Historical Bits and Bytes: Chief Librarians / University Librarians

As we look ahead at the future, it might be interesting to look back. Here are the names of previous University Librarians and their legacies:

1843-1852    Rev. John McCaul, MA, LLD (President, Librarian and Professor)

1852-1853  Rev. John William Small, MA (Cambridge, UK)

1854-1868  Rev. Alexander Lorimer (Baptist Minister from Stanstead, Quebec, hired by the Hinks-Morin Reform government)

1868-1872  John Edgeworth Thomson, BA

1873-1891  William Henry Van der Smissen, MA

1892-1923  Hugh Hornby Langton, MA (Trinity College, Cambridge)

1923-1954  William Stewart Wallace, MA, LLD

1954-1981  Robert Harold Blackburn, MA, MS, LLD

1982-1985  Marilyn Sharrow, BS, MALS

1986-2011  Carole Moore, AB, MS

The University of Toronto library collection in 1854 amounted to 6,000 volumes when A.Lorimer became University Librarian,  “although no one knew exactly who owned this collection” (Blackburn, 36). John Langton, Vice-Chancellor found this muddle intolerable. In 1856 the University Senate offically transferred the collection to the University’s new University Library and Museum on the condition that a catalogue be written.

The first catalogue for the University of Toronto Library was published in 1857. It consisted of 89 pages, a total 6934 volumes, listed alphabetically with 21 categories. This was the first and last catalogue to be undertaken until 1976 when a computerized list in microform format was created (Blackburn, 38).

Source: Robert H. Blackburn, Evolution of the Heart: A History of the University of Toronto Library up to 1981. University of Toronto, 1989.

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