Pronouns: she/her/hers

I am a first generation PhD and librarian from a working-class settler family in Northern Ontario, Canada. I lived in Toronto for several years before relocating to the United States in 2015 in order to join the curatorial staff at Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.

During my graduate studies, I worked at the rare book library and research centre, Joseph Sablé Centre for 19th Century French Studies, and taught undergraduate French as a Second Language and French Cultural Studies courses in the Department of French at the University of Toronto.

My interdisciplinary doctoral dissertation focused on publishers of poetry in 19th century France and entailed several summers of conducting research at the Bibliothèque nationale de France and at the Archives départementales de l’Orne.

My current research has shifted towards the study of contemporary graphic novels and comic book culture and to special collections librarianship.


Doctor of Philosophy, Department of French, Collaborative Program in Book History and Print Culture, University of Toronto (2014)

Master of Information Studies (Library and Information Science, Book History and Print Culture), Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto (2007)

Honours Bachelor of Arts, with High Distinction (French Language and Literature, German Studies, History), University of Toronto (2005)



“Crime, Adaptation and Collective Guilt: Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell,Revue de recherche en civilisation américaine [En ligne] vol. 5, 2015, mis en ligne le 02 février 2016. URL: http://rrca.revues.org/684

“Le libraire-éditeur Léon Vanier et le champ de l’illustration de la fin de siècle” in “Illustration, innovation. L’édition et la reproduction technique de l’image aux XIXe et XXe siècles, dossier spécial d’articles : co-dirigé par Geneviève De Viveiros et Ruth-Ellen St. Onge ” in Revue française d’histoire du livre, décembre 2015.

St. Onge, Ruth-Ellen.“A banquet for Alphonse Lemerre, the poets’ publisher.” Mémoires du livre /Studies in Book Culture, vol. 3, no. 1, 2011. URL:  http://www.erudit.org/revue/memoires/2011/v3/n1/1007580ar.html?vue=resume

Book Chapters

“Ray Fawkes’s Formal and Stylistic Shifts in the Field of Comic Book Production.” The Canadian Alternative: Canadian Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels (ed. Dominick Grace and Eric Hoffman). Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2018, pp. 189-204.

“La série Preacher : un superhéroisme divinement subversif.” In Mythologies du superhéros : histoire, physiologie, géographie, intermédialités. Ouvrage collectif dirigé par François Emmanuël Boucher, Pascal Brissette, Sylvain David et Maxime Prévost. Liège: Presses Universitaires de Liège – Sciences humaines, collection « ACME », 2014, pp. 127-145.


Roy, Kourtney. Ils pensent déjà que je suis folle. Texte par Thomas Clerc. [Translated by Ruth-Ellen St. Onge]. Paris: Éditions Filigranes, 2014.

Book Reviews

“Kashtan, Aaron. Between Pen and Pixel: Comics, Materiality, and the Book of the Future. Ohio State University Press, 2018.” ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies, vol. 10, no. 3. 2019 http://imagetext.english.ufl.edu/archives/v10_3/stonge/

“Ad Stijnman and Elizabeth Savage, eds. Printing Colour 1400-1700: History, Techniques, Functions and Receptions.Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, vol. 56, no. 1-2, 2018, pp. 218-221.

“Michelle Levy and Tom Mole, eds. The Broadview Reader in Book History. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2015. 615 pp.; $49.95 (Paperback) ISBN 9781554810888,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, vol. 55, no. 1, Spring 2017, pp. 139-143.

Des bibliothèques populaires à la lecture publique,” SHARP News, vol. 24, no. 4, 2015, p. 29.

“Richard Clay. Iconoclasm in revolutionary Paris. The transformation of signs. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, University of Oxford, 2012,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, vol. 53, no. 1, 2015. pp. 154-157.

“Cynthia Brokaw and Peter Kornicki, eds. The History of the Book in East Asia. Farnham, Surrey; Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2013. 640 pp.; £170.00 ISBN 9781409437819.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, vol.  52, no. 2, 2014, pp. 466-469.

“Danaux, Stéphanie. L’iconographie d’une littérature : Évolution et singularités du livre illustré francophone au Québec, 1840-1940. Québec, Presses de l’Université Laval, 2013.” Globe, Revue internationale d’études québécoises, vol. 17, no. 1, 2014, pp. 242-244.

“Compte rendu de Moretti (Franco), Distant Reading.” COnTEXTES, Notes de lecture, mis en ligne février 2014, http://contextes.revues.org/5870.

“Laisney, Vincent. L’Arsenal romantique. Le salon de Charles Nodier (1824-1834), Paris, Honoré Champion, 2002. 839 p.” Nineteenth Century French Studies, November 2008, http://ncfs.unl.edu/reviews_review011.php.

Selected Papers Presented at Meetings and Symposia

“Developing a Custom Catalogue for the Teaching Collections of Rare Book School,” with Lucy J. Kelsall, Rare Books and Special Collections Group of the Council of CILIP the Library and Information Association, Annual Conference 2019, Cardiff, UK, 4 September 2019.

