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UBC Publications

UBC Publications

Scrapbook for a Golden Anniversary [edited by] Shorthouse, Tom; Jupp, Elisabeth; Mercer, Eleanor; Kincaid, Jay; Yandle, Anne 1965

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The University of British Columbia Library SCRAPBOOK
The University of British Columbia Library
Editors for this Issue
tom shorthouse, Chairman
The front of the Library by John Ridington.
Sketching was one of his many hobbies.
THE MORRISS PRINTING COMPANY LTD., VICTORIA, B.C. Scrapbook for a Golden Anniversary
This is a scrapbook to celebrate the first fifty years of the University of British Columbia Library.
It is not easy to write a history of an institution and particularly
difficult to write an interesting history of a library. So we decided
to make an anthology of reminiscences, quotations, pictures, and
articles, to try to bring alive the Library at various times in its past
and to suggest the main stages of its growth, the interest of its collections and the generosity of its benefactors. We thank all our
Our hope is that this scrapbook will entertain, for as anyone who
has worked in a library knows, libraries are often comic, and there
have been some interesting and some eccentric members of staff
here. We also hope that this scrapbook will instruct, for it is not
easy now, at this time of remarkable prosperity and a boundless
future, to realize how precarious has been the past. The Library
was founded by a president with vision and shared the frightful
blows of fate that befell the University, a public institution without
endowments supported by a young province through years of war
and depression.
As we publish this it is plain that the Library has emerged from
a long struggle against intimidating if never utterly hopeless odds
and that it is about to become what it was planned to be fifty years
ago — a major library.
the editors University Library History in Brief
1908 "An Act to Establish and Incorporate a University for the
Province of British Columbia."
1913 Dr. Frank Fairchild Wesbrook appointed first President of University of British Columbia.
1914 John Ridington appointed in charge of cataloguing the Library.
J. T. Gerould, book-buying in Europe for embryo University
Library, detained three weeks in Leipzig as a British spy. Before
this had managed to purchase a basic collection of 20,000
1915 Official opening of University of British Columbia in temporary home at Fairview shacks.
1916 John Ridington appointed first University Librarian.
1925 Move from Fairview shacks to new Library on Point Grey
1932 Tight times! Library budget cut, library staff reduced. Carnegie Corporation aided situation with $15,000 grant to be
spread over a three-year period.
1937    Establishment of Extension Library.
1940 Retirement of John Ridington and appointment of Dr.
W. Kaye Lamb as University Librarian.
1948 New north wing of Library opened. New areas created included Ridington Reference Room, Fine Arts and Music
Room, Acquisitions Dept, a bindery and a binder-in-residence,
Mr. H. W. Brooks.
Resignation of Dr. Lamb.
1949 Miss Anne Smith served as Acting Librarian until appointment
of Dr. L. W. Dunlap in July.
1950 Serials Division established.
Opening of Bio-Medical Reading Room.
1951 Resignation of Dr. Dunlap. Service of Miss Smith as Acting
Librarian until appointment of Neal Harlow in August.
1952 Bio-Medical Branch Library established at Vancouver General
Hospital. 1956 Friends of the Library of U.B.C. founded. Curriculum Laboratory established.
i960   Walter C. Koerner South Wing opened improving greatly the
space problem and symmetry of total building.
Undergraduate library, the College Library, opened.
New subject divisions created: Humanities, Social Sciences and
Special Collections Division and Asian Studies established.
1961 Resignation of Neal Harlow. Double duty by Dr. S. Rothstein
as Acting Librarian and Director of new School of Librarian-
1962 Dr. Jim Ranz appointed University Librarian.
1963 Resignation of Dr. Ranz.
1964 Basil Stuart-Stubbs appointed University Librarian.
Opening of Woodward Bio-medical Library.
1965 Gift of $3,000,000 to the Library by H. R. MacMillan.
Beginning of automation era.
Wilson Listening Room and Record Library opened.
Massive alterations and additions increased stack and work
Opening of two new public divisions:  Government Publications and Map Room.
College Library re-named the Sedgewick Library. THE BEGINNING
Vision and struggle, both greater perhaps than we imagine,
created the University Library. The struggle to found a university
at all lasted more than two decades, decades that witnessed the
abortive Act of 1890, the granting of endowment lands, the drawing up of a constitution, the establishment of McGill University
College of British Columbia when that seemed the only way to
have higher education in the province and finally, in 1913, the
appointment of Dr. Wesbrook to be President of U.B.C.
The vision was that of British Columbians like Dr. Henry Esson
Young, Minister of Education and Dr. Wesbrook who chose "Tuum
est" (It is Yours) to be the motto of a People's University. "The
people's University," he said, "must meet all the needs of all the
people. We must therefore proceed with care to the erection of
those Workshops where we may design and fashion the tools needed
in the building of a nation and from which we can survey and lay
out paths of enlightenment, tunnel the mountains of ignorance and
bridge the chasms of incompetence."
It is clear that he intended the Library to be one of those workshops. In 1912, before the President was appointed, the government had invited designs for an Arts and Science Building, an
Agriculture Building, dormitories and a power house, but in his
own programme Dr. Wesbrook included a library as one of the
first group of buildings to be erected at Point Grey. Of the eight
million dollars he requested the provincial government to grant
over eight years, he planned to spend $100,000 initially on the
basic collection of the Library and $50,000 for each of the four
following years.
Dr. Wesbrook was never to see the vision realized. The University and its Library were caught by events far beyond their control.
The depression of 1912, provincial deficits, and the Great War, followed in close sequence. Grants were cut, postponing for many
decades the emergence of a university "comparable in range and
magnitude of its activities to the seats of learning of any country in
the world." Instead the University began in September 1915 with
its students crowded into the four classrooms of the "Fairview
Shacks" which had belonged to McGill B.C. The Library was a
couple of rooms in the tuberculosis block which the government
had recently built for the Vancouver General Hospital and which
was temporarily lent to the University.
Dr. Wesbrook had only $100,000 for his total budget in 1915-16
and that was cut in ensuing years. Yet he had already managed to
provide sure foundations for his University in his faculty appointments and in the appointment of J. T. Gerould, Librarian of Minnesota University (where Wesbrook had been Dean of Medicine)
to buy the basic collection of books in Europe.
During the summer of 1914 Mr. Gerould was actively engaged in
purchasing books in England and France for the University. His excellent buying gave the University an unusually good start for its present
collection. He arrived in Leipzig on August 3 to complete his work,
only to be advised by his book-seller to leave at once in view of the
war situation.
Mr. Gerould hastened to comply with the suggestion, but was unsuccessful and was detained for three weeks, part of the time in prison.
A rather comic reason which accounted in part for his arrest was the
fact that he possessed a plan of the University site which to some of
the police, was proof positive that he was a spy. Almost as soon as
war began Dr. Wesbrook telegraphed him to cease purchases, which
reached approximately $20,000 as the adverse rate of exchange made
prices much too high.
f. h. soward, from Early History of U.B.C.
The 20,000 volumes which Gerould purchased in England and
France before the war turned him back, formed the major part of
the original collection. The new University could boast some 22,000
volumes and 7,000 pamphlets including United States and other
government documents and the publications of the Carnegie Institute and the Smithsonian Institution.
There was no money to engage either a large staff or trained
librarians. A total of four people were hired. During the spring
and summer of 1915 Mr. Ridington and Miss Jefferd unpacked
the books, accessioned them and arranged them in broad classes on
the shelves so that they could be used and then began to classify
them according to the only partially-completed Library of Congress
8 scheme. The decision to use the scheme was one of the far-sighted
decisions for which the Library must always be grateful to Mr.
At first the students were given free access to the shelves. However there was no stampede. In the first month of term the loans
averaged "over ten volumes per day." The Library Minutes recorded :
The total evening attendance for October is 60... on an average a
little over four a night. There has not been a single visitor to the
Library on Saturday evenings. It would appear that the students are
otherwise occupied	
But the Reading Room soon became crowded. In November the
Librarian reported, "It is not unusual to see every chair in the
Reading Room occupied and from 20-30 students perched on
window-sills and radiators in the stack-aisles."
Crowding was to become worse during the ten years at Fairview.
In spite of the meagre budgets and partly through Mr. Ridington's
flair for attracting gifts and exchanges, the collection grew. "Additional stacks had to be super-imposed on those already erected
until they reached the ceiling. Part of the main lobby was taken
into the stack room. A lean-to addition was erected that gave shelf
space for a further 10,000 or 12,000 volumes."
In these conditions the small staff accomplished stupendous
labours. In February 1916, with Miss Jefferd classifying books and
Miss Attwaters classifying pamphlets, the Librarian was able to
announce that six hundred items were being added to the collection each week. All the labelling was being done by Mr. Ridington
himself (it took three to five hours daily) and by that time seventy
per cent of the bound volumes, excluding long sets, had been classified. By the end of 1916 this could be said of most of the collection.
In such circumstances the characters of the Library staff were all
important and therefore this section of the scrapbook is mainly
devoted to reminiscences of them. John Ridington
Exactly what sort of man was John Ridington? Stories about
him are profuse, many of them verging on the legendary. And, as
with any legend, it is often difficult to separate fact from fantasy.
Certain it is that his background was colourful, his interests catholic, and his talents considerable. Dogmatic and outspoken, he was
the type of person about whom controversy naturally flourished.
People were seldom uncommitted about this man who made such a
marked impression on our present institution.
