: (new category) Derrick Bowring, edited by Amy Bowring, Down to Bowring’s: A Memoir. (Creative Book Publishing, 2015).

2015: Gordon W. Smith and edited by P. Whitney Lackenbauer, A Historical and Legal Study of Sovereignty In the Canadian North: Terrestrial Sovereignty, 1870 - 1939. (University of Calgary Press, Northern Lights series, 2014).
Honourable Mention: Barry Gough, Pax Britannica: Ruling the Waves and Keeping the Peace before Armageddon. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

2014: Sean Cadigan, Death on Two Fronts: National Tragedies and the Fate of Democracy in Newfoundland, 1914 - 1934. (Allen Lane, 2013).

2013: Christopher M. Bell, Churchill & Sea Power. (Oxford University Press, 2012).
Honourable Mention: Freeman Tovell (trans.), Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America, 1792: Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra and the Nootka Sound Controversy. (Oklahoma University Press, 2012).
Honourable Mention: Roger Sarty, War in the St Lawrence: The Forgotten U-Boat Battles on Canada’s Shores. (Allen Lane, 2012).

2012: James Pritchard, A Bridge of Ships: Canadian Shipbuilding during the Second World War. (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011).
Honourable Mention: Katharine Lochnan, Black Ice: David Blackwood Prints of Newfoundland. (Douglas & McIntyre and the Art Gallery of Ontario, 2011).

2011: Barry Gough, Historical Dreadnoughts: Arthur Marder, Stephen Roskill and Battles for Naval History. (Seaforth Publishing, 2010).
Honourable Mention: William Johnston, William Rawling, Richard Gimblett and John McFarlane, The Seabound Coast: The Official History of the Royal Canadian Navy, 1867-1939, vol 1. (Dundurn Press, 2010).

2010: Eric L. Mills, The Fluid Envelope of our Planet: How the Study of Ocean Currents Became a Science (University of Toronto Press, 2009).
Honourable Mention: edited by Richard Gimblett, The Naval Service of Canada 1910 - 2010: The Centennial Story,, (Dundurn Press, 2009).
Honourable Mention: Glyn Williams,  Arctic Labyrinth: The Quest for the Northwest Passage (Viking Canada, 2009).

2009: Freeman M. Tovell, At the Far Reaches of Empire: The Life of Juan Francisco de la Bodega Y Quadra (UBC Press, 2008).
Honourable Mention: Ken McGoogan, Race to the Polar Sea: The Heroic Adventures and Romantic Obsessions of Elisha Kent Kane (HarperCollins, 2008).
Honourable Mention: Taras Grescoe, Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood (HarperCollins, 2008).

2008: W.A.B. Douglas, Roger Sarty, Michael Whitby, et. al., A Blue Water Navy: The Official Operational History of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War, 1943-1945, Volume II, Part 2. (Vanwell Publishing, 2007).
Honourable Mention: Barry Gough, Fortune’s a River: The Collision of Empires in Northwest America. (Harbour Publishing, 2007).
Honourable Mention: Dionisius A. Agius, Classic Ships of Islam: From Mesopotamia to the Indian Ocean. (Brill – Netherlands, 2007).
Honourable Mention: Hilda Chaulk Murray, Of Boats On the Collar: How it was in One Newfoundland Fishing Community. (Flanker Press, 2007).

2007: Keith McLaren, A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fishermen's Cup, 1920-1938, (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2006)
Honourable Mention: Daniel Sekulich, Ocean Titans: Journeys in Search of The Soul of a Ship (Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2006)
Honourable Mention: Peter A. Robson, Salmon Farming: The Whole Story (Nanoose Bay, B.C.: Heritage House, 2006)
Honourable Mention: Michael Whitby, Richard Gimblett, and Peter Haydon, eds., The Admirals: Canada's Senior Naval Leadership in the Twentieth Century (Toronto: Dundurn, 2006)
Honourable Mention: John G. Langley, Steam Lion: A Biography of Samuel Cunard (Halifax: Nimbus, 2006)

2006: Anthony B. Dickinson and Chesley W. Sanger, Twentieth Century Shore-Station Whaling in Newfoundland and Labrador (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005)
Honourable Mention: Michael Whitby, ed. Commanding Canadians: The Second World War diaries of Commander A.F.C. Layard (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2005)
Honourable Mention: Dennis Brown, Salmon Wars: the Battle for the West Coast Salmon Fishery (Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Publishing, 2005)
Honourable Mention: Noel Elizabeth Currie, Constructing Colonial Discourse: Captain Cook at Nootka Sound (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 2005)

2005: Julian Gwyn, Ashore and Afloat: The British Navy and the Halifax Naval Yard before 1820 (University of Ottawa Press, 2004)
Honourable Mention: Werner Hirschmann with Donald Graves, Another Place, Another Time: A U-Boat Officer's Wartime Album (Robin Brass, 2004)
Honourable Mention: Fraser M. McKee, 'Sink all the Shipping there:' the Wartime Loss of Canada's Merchant Ships and Fishing Schooners (Vanwell, 2004)
Honourable Mention: Richard Gimblett, Operation Apollo: The Golden Age of the Canadian Navy in the War against Terrorism (Magic Light Publishing and the Department of National Defence, 2004)