“Actively promoting inclusivity in book studies.” Talk for Plenary Panel  sponsored by the Canadian Association for the Study of Book /Culture/Association canadienne pour l’étude de l’histoire du livre (CASBC/ACEHL) at  “Widening the circle: the role of texts. Annual Meeting of the Bibliographical Society of Canada.” 3-4 June 2019.

“What Can Printing and Publishing History Tell Us About Comics?”, Roundtable: What Can Book History Tell Us About Comics?, MSU Comics Forum, 23 February 2019, East Lansing, Michigan.

“Charting Anne Carson’s Work: A Book Historical and Bibliographical Approach.” Lighting paper presented in the panel “Intertexts and Intersections: Charting Anne Carson’s Work,” at the Northeast Modern Language Association 46th Annual Convention, Toronto, 30 April- 3May 2015.

“Temples of the Muse: Publishers of Poetry and their Bookshops in fin-de-siècle Paris.” Paper presented at “Material cultures/Material worlds,” the 36th Annual Conference of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association, Boston, MA, 26-28 March, 2015.

“La réécriture du traumatisme historique. From Hell.” Journée d’études sur le roman graphique, Département d’anglais de l’UPJV et laboratoire CORPUS, Amiens, 5 June 2014.

“Pirating Poetry: Poulet-Malassis in Belgium.” CASBC/ACÉHL, “Books without Boundaries,” Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Brock University, 27-28 May 2014.

“Léon Vanier : les innovations d’un ‘bibliopole’ en marge.” Présenté à la rencontre annuelle de l’Association canadienne des études francophones du XIXe siècle, Congrès de la fédération canadienne des sciences humaines, University of Victoria, 3-5 June 2013.

“Olinde Rodrigues and the Poésies sociales des ouvriers: Poetry, Class and Utopia in 19th Century France.” Book Culture from Below – The Eighteenth Annual Conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP), Helsinki, 17-20 August 2010.

“Mythologies éditoriales : le Banquet offert à M. Alphonse Lemerre.” ACÉF XIX 2010, septième rencontre annuelle de l’Association canadienne des études francophones du XIXe siècle, Congrès de la fédération canadienne des sciences humaines, Université Concordia, Montréal, 31 May – 2 June 2010.

“Émile Zola and Nineteenth Century Networking: Publicity and the Evolving Strategies of Authors,Critics and Publishers.” Tradition and Innovation: The State of Book History / Le Point sur l’Histoire du Livre, SHARP 2009, Toronto, 23-27 June 2009.

“Chronicling Censorship in Post-Revolutionary Europe: L’ami de la religion et du roi (1816-1833).” Fifth annual conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Book Culture, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Vancouver, 3-4 June 2008.

Conferences Organized

Program Chair, “Book Historical and Bibliographical Praxis in Canada / La praxis de l’histoire du livre et de la bibliographie du Canada,” Annual Meeting of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, 29 May 2017, Ryerson University, Toronto.

Program Co-Chair, “Canada 150. Bound by Three Oceans: Reading, Writing, Printing & Publishing in Canada since 1867 / Un pays relié d’un océan à l’autre : Lire, écrire, imprimer & publier au Canada depuis 1867,” Joint conference between the BSC-SbC and CASBC/ACÉHL, 30 May 2017, Ryerson University. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Conference Program Chair, “Gatherings: Communities of Print and the Book/Rassemblements: les communautés du livre et de l’imprimé,” Annual meeting of the BSC-SbC, University of Calgary, 30-31 May 2016.

Program Co-Chair, “Print & Capital/ Le capital de l’imprimé,” Eleventh Annual Conference of CASBC-ACEHL, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, June 1-2 2015.

Journal Issues Edited

St. Onge, Ruth-Ellen, Janet Friskney and Myra Tawfik, eds.”Canada 150. Bound by Three Oceans: Reading, Writing, Printing, and Publishing in Canada since Confederation,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, vol. 55, no. 2, 2017. https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/bsc/issue/view/1992

De Viveiros, Geneviève et Ruth-Ellen St. Onge. Dossier “Illustration, innovation. L’édition et la reproduction technique de l’image au XIXe et XXe siècles,” Revue française d’histoire du livre, décembre 2015.


“Comics in Circuit.” A Rare Book School Exhibition curated by Ruth-Ellen St. Onge, Jennifer Camp, Elizabeth Dorton, Devon Shannahan, Katherine Smith, and Zach Tauscher. Dome Room of the Rotunda, University of Virginia, 6 June 2018 – 1 May 2019. URL: https://rarebookschool.org/all-programs/exhibitions/comics-in-circuit/

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

Co-curating a major exhibition related to the history of books in New York City in 2022. Details forthcoming.


Past President, Bibliographical Society of Canada / Société bibliographique du Canada

Interim Editor, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada / Cahiers de la Société bibliographique du Canada

Program Committee, Bibliographical Society of America

Vice-Chair, Working Group for International Development and Collaboration, Bibliographical Society of America

Board Member, Fine Press Book Association

Ruth-Ellen St. Onge

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active 9 months ago