In the 1916 student annual, for example, are two decidedly
different pictures of the Librarian — the first, tinged with a certain
awe; the second, acidly unimpressed.
John Ridington, our Librarian, has had rather a variegated career.
He was born in England in 1871. After teaching for some years in the
City of London College, he came to Canada, where he served his time
in the pedagogic ranks of the Province of Manitoba. He then entered
journalism, first as editor of a small-town paper and then as a reporter
on the Winnipeg Free Press. Starting from this humble position he
rose and held in succession every editorial chair. Threatened with a
breakdown in health, he was forced to resign, and identified himself
with a large colonization company. As American agent of this company he superintended the bringing of hundreds of American settlers
into Canada. Five years ago he came to the coast, where for some
time he divided his attention between the financial and the scholastic
world until he was called upon to undertake his present work of cataloguing the library of the University of British Columbia. In addition
to this he lectures in the English department.
He is already a well-known figure in our precincts, and there are few
of us who have not at some time seen his bearded countenance appear
unexpectedly from behind a barricade of books, to gaze down reprovingly upon us and, if need be, make a few remarks in pithy, and
Johnsonese English. He is a walking reference book for the student
who wishes to write an essay or get up a speech in a hurry, and his
casual remarks send some of us surreptitiously to the dictionary. He is
the only man who can smoke in the college precincts — the only man
who can talk in the library.
* * * *
John Ridington looks
As if he knew books.
But we know John —
And we don't let on.
There is no doubt in either portrait that Mr. Ridington's future
regime would be authoritarian. But this impression of him was not
10 confined to the student body alone, as the following remarks from
members of the teaching faculty and his own staff attest.
The day after I joined the staff of the U.B.C. in September 1919, I
went to the Library (then housed in the hospital building) to look
for some books to enable me to prepare my first lecture. A portly man
at once descended upon me and told me that freshmen should remember that they were no longer school children, and that they were
not allowed in the stacks. This was my first encounter with John
Ridington was a remarkable man. He was said to have entered the
employment of the University to help in unpacking books for the
Library. His self-image at once became that of Librarian, and he soon
succeeded in justifying it. In the course of his very varied career he
had done most things, though not, as far as I am aware, library work.
He could give a lecture on any subject at very short notice. He quickly
made himself tolerably well acquainted with the professional aspects
of library work and was, I believe, accepted by university librarians
without difficulty. He was a Micawber for whom something had
turned up. henry f. angus
Mr. Ridington's pride in the new building was such that he warred
with anyone who dared enter the building with his hat on. He stopped
a professor one day, carrying an armload of books. "Please remove
your hat when entering this building," said the Librarian. And the
fusillade that followed resounded through the corridors.
He rarely admitted a mistake. I remember he misquoted Shakespeare
once in dictating a letter. Eventually the letter was typed with the
quotation corrected, and the mistake pointed out. "Kindly re-type it
as dictated," was Mr. Ridington's comment.
Miss Dorothy Jefferd and Miss Anne Smith usually approached him
together on matters of Library policy, and the two made quite an
invincible team. evelyn hearsey
This combination of boundless energy and unswerving faith in himself and the Library impressed John Ridington's contemporaries.
But his formidable manner was frequently tempered by a genuine
concern for the welfare of his friends.
Letter to Miss Margaret Clay, on her appointment as Head of
Victoria Public Library, September 12, 1924.
... If one is blessed, as I fortunately am, with reasonably good health,
he can devote himself, practically to the exclusion of all other matters,
to library work. I frequently work 12 to 14 hours a day in this Library,
and suffer no ill effects therefrom, but if one is not in that fortunate
condition, they are not justified in living almost wholly for the institution, for the success of which they are responsible. In fact, they will
he unable to do as good work as though they set aside a part of their day for recreation and physical exercises. You will, of course, agree a
change of occupation permits one to return to their main job with a
good deal more of vigour and resilience than if they devoted their
whole attention to their professional work. "All work and no play
makes Jack a dull boy." You will, therefore, pardon my suggesting
that, in the interests of your work, as well as for your own sake, you
do not sacrifice your health because of your interest in your work....
Libraries, like cathedrals, exude an almost sacred aura to the uninitiated public. Doubtless this was the intent behind the admittedly
lofty design for the present building. But the effect achieved has
not always been one sought. From the earliest days in the "Fair-
view shacks" the leit-motif of the U.B.C. Library has been the echo
of the human voice.
December 13, 1915.
Mr. Sherwood Lett,
President, Students Council,
University of British Columbia,
My dear Mr. Lett,
At the last meeting of the Library Committee two matters of importance were discussed, both having to do with the observance of
Library and Reading Room regulations by the student body, and I
was instructed to communicate with you.
The first matter discussed was the frequent non-observance of the
rule of silence. I have on several occasions had to speak to students
in the Reading Room, who were engaged in conversations so loud as
to prevent study on the part of those who were reading. In all university libraries I have visited the reading rooms are as quiet as a
church. Even in public libraries the rule of silence is observed. But a
certain proportion of our students come into the Library in loud talking groups and, while preparing to study at the Reading Room tables,
converse with one another just as they would do in a classroom in the
intervals between lectures. I am informed that, during my absence in
teaching, occasionally this loud conversation is proceeded with just
as if the Reading Room were a students' social hall	
12 True to the spirit of youthful irreverance, the Class of 1921 displayed an ironic attitude to the problem.
i. When you enter hold open the door and let your sweet voice echo
through the room. If there is no one with you with whom to converse, just talk to yourself anyway. It heralds your approach very
2. Come in after the style of an express train, whistling two or three
times, and stamping your feet. Should this pass unnoticed, run
around several of the tables before you decide where to deposit
yourself and books	
4. When you sit at a table it often provides a welcome diversion if
you carve your name on it in full, with your year and class section,
and the names of all your friends likewise. This gives a most delightful rustic summer-house effect to the appearance of the
7. While engaged in conversation should you hear the gentleman at
the desk rapping his pencil on no account must you cease talking.
He is only amusing himself by beating time to simple little tunes
that he is humming under his breath. No doubt he would be
greatly encouraged if you began tapping also....
from the U.B.C. Annual, 1917-1918
From the Minutes of the Library Committee, 1916-1924.
The Secretary then gave, for the information of the Committee, a
summary of the Library Budget. For the twelve months ending June
30th, 1916, the amount approved by the Governors was $7,402.01. Of
this, $3,007.26 was for salaries, and $1,254.75 for building and equipping the Reading Room ...
... notable contributions of books had already been received from
Harvard University, the John Crerar Library, and the New York
Public Library, while similar donations had been promised by McGill
University and the Parliamentary Library at Ottawa.
October 16,1916
There are no changes in the staff, except the addition of Mr. Haweis
as loan clerk. In order to meet this necessary addition to the staff the
sum of $360.00 had to be provided by reduction of other items of the
Library budget.
The suggestion had been made that the Invalided Soldiers Commis-
13 sion establish a course in book-binding with a competent instructor,
and that University books could be given to the soldier students as
The total attendance was 678, as against 564 for the corresponding
months of last year. They were distributed by months as below:
April 1918
* October 1918
* November 1918
December 1918
January 1919
February 1919
March 1919
Influenza epidemic.
OCTOBER 17, 1919
By direction of the President, the salary of Miss Jefferd has been
raised from $75 to $90 a month, the increase taking effect on September the 1 st.
October 18,1921
The annual check of the Library has been held. Losses were in excess
of any previous years, numbering 155 volumes, of which 24 had since
been recovered....
The Librarian brought tcj the attention of the Committee that in this
year's budget, no appropriation had been granted for Student Assistance. Strong representations had been made by many students, of the
necessity for the Reading Room being kept open in the evenings....
Payment for this service should be made at the rate of 30^ an hour....
A letter was read from Mr. Albert E. Richards, Chairman of the
Entertainment Committee for the Freshman Reception, requesting
permission to use the Reading Room on the evening of October 21st
for the entertainment of students who do not dance This request
was granted.
august 9, 1922
During vacation Miss Jefferd had completed the classification and
cataloguing of PA (Classics), the work being finished with the exception of the typing of the cards. The classification of Religion was
about four-fifths completed and would be finished in two or three
NOVEMBER 20, 192 2
A communication, signed by eighteen heads of Departments in the
Faculties of Applied Science and Agriculture, protesting against the
temporary discontinuance, of subscriptions to Continuations and Serials
was then read.... After prolonged discussion, the matter was disposed
of by the following resolution: that in view of the inadequacy of the
14 Library Budget for 1922-23, the Library Committee suggests that
Departments ask permission frcjm the President to transfer to the
Library Funds... sufficient money from any Departmental fund available ... for the purpose of subscription to periodicals....
SEPTEMBER 21, 1923
During the past session it had been discovered that some students
had indulged in the practice of giving at the Loan Desk, Reader's
Registration Numbers other than that issued to them.... In some
cases this had been done without the consent of the student whose
number was so used To meet this situation, it was proposed to
issue to each student on Registration Day an "Identification Card." ...
Dorothy M. Jefferd
A tiny figure in blue-grey English tweed accompanied by a large
Airedale, who somehow managed to get plenty of space in a streetcar otherwise jammed to suffocation with students on their way to
the Fairview campus — that is my first recollection of Dorothy
With her dog stretched out nearby, Miss Jefferd and Mr.