2004: W.A.B. Douglas, Roger Sarty, Michael Whitby, Robert H. Caldwell, William Johnston, and William G. P. Rawling, No Higher Purpose. The Official Operational History of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War, 1939-1943, Volume II, Part I (Vanwell Publishing, 2002)
Honourable Mention: Jerry Bannister, The Rule of the Admirals: Law, Custom, and Naval Government in Newfoundland, 1699-1832 (University of Toronto Press, 2003
Honourable Mention: Julian Gwyn, Frigates and Foremasts: The North American Squadron in Nova Scotia Waters, 1745-1815 (UBC Press, 2003)

2003: John Jennings, The Canoe : A Living Tradition (Firefly Books, 2002)
Honourable Mention: John G. Armstrong, The Halifax Explosion and the Royal Canadian Navy: Inquiry and intrigue (UBC Press, 2002)

2002: James McDermott, Martin Frobisher : Elizabethan Privateer (Yale University Press, 2001)

2001: Brian Tennyson and Roger Sarty, Guardian of the Gulf : Sydney, Cape Breton and the Atlantic Wars (University of Toronto Press, 2000)

2000: Thomas H.B. Symons, Meta Incognita : A Discourse of Discovery - Martin Frobisher's Arctic Expeditions, 1576 - 1578 (The Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1999)

1999: Emerson W. Baker and John G. Reid, The New England Knight : Sir William Phips, 1651 - 1698 (University of Toronto Press, 1998)

1998: W. Gillies Ross, This Distant and Unsurveyed Country : A Woman's Winter at Baffin Island, 1857-58 (McGill Queen's University Press, 1997)

1997: Pierre Camu, Le Saint-Laurent et les grands lacs au temps de la voile 1608-1850 (Les Editions Hurtubise, 1996)

1996: James Pritchard, Anatomy of a Naval Disaster : The 1746 French Expedition to North America (McGill Queen's University Press, 1995)
Honourable Mention: Michael Hadley Count not the Dead : The Popular Image of the german Submarine (McGill Queen's University Press, 1995)
Honourable Mention: John D. Fudge, Cargoes, Embargoes, and Emissaries: The Commercial and Political Interaction of England and the German Hanse, 1450- 1510 (University of Toronto Press, 1995)
Honourable Mention: Eileen Reid Marcil, The Charley-Man: A History of Wooden Shipbuilding at Quebec 1763-1893. (Quarry Press, 1995)

1995: Wayne M. O'Leary, The Tancook Schooners: An Island and Its Boats (McGill Queen's University Press, 1994)

1994: Dianne Newell, Tangled Webs of History : Indians and the Law in Canada's Pacific Coast Fisheries (University of Toronto Press, 1993)

1993: James R. Gibson, Otter Skins, Boston Ships, and China Goods: The Maritime Fur Trade of the Northwest Coast 1785 - 1841 (University of British Columbia Press, 1992)
Honourable Mention: Barry M. Gough, The Northwest Coast: British Navigation, Trade, and Discoveries to 1812 (University of British Columbia Press, 1992)
Honourable Mention: G.P.V. Akrigg and Helen B. Akrigg, H.M.S. Virago in the Pacific 1851 - 1855: To the Queen Charlottes and Beyond (Victoria: Sono Nis Press, 1992)

1992: Michael Hadley and Roger Sarty, Tin-Pots and Pirate Ships: Canadian Naval Forces and German Sea Raiders 1880 - 1918 (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1991)
Honourable Mention: Rosemary E. Ommer, From Outpost to Outport: A Structural Analysis of the Jersey-Gaspé Cod Fishery, 1767 - 1886 (McGIll-Queen's University Press, 1991)

1991: Eric W. Sager with Gerald E. Panting, Maritime Capital: The Shipping Industry in Atlantic Canada, 1820 - 1914 (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1990)
Honourable Mention: Jean-François Brière, La Pêche française en Amérique du Nord au XVIIIe siècle (Editions Fides, 1990)

1990: Brian Loring Villa, Unauthorized Action: Mountbatten and the Dieppe Raid (Oxford University Press, 1989)
Honourable Mention: Eric Sager, Seafaring Labour: The Merchant Marine of Atlantic Canada, 1820 - 1914 (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1989)

1989: Gordon Stead, A Leaf Upon the Sea: A Small Ship in the Mediterranean, 1941 - 1943 (University of British Columbia Press, 1988)
Honourable Mention: W.A.B. Douglas, ed., The RCN in Transition, 1910 - 1985 (University of British Columbia Press, 1988)

1988: J.F. Bosher, The Canada Merchants, 1713 - 63 Oxford University Press, 1987)
Honourable Mention: Aliette Geistdoerfer, Pêcheurs acadiens, pêcheurs madelinots: Ethnologie d'une communauté de pêcheurs (Presses Universitaires de Laval, 1987)
Honourable Mention: Clyde Sanger, Ordering the Oceans: The Making of the Law of the Sea (University of Toronto Press, 1987)

1987: Ian K. Steele, The English Atlantic 1675 - 1740: An Exploration of Communications and Community (Oxford University Press, 1986)

1986: Michael L. Hadley, U-boats Against Canada: German Submarines in Canadian Waters (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1985)

1985: Barry M. Gough, Gunboat Frontier: British Maritime Authority and the Northwest Coast Indians, 1846 - 1890 (University of British Columbia Press, 1984)


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