Postwar Canadian Academic Libraries, 1945–60

Lorne D. Bruce


This article undertakes a historical survey of university and college library developments in Canada between 1945 and 1960. It examines contemporary accounts in relation to library architecture, the acquisition and organization of collections, administrative library structures and staffing, services for faculty and students, and efforts by librarians to realize professional standing. A national review of academic libraries and librarianship expands our knowledge beyond the typical themes applied to this era: "growth" and "progress." The architectural redefinition of libraries, the impetus to establish research collections, the maturation of academic librarianship, and the increasing complexity of library operations were prominent features in the postwar period. The gradual evolution of academic libraries towards more-uniform organizational purposes and structures on a national basis following World War II can be considered a period of “midcentury modernization” that preceded the more memorable and better documented decades of the 1960s and later.


academic librarianship; Canadian college and university libraries; Canadian librarianship; Canadian library planning; library architecture; library collections

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Copyright (c) 2018 Lorne D. Bruce, CC BY-SA-4.0

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