Ridington undertook all the tasks of the new library from the opening of the huge crates of books to the cataloguing, typing, revising
and filing of cards in the new card catalogue. Indeed the speed and
accuracy of her eye in catching mistakes were phenomenal and
fully justified her brothers' childhood nickname of "shrimp eye."
The typists who came later would have agreed. Gradually the
staff was increased. In 1920 she was officially the "Cataloguer" and
in 1944 the "Head of the Catalogue Department." By 1954 when
she returned the Library staff numbered 65 and that of the Catalogue Department, eleven.
At the special opening of the north wing in 1948, Dr. Kaye
Lamb paid tribute to Miss Jefferd as the only person through
whose hands all the books in the library had passed. In 1951, Dr.
Leslie Dunlap, then Chief Librarian, said he was sure she was
the only librarian on the continent who had been in charge of
cataloguing for such a long period and had seen the collection grow
from nothing to approximately half a million volumes, and all this
with no backlog of books waiting to be processed.
But in recalling Dorothy Jefferd's career, one does not think of
her as a cataloguer or as a librarian, but as a dynamic human
being, whose personality colour[ed the warp and woof of library life
and gave rise to endless stories. "Her desk was intelligence centre
15 for the University" said one professor to me. Amusing, soft-hearted
and wonderfully generous, but with a quick wit and an astringent
tongue, she had hosts of friends who will quickly recognize such
favourite maxims as "never explain and never apologize," and
"I'm not going to be taken for granted." She never was.
Witty, lively, an excellent raconteur, she was a marvellous hostess
on whose many gay parties I look back fondly. For years she had
evaded accepting office in B.C.L.A. But finally she was forced to
become the Chairman of the Catalogue Section. Pressed by the
executive to tell what her programme was going to be, she resolutely refused to say. In fact she said there would be no programme.
True to her promise, when we went to Bowen Island for the Conference, the Cataloguers held a meeting unlike that of any similar
group before or since — a party in a rowboat plus a magnum of
champagne! The programme was never disclosed, but there was no
doubt about the success of that session.
Miss Jefferd was never at a loss for an apt epithet, often with a
touch of malice. Even yet I hesitate to quote those applied to various professors which were hilariously funny and with enough truth
to sting. But I might mention one or two referring to places or
things in the building, which for thirty years, were common library
terminology, such as the "Cave-Brown-Cave," "Mysteria" and the
"dinosaur." All have entertaining stories, now a part of our library
Among her close friends were Professor Freddy Wood and
Dorothy Somerset, whose passion for the theatre she shared. She
read plays constantly and was always helping the Player's Club, on
whose advisory board she served. In fact she went on a number of
tours with them as the official chaperone. Hugh Palmer (now a
Director of C.B.C. Television) recalled the 1936 tour of The
Stoops to Conquer when he played Marlowe against Davie Fulton's
Hastings. When the tour reached Vancouver Island and Hugh
was stricken with laryngitis, Dorothy produced her famous silver
flask and bade him gargle with brandy just before curtain time.
This worked for a while, but at Qualicum nothing seemed to help.
Then Dorothy appeared with some kind of white powder and a
straw through which Davie was to blow the powder to soothe
Hugh's vocal chords. Whatever it was, Hugh got through the final
performance thanks to Dorothy's novel remedy.
In 1954 when she retired, she went on a three months' trip to
Europe. But such was the dearth of cataloguers that she was per-
16 suaded to return to work, which she did very happily under Miss
Marjorie Alldritt, until 1957.
This ability to accept and adapt herself to changing circumstances without repining is one of her notable characteristics. During her long illness of more recent years, I have never heard her
complain. The other day when she was looking at the current programme of the Playhouse, she asked me to bring her Turgenev's
A Month in the Country to re-read. But there was no grumbling
because she couldn't see the performance.
It is a pleasure to know that the name of this gay and dauntless
university library pioneer will not be forgotten. Her brother has
established the Dorothy M. Jefferd Scholarship in the School of
Librarianship as a memorial to her. And, there is a collection of
biographies relating to World War I — a topic chosen by her —
given by Dr. H. R. MacMillan, in appreciation of her contributions.
Lionel Haweis
"The University should pay him just to give atmosphere to the
Library," said one of the Deans to me of Mr. Haweis as he passed
by in the stacks.
My first recollection of him is of a tiny sprite with long flowing
locks, in vest and shirt sleeves, climbing down one of those moveable floor to ceiling ladders in the old Fairview stacks, and of his
tart comments when he reached the floor.
Mr. Haweis told me he was the black sheep of his family. By
this he only meant, I think, that he continued the non-conformity
of his forbears, who founded the London Missionary Society, assisted the literary efforts of the fiery Italian patriot Mazzini in his
London exile, supported Garibaldi, and the Pre-Raphaelites before
the latter became popular.
Educated at King William's College, Isle of Man, and Marlborough, he served variously on the editorial staff of the Daily
Mail, as a tea planter in Ceylon, and as a professional photographer
in Vancouver.
He donated some early photographic journals to the library, of
whose value, he, a knowledgeable collector, was well aware.
Although his appointment in 1917 described him as "Loan
Clerk" and in 1935 as "Accessions Clerk," which in the first place
merely meant page boy and in the second mainly the accessioning
17 and mailing of the books, these appointments give no clue to his
personality and influence. No one discounted Mr. Haweis.
A great friend of Professor Thorleif Larsen who really founded
the Letters Club, Mr. Haweis was its official archivist for years. His
desk was a favourite stopping place for professors who would remain to discuss literature, philosophy, Yoga or whatever interested
them at the moment, for hours at a time, somewhat to the detriment of his work and the indignation of Miss Jefferd.
Along with his duties as the Accessions Clerk, he was supposed
to sort and file the British and Canadian government publications.
I well remember, after searching vainly for some D.B.S. document,
asking him something about his filing arrangements. "No one ever
bothered one about them until you joined the staff," he said looking at me sternly. "For the D.B.S. material I put all the things you
can eat in one pile and those you can't in another."
When I was an undergraduate, the personnel of the University
Library was very important to us, and especially to the small group
of us who were what passed for the "literati" of that day. We were
a very unsophisticated group of young people, except perhaps in
the intellectual sense.
Lionel Haweis was our confidant and friend, much closer to us
than our professors. He was a small, slight man who wore a dusty-
looking black jacket and his grey hair in a long bob. A son of
Canon Haweis, he came from a literary English family and was
himself a writer and poet. The hospitality of him and his wife
meant much to us, and very often a group sat around their fireplace talking the long night through. Regaled with coffee, we discussed life, death, and religion; art, literature, and music. Out of
this came the idea of preparing and publishing, in a limited edition,
a selection of our own verses, calling it a chapbook.
Mr. Haweis was immensely interested in and sympathetic to the
young, earnest, and bookish people we then were. I do believe he
did more to develop our literary creativity than any professor.
Lionel Haweis of the staff of the University of British Columbia
Library has brought honor to this province by winning the bronze
18 medal for a published volume of verse in the literary section of the
festival of arts and letters, sponsored by the Panton Arts Club of
The following is from a review of Mr. Haweis' poem, "Tsoqalem,
the Cowichan Monster," in The Panton Magazine of Art, Literature and the Drama:
This remarkable poem deserves to be ranked with "Hiawatha" and
"The Ancient Mariner." Accepted by the Royal Society of Canada as
part of their proceedings in 1918, the published volume is introduced
by a foreword from the pen of Charles Hill-Tout The story of the
war between the spirits of good and evil for Tsoqalem's soul is to
Indian mythology what the story of Faust is to Christianity.... In illustration of the haunting simplicity of the style and the writer's sympathy with Indian mentality, we piay quote these stanzas from Canto
And now the Fisher of the Night
Was trolling in the sky;
His cloudy Craft was lapped in Light
Who sailed and fished on high.
There, where no earthly Aspect mars
The heavenly Seas, whose Tides
Are flecked and decked with cresting Stars,
The crafty Fisher rides.
And as he rides he softly sings
The magic Song of Sleep,
The while he deftly baits and flings
His tackle in the Deep.
from The Province, August 31, 1927
"Hope long deferred maketh the heart sick." Each year President Wesbrook planned for the long-awaited move to Point Grey
and after his death President Klinck did so. But the move was slow
in coining. After 1919 it became necessary to deal with matters of a
different sort: growing numbers, a government with many other
calls upon it, and financial difficulties which involved fees for the
students and cuts in salary for the faculty.
The move to Point Grey, when it finally took place in 1925,
ushered in a few golden years. U.B.C. students of the "twenties"
were an unusual generation whose determination in arousing public
opinion had been greatly responsible for forcing the government
to float a loan. It was a generation whose joy in the freedom and
beauty of a new campus was unaffected by piles of rubble and un-
gardened grounds.
The grandiose neo-Gothic Library was one of the few monuments of the new campus. Only three buildings, the Science Building, the Power House and the Library were built according to the
original plans. Apart from them there were nine "semi-permanent"
buildings, still with us, as is the way with semi-permanence. When
the last of the workmen left the Library on October 31, 1926,
building was over for many more years than anyone then suspected.
Till about three centuries ago knowledge was preserved, and its
progress continued by being poured from mind to mind through
human contact. Personal and racial experience was carried on from
generation to generation almost wholly by means of the spoken
word. Such formal education as then existed was pursued in like
manner. The ardent Hebrew student, Paul, sat, centuries ago, at
the feet of Gamaliel, and Greek philosophers and medieval moralists
at Corinth and Athens, and Oxford, Padua and Paris, discoursed
of life and men, its nature and his destiny, to eager minds attracted
by interest in the subject and the fame of the teachers.
But Gutenburg changed all that. The long series of mechanical
inventions that started with movable types and primitive presses,
and, which are not yet finished in these days of mono-type machines
and three-colour half tones, have effected an utter revolution in all
the means of transmission of knowledge. In the twentieth century
the book is the supreme symbol of education.
In the humanities, languages, literature, and the social sciences
books are almost the only required educational tools. In the physical
and experimental sciences the results obtained are largely valuable
only in terms of previously observed phenomena as recorded in the
printed page. The fact that so many universities, like that of British
Columbia, have an open book blazoned in chief on its coat of arms,
is therefore a fact of real significance.
It is true that development of electrical science today makes it
possible for a speaker to be perfectly heard by an audience of fifty
thousand people; the impress of the delicate spirally arranged serrations on a disc of glue will perpetuate, for the future generations,
the voice of scholar, statesman or singer; while telephone and radio
open up vistas of unprecedented educational opportunity, as yet
unutilized, for the spoken word. The movie, too, may, in future
days, do much, but the movie is but a book picture given motion,
and interpretation of what is seen has to be furnished by reading,
as in a book, the descriptive sub-titles.
These things are really marvellous, apt as we all are to take them
casually. Nevertheless, in spite of the possibilities of these wonderful things, they are recognized as adjunct to, rather than the super-
21 cessor of, the book as a fundamental instrument of education. To
say that the book is at the very heart and core of modern education— that without books, collections of books, and libraries,
education as we today conceive it is impossible — is not a mere
rhetorical expression, but a statement of cold sober fact.
Universities early recognized the place that books could, and
must, occupy in education, and most of the oldest and greatest
libraries in the world — the Bodleian in Oxford, and Harvard in
America — are university institutions. Indeed, modern universities
give to their libraries and library buildings location and recognition
commensurate with the importance that the book plays in modern
education. The largest university in America is Columbia, in New
York, and its buildings are grouped round the stately Grecian pile
of its library. At the present moment there is under construction at
the University of Washington, the splendid first unit of a new
library building that will be the architectural focus of the whole
building design.
Very few universities were planned and designed from the date
of their origin. Most of them were like Topsy in Uncle Tom's
Cabin, they "jest growed." Of those designed from the very beginning our own Provincial University was perhaps second, the first
being Leland-Stanford University at Palo Alto in California. To
California also belongs the honor of having the third university
designed ab initio, this being the University of Southern California,
now under construction at San Diego.
In any such planned and designed university the library would
naturally occupy a very important place. Originally it was intended
that the library of the University of British Columbia should form
part of the great administration building. Fear that association with
a building partially devoted to other uses might cramp and limit
the library in its future growth induced the University authorities
to place it on its own "quad." There the first unit has been erected
and is now under occupation.
The library of the University has been designed on principles
quite new among buildings of its class. From the very first, architect
and librarian have had in mind the fact that one or two generations is a very short time when compared with the life of a university, and that no British Columbian now living can say with
certainty to what dimensions the institution may grow in the course
of even the next hundred years. This unknown, but vital, factor of
expansion was at all times sought to be provided for in designing
22 the library building. It has been accomplished by planning a building to be erected in sucessive units, as means permit and growth
The present building, erected at a total cost of about $525,000
will give reading and study accommodation to about 350 students,
and accommodation for about 135,000 volumes. But twelve other
units are already planned for, and reading and study accommodation can then be provided for possibly 2,000 students, while provision has been made to shelve more than 2,500,000 volumes. When
it is remembered that the largest university library in America —
Harvard — has, at the present time, only a little over 2,000,000
volumes, it will be seen that for some centuries to come there will
be no need to tear down any parts of the library building of the
University because they are incapable of expansion.
There are certain requirements in a complete library building
which the present unit by no means perfectly meets. For instance,
there are no seminars in which advanced classes can be guided
through the book material relating to their subject under the direct
instruction of a professor. These facilities will not be available until
the next unit is erected. But the library has unsurpassed facilities
for private study; its commodious and dignified reading rooms will,
at any one time, accommodate almost one-fourth of the present
student enrollment, and its fine collection of 53,000 volumes includes a very high percentage of the fundamental works necessary
in the courses which the University at present offers.
It is therefore natural that every officer and student of the University, and in particular the library staff, are congratulating themselves upon the inclusion of the magnificent library building in the
new equipment of the University. The really remarkable record
made by its faculty and graduates in the first decade of the University existence will, it is hoped, be even surpassed under the excellent facilities for study and research which the library can now
from The Province, October 15, 1925
Meanwhile the number of students grew steadily to almost 2,000
in 1930 and there was plenty of room for them. Relations with the
government were cordial and University budgets increased each
year to $625,000 in 1929-30. The sunshine and tranquillity of those
years are golden in the memories of David Brock and Roland
You may think there is no date cut into the stone facade of the
original 1925 portion of the U.B.C. Library. But if you think that,
you are wrong. Slightly above and a little to each side of the main
door there are two little carvings, left there as a private joke by the
stonemasons. They are not very big, and they are in low relief, and
your eye does not normally seek out that part of the entrance anyway. But hundreds and thousands of us know they are there, for all
that. One carving represents a Fundamentalist and is labelled
FUNDA. He bears a close resemblance to the familiar Prohibitionist figure of the cartoons, though I do not suppose a disbelief in
liquor always went with a disbelief in Darwin. The other carving
shows a kind of ape, and is labelled EVOL. And thus the visitor
can tell, even now, that these carvings were made while the Scopes
trial in Dayton, Tennessee, was hot news. In other words, in 1925.
This was the year when Evoe (not Evol) of Punch wrote one of
the best of the "Carry-me-back" songs that were so popular and
indeed mechanical in that decade when everybody wanted to go
back to his little old shack and suffered from what you might call
the Innisfree Complex. I have neither the space nor the legal right
to quote you all of "Way Down in Tennessee," but it starts like
this, and it starts, as all songs should, with what the singers call
Oh, would I were in Tennessee,
The soil where all is fair and free,
Where man can never, never be
Descended from the apes;
But here in this benighted land
The veriest child can point the hand
And shout to me "Ah, ha! Ah, ha!
A monkey was your grandpapa!
How like you look this afternoon
To your great-uncle the baboon!"
And other senseless japes.
24 There are six more stanzas, and if you want to look them up they
are in a book called Poems of Impudence, signed with Evoe's full
name, which was E. V. Knox. I doubt if you will find a copy in
the U.B.C. Library, because few libraries are really strong in the
old masters of the funny stuff. Which is absurd, because the really
funny men are usually wiser in their generation than the children
of light... they have a better sense of proportion, for it is impossible to know what is incongruous until you know what is congruous. Also, the targets of the funny men are essential to a knowledge of social history. Let me give you a tiny example. Today it is
commonly thought that everyone in the 1920's wore coonskin coats
to college, and that everyone took these absurd garments seriously.
Only by flicking through the fighter magazines do you begin to
realize that practically everyone laughed at them and hardly anyone wore them. During one winter term at Yale, in the dear quiet
twenties, there were exactly three coonskin coats on that whole
campus, and this was considered too many.
I might tell you, though, that one British Columbia library does
have a rare treasure in funny books. The Vancouver Public Library
owns a copy of Krazy Kat, a book almost impossible to get. I was
once in touch with the literary executor of Herriman, who of
course created Krazy Kat, and he told me that if I would steal him
that book, he would make me a gift of the television rights to
Krazy Kat. So you can see how rare the book is, and how rare my
honesty too.
Where were we? Oh, yes, standing outside the U.B.C. Library,
staring up at Funda and Evol. We half-witted freshmen liked to
pretend, back in 1926, that the monkey had something to do with
"Speak no evol, hear no evol, see no evol," and since the initial
letter of Funda was very weak, we thought this Puritan figure was
possibly named Tunda and had some connection with the T'unda-
boid, a West Coast myth that was becoming very troublesome even
forty years ago. We had already begun to pretend we were Indians,
though at least we had the wit not to go calling our athletic teams
the Thunderbirds. When the Alma Mater Society ordered the English Rugby Club, quite tyrannically, to describe its first team as
Thunderbirds, from the nud-thirties on, some of us prophesied that
never again would U.B.C. have quite so many and such great athletic triumphs as it once had. After all, there is only one Thunderbird, if it exists, and it is probably our enemy. To borrow and
pluralize its name and use it frivolously is to invite bad wishes from
25 the Thunderbird and from its Indian chums alike. And with the
single exception of a brief heyday for the U.B.C. oarsmen, our
prophecy has come all too true. In the ig2o's it seemed pleasant
but completely natural that we should have the best English Rugby
teams in North America (and be able to hold the New Zealand
Maori team to a draw); that we should hold the Canadian soccer
championship; that we should have the best high jumpers in Canada, ending with an Olympic gold medal in 1932, and have a student with two Olympic gold medals for sprinting and a professor
with an Empire Games gold medal for sprinting; that we should
play first-class amateur ice hockey, and win a Dominion boxing
championship, and so on. We took such things for granted, though
we were a tiny outfit. And then some public relations type thought
up that childish and fatal business about Thunderbirds.
As a result of this doom, the steps of the Library saw a stranger
sight than anything that ever took place in the stacks, and this is
saying plenty. One day in the 1930's I returned to U.B.C, not for
the first time, to help the Rugby Club stage one of its ghastly annual vaudeville shows, which we called The Ballet Who, and some
of us made a little pilgrimage from the auditorium to the Library
steps, where we took off our hats to the figure of T'unda and said
"Sorry, T'unda." I feel it is only because we did this that U.B.C.
has ever won anything at all. I believe, for instance, that it recently
won a football game against Sarah Bland Stoat Junior College of
Pysht, Wash, (population 623).
In one edition of The Ballet Who we sang some feeble verses
about John Ridington, who had been librarian almost from the
very start of the Fairview shacks. I say "almost," because when he
first turned up out of nowhere, he said he would enjoy working
free, sweeping the floor and unpacking crates and so on, and this
later led to his being made librarian. During the Depression I was
told more than once that a good way to get a job was to follow
John. I never got round to trying it, because I was terrified that
instead of being made simply a librarian, I might have to be a university president. And we all know what happened to Sir Joseph
Porter after he polished up that handle so carefully. It sounded a
dangerous and dizzy game to me.
Some of the songs we sang about the faculty and staff were not
without wit. For instance, in the days when Dr. Sedgewick wrote a
column called "More Light than Heat" in the Vancouver Daily
Sun, we sang:
26 Doc Sedgewick writes a column, it is called "More Light than Heat."
The Daily Sun assures us it's an intellectual treat.
I haven't got an intellect and so I read it not,
But I admire its modest name implying "Not so hot."
And there was one about Dr. Soward which explains itself:
Professor Soward once set out and said that he would test
The culture of the children in the high schools of the west.
The children all asserted the professor was no coward,
For the tests revealed the culture of Professor F. H. Soward.
But the bits about John Ridington were stupid, making fun of his
harmless beard and so on. Show me a man who is rude about other
men's beards and I will show you a provincial boor. Women are
even more insolent about these things. I am surprised that we
couldn't think of better ways to mock Honest John. His delusions
of grandeur, for example. He thought he was a king and the Library
was his castle, and he issued edicts. Now and then a forgery would
appear on the notice boards, burlesquing his prose and the wild
orders he issued, but the most outrageous parodies still sounded
very like the genuine edicts of King John and we took them for
genuine. I remember a fake notice which told us that we were
walking too much on the white portions of the black and white
squares on the floor, and in future we must all walk on the black
squares only, to improve the appearance of the world's finest
library. Half of us swore this was authentic. The rest pretended to,
and did awkward steps along the black squares, sometimes falling
with a tremendous crash, and unscholarly laughter. Those black
squares were noisier than the white.
This business about the world's finest library was a rather private
joke, and a rather direct quotation from King John himself. One
day he had two visitors, a husband and wife team from the Carnegie Foundation, who wished to give U.B.C. some money. King
John led the husband around the Library while the wife followed
with one of the deans. Falling back a few paces, the husband said
to his wife "My dear, you are now in the best library in the whole
world." She looked surprised and said "What makes you think so?"
He said "Why, Mr. Ridington himself ADMITS it."
King John made up library rules as he went along, until there
seemed to be at least one rule per student. About 150 years ago
there was a very good Scottish admiral named Philip Patton, and
he left us some excellent notions on morale and discipline and how
to prevent mutiny. I was particularly struck by his saying that any-
27 one can issue new rules every few minutes, but the effects of a
steady stream of new orders are usually bad and never helpful. It
reminded me so strongly of the day when King John issued a decree
which stated that the boots of Johnny Dalton were too big and
loud. He outlawed Johnny's boots. So from then on, every time
Johnny entered the Library, he took his boots off, tied the laces together, and hung them around his neck. He would then make a
stately tour of the whole library in his stocking feet, to make sure
he had hundreds of witnesses to the fact that he was obeying the
rules. And what these incessant tours did to concentrated study
was very deleterious. It was meant to be.
Another enemy of discipline was the fact that many of the female
librarians in those days had what we took (or mistook) to be a
hostile attitude to students. I honestly used to believe, no doubt
wrongly, that these sadistic monsters were positively glad to inform
me that I could never borrow any of the plays of Eugene O'Neill
because Professor Frank Wilcocks or Wilcox had had the whole set
for a year or more, and might never return them at all. At that
time, professors could do these things. Naturally, we were not encouraged to scream and yell inside the building, even when goaded
by female sadists, or sadistes. But we often went down the stairs
of King John's castle uttering curses so shrill that only bats could
hear them. And the words those women and we spoke of each
other, lambs could not forgive nor worms forget.
You will notice that I quoted Dickens just now, and I quoted
the Bible in talking about the children of darkness being wiser in
their generation than the children of light. I don't think we did
any too much studying in the 1920's. We were ten times as carefree
as any student today. James Thurber once calculated that irreverence hit its peak in 1928 and has been decaying ever since, till now
it is completely outmoded. People now loathe flippancy, or pretend
to, and they have forgotten that gaiety is the courage of the intelligent. But though we did not always put the Library to its proper
use, preferring to use the stacks for miming scenes from the un-
expurgated Arabian Nights, still, we were more literate in some
ways than people are now. As one small proof among many, we
never needed to identify allusions to Dickens and the Bible. Another
proof is that any reasonably literary magazine could make money
in the twenties, whereas in any later decade it went broke, and today things have got so bad that The Saturday Review and The
Atlantic have to cook up portentous articles on science and pretend
28 to keep you "informed" with a little of everything, and God help
the literary types. Here's another trifle, out of ten thousand: forty
years ago even the frivolous Vanity Fair would print articles in
French. Who would dare try that today, when most articles are not
even in English? Perhaps one day you bookworms would like a
whole essay on this one theme, the decay of literacy. Mere tables of
books borrowed per capita do not prove anything. About twenty
years ago I wrote for Punch a little Rubaiyat of a Reviewer:
And much though each new book keeps lit my light
And robs me of my rest by devious sleight,
I often wonder what the writers read
One half so rotten as the books they write.
I was referring of course to the books of the 1940's. But things have
got worse since then. People have got sillier and the language has
grown muddier.
And speaking of the magazines of the twenties, there was a delightful periodical room at the back and top of the old library, with
windows looking eastward across green fields and woods, where the
stadium is now. We reached it by a narrow little romantic stair
which led upwards out of the intellectual dust and into what
seemed almost civilization. The room was always half empty, as if
almost nobody knew about it, and there we played hooky and read
little poetry magazines, in those days when poets were important
men and even made half a living out of it. It seems romantic now
to think we were reading Thomas Hardy in The London Mercury
while he was still alive, but let me tell you it was romantic at the
time. There is nobody that important writing in any magazine today. That important, or that modest either.
Memories ... if you look inside the drawers of the older desks in
the stacks, you will find some of our names. I remember finding
Harry Hickman's name written very large in one of those drawers,
three decades later. But names alone tell you nothing. They do not
awaken in your ears the sounds of those hellish hot-air dryers in
the men's washroom, whose howlings made study impossible two
floors above them, nor do they recall to anyone the laughing yells
of a young man who was tearing the whole Library to pieces one
rainy afternoon to celebrate the fact that he had won a Rhodes
scholarship. When I told him he would be expelled, he gave me a
drunken leer and said "They can't. Nobody can touch a Rhodes
scholar. Too much scandal." And he went on wrecking the joint,
29 as a test case which he easily won. This young baron had King
John in his power.
I helped to organize a few simple climbs around the outside of
the Library, and for a while I offered a prize to anyone who could
get into that empty niche at the top of the west side and stay
there for an hour. I also organized the great 1930 spitting championship. We spat the length of the lily pond outside the front door,
and I won the prize for distance but none for accuracy. Not that
I live in the past. I am just recalling these things now because you
asked me to look back, and to show that I could be described as a
Friend of the Library, though I laughed at real students and real
study. My own studies have no possible use. There is therefore
something very noble about them. I can even tell you about quite
a recent book in the U.B.C. stacks which explains exactly how to
commit a murder and get away with it. But I will not tell the students its name. That shows I am still a Friend of the Library, and
still noble.
The Public Catalogue was on a couple of large tables behind the
old Loan Desk on Floor 5, with windows on the East wall. For an
early period we worked there on the qui vive, for there was the
final lot of stump-blasting being carried out, with some smashing
of these windows. On warm spring days, I used to go out at lunch,
jump a little ditch, and lie out in the wilds — not as far over as
the Brock is now. ROLAND LANNING
Bill Tansley
A janitor, I think, at first, Bill Tansley was one who hobnobbed
with the students and faculty. He was a great reader, and I once
bought a volume of Daniel Defoe from him when the Library
hadn't a copy. w L MACDONALD
Although acting as janitor, part of whose duties are as a watchman and the other part as sweeper and cleaner, in the long night
and morning hours my brain and imagination are at times very
busy, especially as I pass through the library and look on the seemingly endless rows of books.
30 Here is Froissart, truly in every sense a chronicler, and as I turn
over the pages richly illuminated and illustrated in the quaint
mediaeval way, I am reminded forcibly of Sir John Fastolf and
Caister Castle in Norfolk. Sir John was in charge of a section of
British troops in France and being ordered to take part in a battle,
refused on the grounds that it would be useless slaughter of his men
and in no event justifiable. Sir John was accused of cowardice and
tried, but was acquitted honorably.
I have many times visited the old castle, the first brick castellated
and moated structure erected in England. The outer walls and
tower still remain, also remains of the old staircase to the tower
At the base of the tower is the ancient fire-place, and by using a
stick and poking in amongst the crannies at the back, some of the
old soot can still be extricated — soot formed by the wood fires, at
one time flashing on the stern faces of battle-scarred warriors returned from Crecy and Agincourt and again from the disastrous
battles against Joan of Arc.
The castle subsequently came into the possession of the Paston
family. The Pastons of Shakespeare days remonstrated with the
bard of Avon for fibelling their ancestor, Sir John Fastolf. One of
the Pastons of the sixteenth century gave a letter of introduction to
a guest of his recommending him to the kind care of the landlord
of the Maid's Head Tavern: "And for his good entertainment I
will be charged." The Maid's Head Tavern still stands, as quaint
as ever, close to the old cathedral walls of Norwich.
Another volume, Visitations of Norwich, brought a flood of reminiscences to my mind of old Benet's Abbey, founded by Canute
the Dane, the monks of which, at Sir John Fastolf's death, were
specially barbered and shaved for the funeral obsequies.
How much the secular clergy hated the monks can be seen depicted in rude fresco on West Somerton Church. The secular priests
armed with pitch forks, are shown thrusting the monks into the
flames of hell. In this church are still extensive remains of the rood
screen and in the pulpit floor is a loose board, on the reverse of
which is an exquisite painting of the Virgin Mary, probably put
there to save it from the spoilers of time.
On taking up another volume, the title brings to my mind's eye
Garionomme, or Burgh Castle, close to Yarmouth, the twin fortress
of Richburgh, down in Kent. It had a number of turrets or Pharos
which were lighted in case of threatening attack by the British.
3i The fort itself, built of flint and rubble and stiffened by three layers
of Roman tile, is in form three side of a square; the end not walled
facing what was then the sea, now a long distance away. The old
well still remains, also a lane called by the natives: "The Loke,"
probably taking its name from Loculus. It seems a long cry to hark
back to St. Fursins, the Celtic monk who established a mission in
the fortification after its evacuation by the Romans. Fursins fled to
France, to escape the savage Danes, who in one of their incursions
demolished the monastery and slaughtered its inmates. From the
writings of Fursins, it is said that Dante took inspiration for his
immortal Inferno. That book is here also.
What a wealth of sober wisdom is between the pages of another
book — Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, wisdom that
would be well applied today, written by one dead two thousand
years or so; "Sic transit gloria mundi."
In the remotest corner of the library can be found Appolonius
of Tyana, as if seeking an obscurity, the shadows of which he had
no desire to leave.
Gray's Elegy — yes, with its pathetic lesson for all. "The rude
forefathers of the hamlet sleep" — and, wearied with the long and
hard night's work, as I seat myself among this vast array of history,
romance and philosophy, the severe modernity of the stacks seems
to soften, the old, old monastic arches take shape, and the narrow
spaces resolve into scriptorum, with the painstaking monks laboriously inscribing those glorious pages on vellum.
But this dreaming will never do — a janitor's job is to clean and
dust and make the place presentable when the institution opens for
the students in the morning. wtlliam tansley
from The Ubicee, February 1917
Mr. Tansley eventually became curator of the notable ethnographic
collection acquired by Dr. Burnett in his travels.
Another funny thing was an indelicate object in the Burnett collection of South Sea curios.... Dr. Burnett turned down an offer
of half a million dollars for this collection and gave it to U.B.C.
instead. It was exhibited on the ground floor where the main loan
desk is now. Students who never used the Library at all would come
in to laugh at this obscene object and go away with new strength
for their boring tasks. So I suppose it was an aid to study.
32 From the Minutes of the Library Committee, 1925-1929.
April 23, 1926
... the Secretary was instructed to write President Klinck, drawing his
attention to the fact that the linoleum tops of thirteen out of the nineteen Reading Room tables were split....
june 8, 1927
The half of Tier 2, hitherto given up to bound newspapers and duplicates, had to be given over to the growing main collection.... Every
book in the Library has, therefore, to be moved. Three student assistants are doing the work under supervision of the Staff....
SEPTEMBER 14, 1927
An anonymous friend of the University has offered, and the Board of
Governors has accepted, a gift of $1,500 to install the Arms of the
Dominion and Eight Provinces in the lunette window in the inner
OCTOBER 12, I927
It was the opinion of the Committee that, while in a University Library there should be a fairly liberal interpretation as to the type of
books permitted general circulation, readers should be protected
against casual contact with works that have a proper place in the
collection, but should be consulted only for specific educational purposes. ...
October 12, 1927
The Catalogue Department has this year been engaged... in making
a beginning of their work of re-organizing the Subject Headings. This
is a long task and will take over five years.
NOVEMBER 9, 192 7
The request of the students who have organized a shoe shine stand
for permission to use the lower lobby of the library building for this
purpose on rainy days was granted.
DECEMBER 14, 1927
Only one work in the Library was specifically named as being undesirable, because of its contents, for general circulation.... One head
of Department suggested the segregation of unnamed works of Freud.
All newly-received and catalogued books have been placed on exhibition in the Faculty Room each Friday from noon to 5 p.m.
The Periodical Department will proceed at once to the ordering of
subscriptions for 1929. In placing these orders it has been decided to
transfer from the firm of F. W. Faxon Company, Boston, to William
Dawson, Toronto, all subscriptions for Canadian publications. The
motive for this action is purely patriotic.
33 DECEMBER 12, 1928
The strain of the present system of lighting on the eyes of the staff
would appear to be indisputable. Five members of the staff have,
within the past year, had to see oculists, and one member of the staff
has had to have her glasses changed twice.
... The Librarian has opened the seminar room to partially meet the
overflow and has given permission for students to use the book exhibit
table in the main hall. At times students have been studying on the
staircases and every day others may be seen using the encyclopaedia
stand as a desk, and studying standing.
January 16, 1929
For the second time since the University moved to Point Grey, the
Applied Science students, as a body, made an organized parade
through the Reading Room as part of the preliminaries of a "Pep
Meeting." The demonstration was made in spite of the warnings of
the Librarian, who met the head of the procession at the basement
may 7, 1929
All members of the teaching staff were ... notified by circular that this
year all loans were to be returned for the annual check. This was
done in the majority of cases, but a large number of professors and
members of the teaching staff have not yet complied with this
NOVEMBER 12, 1929
The Librarian reports that on Tuesday, November 5, a freshman who
refused to wear his green cap broke from his captors and fled into the
Reading Room. He was pursued by five second-year men, who were
taking him by force out of the building with the intention of throwing
him into the pool. The proceedings were interrupted by the Librarian
who took the names of the offenders.
Few escaped the economic cataclysm that produced the Great
Depression. The seats of learning could claim no immunity and it
was during this decade that the very survival of the University
came into question.
The pattern was familiar, but being familiar made it no less
devastating. In three years the provincial budget for U.B.C. was
slashed by two-thirds — to a low of $250,000 in 1932. The Kidd
Committee, investigating government economy in that frightful
year, actually suggested that the grant to the University be dropped.
As an alternative it recommended scholarships to other universities
in the Dominion. This advice was rejected. U.B.C. survived. But,
for a considerable time, higher education in the province was
severely handicapped. Enrollment was limited; members of faculty
were clismissed; salaries cut, and all appointments were for a year
only. Although recovery began in 1933 and the University's budget
was up to $400,000 in 1937-38, the thirties were lean years.
The U.B.C. Library had come to the worst crisis in its history.
In the Minutes of the Library Committee are recorded many painful exigencies forced upon Mr. Ridington and his staff.
MARCH 9, 1932
The Librarian was instructed to prepare a circular letter to all Heads
of Departments advising them that the book funds for the coming
University year were not expected to be sufficient to continue more
than half the present periodical subscription list, and suggesting that
the cost of these ... should be borne by the Departments interested ...
april 12,1932
On April 1 st... the Library Staff was reduced by the discontinuance
of a second typist, two call boys, and all paid student assistants. Realizing the seriousness of the situation, particularly in the period just
35 prior to examinations, a number of student assistants and a few other
students offered to give unpaid service. Members of the Library Staff
volunteered for extra duty for the same period.
The discouragement which John Ridington suffered under these
circumstances is vividly reflected in his correspondence at the time.
Letter to Donald Cameron, University of Alberta, February 16,
... We have been working for years to build up a collection and a
service of books that, so far as I know, is (within limits, of course)
the best of any University Library in Canada. I have a good staff —
and I have to cut it practically in two. For seventeen years, the building of this Library has been with me my life work. All sorts of plans
and projects yet remain to be realized — and none of them will be, at
least in my time. This Library would have been my only memorial —
"Si monumentum requiris, circumspice," as St. Paul's Cathedral is of
Christopher Wren. And now the prospect is — starvation, retrogression. I am weary at heart and sick of soul — and underlying every
other emotion are feelings of impotence and rage.
Letter to Ernest Kyte, Librarian at Queen's University, March
2, 1932.
... The campus is thick with rumours. Old friendships are ruptured;
men are in opposite camps, taking sides, sometimes in the most unexpected fashion, and uncertainty and suspicion envelop us like a
miasma... The City of Vancouver is apparently quite indifferent
to the fate of the University. If we were a sash and door factory or
ran a plant for making jams, I suppose the Board of Trade would be
right up in the air at the "loss of an industry." But though the University of British Columbia means at least one and a half million
dollars a year to the City of Vancouver hardly a finger has been lifted
in our aid or a pen dipped to point a protest...
Letter to Dr. Robert Lester of the Carnegie Corporation, October 13, 1932.
... this particular note stated that the Committee on Appropriation
to College Libraries in Canada had met; that he had strongly urged
the claims of this Library; that he had met with sympathetic response.... We certainly need this grant, Robert — we need it bad!
This Library has for years past been spending about $12,000 a year
in books and periodicals. This year we are down to $2,000. Yesterday
I turned in to the President the Estimates for the University year
1933-34. In tne letter requesting me to do this there was an instruction that these estimates were not to exceed those of the present year.
Unless the financial situation eases up, therefore, or the University
authorities experience a change of heart, we shall be compelled for
36 the second year in succession to buy no new books, and to cut down
more than one-half of our periodical list. You can understand, therefore, with what anxiety — and hope — we are looking forward to the
news of the grant.
U.B.C. Library has always owed much to generous donors. Mr.
Ridington's earnest plea was heard, and at the Library Committee
meeting on November 8 came good news.
It is with great pleasure that the Librarian presents copies of correspondence from Dr. Keppel, President of the Carnegie Corporation,
to President Klinck, intimating that a grant of $5,000 a year for three
years has been made to the Library.
The Ubyssey, long engaged in its crusade against real and imagined tyrannies in the Library, paused briefly to pay its respects.
The recent announced grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New
York to the U.B.C. Library is another indication of the esteem in
which this university is held all over the continent. Especially is it a
tribute to the library itself, although at the same time it is one which
that institution has well and truly earned. For our library now ranks
as the fifth largest university library in Canada, and is unsurpassed
from a viewpoint of efficiency. In this position it is an invaluable contributor to the international prestige of the university as a whole, and
combined with an excellent faculty has made possible the high standard of scholarship for which U.B.C. graduates are so justly renowned.
For the maintenance of an up-to-date list of periodicals and books is
one of the most essential aids offered by a university to its students,
and students of U.B.C. appreciate the comprehensiveness of the material and excellence of the service offered to them. Some have even
given evidence of their apreciation by offering their services free to
the library in its time of need.
Credit for the intrinsic value of the U.B.C. Library as recognized in
the latest grant of the Carnegie Institute is of course due to the
Librarian, John Ridington, and the staff of able assistants who have
been working with him. Their faithful devotion to the interests of the
university through its library has at last brought forth tangible fruit,
and for that they are to be congratulated.
Through these hard time the University Library had a small staff
of remarkably able and devoted people who, with the energy of
beavers and the husbandry of squirrels, collected for a future library
which could only have been visible to faith. It was during this time
that Mr. Ridington obtained a depository set of Library of Congress catalogue cards, that Miss Smith resolutely increased the ref-
37 erence library, and that Roland Lanning somehow went on collecting serials concerned with subjects which the University did not
yet teach. Of those days, Mr. Lanning recalls:
The Library dropped some periodicals subscriptions, sending out a
general appeal to graduates to take on any they could. Students even
entered into the spirit, issuing a notice: "Due to the shortage of Library
janitors, you are requested to walk only on the black tiles." Lawns
were allowed to go wild. I did have a picture of a wagon being loaded
with hay in front of the Library.
In 1936, when the Library was twenty-one years old it had
100,000 volumes, 15,000 pamphlets, and subscriptions to 600
general, scientific and technical periodicals. What it had it shared,
lending to every part of the province. The Extension Library developed during this period, fulfilling many obligations of the
"People's University" Dr. Wesbrook had envisioned. Its remarkable
work enriched the lives of many borrowers in distant, sometimes
book-deprived, areas.
The Government has begun sending me cheques for fifty-five dollars so
I am celebrating by enclosing five dollars from the first cheque towards a new book for the library which means so much to me.
The U.B.C. Library meant much to a great many people. All
accounts agree that by the start of the Second World War its collection was small but unusually well balanced. It was an accomplishment against the odds.
The Lannings
Once upon a time, about eleven years ago, a battle-scarred veteran
made his very first foray in two years at the University into the forbidding stone library and with studied bravado passed his loan slips
to a little brown lady. She scurried into the stacks and returned with
seven of the ten books and apologized for not having found the three
others. "That's all right," quoth he, "I only wanted to sample each
of them anyway." Shocked by his cavalier attitude, she drew a verbal
sword; forgetting the knightly code, he then drew one too. Across
the counter they battled until magic words sent him reeling, paralyzed:
"You don't want an education! You want ice cream — you don't have
to work at eating that." Though the little brown lady probably does
not remember the incident — for she has no doubt had many such
battles — she had tossed the man a challenge, the most potent he was
to have in seven years. At that moment, however, she was transformed
by her own outburst; he was bewildered by the truth of it. In a trice
they recognized honesty, one in the other, and although they did not
marry, they lived happily as good friends ever after.
38 This affectionate testimonial was written by a former student
upon Mabel Lanning's retirement in 1961, after thirty-five years
as the presiding spirit of the main loan desk. She did more than
preside, of course. While locating and lending books she instructed,
corrected, criticized and commanded generations of library users,
and succeeded in making the connection in the student mind that
she was, in fact, the Library. And so she was, and so she remains,
for the question most often asked by the reminiscent visitor is
"Where is Miss Lanning?" The answer is that she is enjoying an
active retirement, having, after a post-retirement assignment, finally
refused to work for the Library any longer.
Unquestionably she could seem severe. But to all but the most
unperceptive, it soon became obvious that this was a mock severity,
a cloak for a soft heart. As Anne Smith recalls "Nothing was ever
too much trouble to help a student in distress. Running up and
down five flights of stairs because, by some sixth sense, she could
locate a misplaced book needed by a freshman when no one else
could, she never spared herself hard physical labour. For it was a
matter of pride with her that the inquirer obtained the book he
requested as soon as it was humanly possible. For many years it
was Miss Lanning who gave up her Easter weekend to keep the
Library open in order that students might have a quiet place to
study before exams."
This kind of selflessness demands a modicum of iron in the soul,
and this is to be found in equal amounts in her brother Roland,
who joined the staff with her in 1926, but whose duties kept him
out of the public eye. So much the worse for the public, and so
much the better for the scores of faculty members and fellow
workers who thus came to know and respect him. At his retirement
in 1965 it was possible to estimate that he had personally supervised the acquisition of about a quarter of the library's collections,
that quarter being the invaluable scholarly periodicals. His retirement was quickly followed by his reappointment and a mandate to
continue his life's work, and so it happens that his knowledge of his
specialty still daily astounds and confounds his colleagues. His kind
of knowledge is based on a high order of scholarship and mental
discipline, for it involves outstanding powers of memory, fainiliarity
with a score of languages and an uncommon breadth of learning.
Add to this the facts that he has always been the first to arrive at
the Library every day and is one of the last to leave, that those
who observe him in his characteristic rapid shuffle between home
39 and work see that he carries periodicals to read, and that he digests
at least three newspapers with lunch, and one begins to grasp the
extent of his commitment to and interest in the serially printed
But the man is so much more than a memory bank. His wry
humour, distilled in a crabbed script on tiny ragged slips of paper,
in the delight of all who are fortunate enough to discover the scribbled fragments in their mail, in books, or even in the card catalogue.
One searches in vain for the clue to whatever it is that makes
the Lannings special. There is a mysterious chemistry in the making
of human character. It is fondly hoped that the Lanning formula
has not been lost, although at present nonpareil is the only adjective that fairly describes this remarkable sister and brother.
Anne Smith
As readers of this history are by now aware, the U.B.C. Library
"old guard" were supreme foundation layers; and none more so
than Anne Smith. She came as Reference Librarian in 1930, was
later made Assistant Librarian, and retired in 1964. For the first
seven years, A.M.S. presided alone in a small corner of the concourse; but, despite her small stature, her presence was definitely
well known to faculty a|nd students. A first-rate scholar and a perfectionist, she covered all fields of research, and easily met professors on their own ground. There was no time to spoon-feed students; she taught them how to use the catalogue and the bibliographies, and turned them loose to get their own essay material.
Even in the days of little money, she built an excellent reference
collection; when the School of Librarianship began, we already had
most of the necessary tools. She sought out government publications
and out-of-the-way items, and trained her staff to use them.
A librarian's librarian, Miss Smith is known with awe and affection throughout the continent. She has always worked diligently
in professional organizations; has held high office, served on councils and on countless committees. She also encouraged and trained
many young persons to become first-rate librarians.
During two interregna, Miss Smith served as Acting Librarian.
The first of these, in 19-49, was a particularly difficult period when
the University was short of money. Many times she had to fight
battles for the Library, and usually she won them. By standing
firm, seemingful small staff injustices were corrected when it would
40 have been much easier to let them go on for the sake of campus
A wee mite, A.M.S. is a buridle of energy. She is a frequent and
perceptive traveller, a gay hostess, an avid reader (mysteries included), a devotee of music and art. At the time of writing this
piece, she is enjoying an active retirement studying classical Greek
and preparing for another long trip.
Eleanor Mercer
If you travel anywhere with Eleanor Mercer you soon cease to
marvel at the fact that wherever you may be — in Canada or
abroad — strange young men keep coming up to her and saying —
"I know you! You used to be at the U.B.C. Library!" Invariably
she remembers them too, and calls them by name without hesitation. In the thirteen years shei spent at the U.B.C. Library's Loan
Desk, between 1938 and 195^, Eleanor saw a great many students
come and go and it would stem that she hasn't forgotten any of
them — nor have they forgotten her.
Although she is no longer in this position where she met so many
students, she is still very much a part of the institution in which she
has spent all her working life*
In 1951 when Sam Rothstein left U.B.C. to go (temporarily) to
Illinois, Eleanor was asked to take over as Head of the Acquisition
Department which he had recently organized. She served the Library well in this capacity for twelve years but left the position in
1963 when an opportunity came to get back into an area of service
which provided more direct contact with the Library's users. As
Acting Head of the Extension Library for the year before it wound
up its affairs, Eleanor became well known to the Library's many
borrowers in the province and took a keen interest in the requests
and problems which came to her by mail.
At present she is in charge of the Library's Gifts and Exchange
Department where her wide knowledge of the book collection,
gained through her years in both Circulation and Acquisition stands
her in good stead.
Eleanor has always been actively associated with the professional
library organizations. She has served with distinction on many
committees of B.C.L.A., C.L.A. and P.N.L.A. She was President of
B.C.L.A. in 1950-51 and an elected member of the Council of
C.L.A. from 1950 to 1953.
41 In her out-of-office hours, Eleanor's most absorbing interest is in
sports. She is an enthusiastic follower of football, hockey and basketball — and her friends know enough not to ask her out — or call
her on the phone — when a game is being played in Vancouver or
broadcast on TV. She is also to be found at all the concerts given
in the City and most of the plays. She is keen on travelling — on
shopping — on knitting and needlework — and lately has developed a passion for cooking! What else? Oh yes, I almost forgot —
she also reads!
Perhaps it is a commentary on the tenacity of the U.B.C. student
that in bad times as well as good he was capable of variations on a
perennial theme...
The Librarian reported that 27 of the 30 "Silence" stands had disappeared from the Reading Rooms, and 31 of the 39 signs are likewise missing.
... and the usual cry of editorial outrage ..
The drastic sentences recently passed by the Faculty Council on three
victims for talking in the library will not serve to increase the respect
of students for the new regime of silence, or for those who enforce it.
The severe punishments were calculated to overawe the undergraduate
body, but they have succeeded in arousing a great deal of resentment
and ill-feeling. Those who were sentenced are regarded as martyrs
rather than as criminals	
Antagonism is not the Way to secure silence in the library. This Reign
of Terror that the authorities have instituted has produced antagonism, and a natural but deplorable disrespect. Pouncing on students
who dare to exchange a whisper, banishing them from the library for
several days or weeks, suspending them from the University — these
methods are to be condemned. Let us have more consideration and
co-operation on the part of both students and authorities.
and the more effective satirical jab
While seated in the library's sheltered home,
My hair awry, my hands athwart my brow,
A sudden thought bestruck my fuddled dome,
"Where are those cards with 'SILENCE' on them, now?"
42 No more we shrink before that awesome word,
That ominous stand upon each table laid.
With silent warning to forbid the herd,
From thundering in that sanctimonious shade.
Where are those signs tha^ once bechilled the soul?
We wondered if they'd passed from human ken.
But now we know they were the cherished goal
Of many a fratman to adorn his den.
So now take heed all ye that wish to learn
The force that made those grim reminders roam,
They now display their cryptic message stern
In happier guise in many a happier home.
With the retirement of John Ridington in 1940 an era came to
an end. He had once been described as "an anomaly in a university,
since he has no degree, and an anomaly in a library, since he has
had no formal training as a librarian." Now he was no longer part
of the campus scene. But the great impetus he gave to the growth
and development of the U.B.C. Library cannot be overestimated.
In the twenty-five years since he was at the helm many changes
have occurred. But his many contributions are still fondly remembered by his former colleagues.
I have never felt that his contemporaries on the faculty gave John
Ridington his due. To his judgment in selecting the Library of Congress classification when there Were few using it, we owe a great deal.
Through the friends he made at the short course he took in Albany
and through his activities in tiie American Library Association we
owe innumerable gifts, not least among them the thousands of government publications. Perhaps some of the early staff members would be
surprised to know how often and earnestly Mr. Ridington pleaded
their cause before the President. Dr. Klinck told me of how eloquently
he spoke on their behalf.
I remember a man who was a great asset to the Library in the days
when donations did not come easily. Mr. Ridington worked indefatig-
ably both with letters and through interviews to acquire gifts of valuable sets of books and money. The Library is richer for his zeal.
43 From the Minutes of the Library Committee, 1930-1940.
The New Year is notable in that the Library has completed another
10,000 in its registered accessions, the total of accessioned volumes reported today being 70,181. It will interest the Committee to know that
it has taken about 30 months to add the last 10,000 volumes.
There has arrived at thq Library about 70 volumes, works on Canadian history. These were purchased by Mr. R. L. Reid, k.c, while in
England, as part of the Valedictory Gift of the Glass of '31, and in
due course will be one of the Library's Special Collections.
april 15,1931
Mr. H. F. Angus took the Chair, and suggested to the Committee the
possibility of reductions in the expenses of the Department for the
University year 1931-32, in view of the serious loss of revenue consequent on the reduction of the provincial grant.... The Librarian
stated that, in expectation of decreased book revenues, the cataloguer
and the typist had planned this year to make fuller analysis in the
catalogue of the book collection.
SEPTEMBER 30, 1931
Miss Lanning recommends to the consideration of the Committee the
passing of a regulation that students should not be granted their year's
standing until all library loans were returned and fines paid, or the
book replaced.
January 20, 1932
Notification has been given to the Librarian by the President's Office
of expected reductions in staff and appropriations for the coming University year.
FEBRUARY 3, 1932
Captain Watson-Armstrong was in attendance in order to present on
behalf of His Majesty, the King of Siam, a copy of the Tripitaka or
Buddhist Scriptures, and also a Commentary on the same. The Librarian, in accepting the volumes, noted that this was the first important gift formally presented to the Library from any person outside
the University's own ranks. From its geographical position, the University of British Columbia would appear destined to have still larger
and more important relations with the industry and culture of the
October 4,1933
Miss Mary Barton, a professionally-trained librarian, has given service
for the past ten months. There being no library position open to Miss
Barton, she accepted the position of Call Boy for the present session
at a salary of $50 a month.
44 NOVEMBER 22, 1933
A letter from the President was read requesting that suitable books,
not required by the library, be turned over to Colonel Letson for the
use of the Unemployed Relief Camps.
January 24,1934
In response to the President's invitation for suggestions for expenditure under this [Carnegie Corporation] grant, the Librarian wrote
urging the establishment of this Library as a "Depository Library" for
the Library of Congress Union Catalogue Dr. Putnam, Librarian
of Congress, generously renewed his offer to this Library to present
one and a half million cards cbnstituting the Catalogue. This represents a gift of $37,500.
A second suggestion was that the Carnegie Art Collection together
with a library of one hundred and eighty volumes on the History of
Art be purchased.
NOVEMBER 26, 1935
... twelve students are working on the filing of the [Library of Congress] cards, each doing four hours' work a week. Satisfactory progress
is being made. At the present rate, it will take from three to four years
to complete the filing.
April 28,1936
During the winter there was received a catalogue of Fiedler, offering
a first edition of Audubon: Birds of America at a price of $300....
Efforts have been made to secure a special grant for its purchase, but
this could not be given. Fiedler agreed to hold the item until the end
of the University year in the hope that a supplementary grant would
enable the committee to purchase the work.
april 28,1936
The Department of Buildings and Grounds has been requested to take
action to get rid of mice in the building. Newspaper files have been
nibbled, and other damage ddne.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1936
Curtis: North American Indians.... the Committee went on record in
a vote of thanks to the Librarian for his successful efforts in securing,
from Friends of the Library, subscriptions for the purchase of this
valuable, scholarly, and beautifully illustrated work.
APRIL 8, I937
The Librarian is pleased to report that three Friends of the Library
have each contributed $100 for the purchase of this beautiful and
important work. The donors were His Honour Eric W. Hamber,
Lieut.-Governor, and University Visitor; Mrs. J. M. Lefevre; and a
third lady who desires to remain anonymous.
NOVEMBER 15, 1938
Mr. R. E. Stedman, a graduate of this University now resident in
45 Scotland, has during the summer made further gifts of old and valuable works. These are;
Biblia Sacra: Vulgatae Editionis 1541, Antwerp.
Lactantii Firmiani Opera: Venice, 1521.
A commentary upon the prophecie of Isaiah.
By Mr. John Calvin, London, 1609.
C. Cornelii Taciti Opera. Plantin, Antwerp, 1648.
NOVEMBER 15, 1938
Sir Charles S. Sherrington, of Cambridge University, has shown his
continued interest in this University and its Library by the gift of a
copy of Valerius, dated 1476. This is the oldest book in the University
collection, and came as the result of a social call made on the donor
by Dr. James Gibson, a graduate of this University, and last year on
the teaching staff.
NOVEMBER 21, 1939
The Committee agreed that eleven exits from the Stacks (nine of
them unlocked) was an altogether unwarranted number for a total of
sixty or seventy students, all in the prime of physical activity.
January 30, 1940
The Hon. J. Van Rickstal, Consul General for the Belgian Government, has notified the Librarian that he had been recommended to
the Belgian Government for a decoration for his services in connection with the plans for the Library to be erected by the Belgian nation
to the memory of King Albert I.
The meeting was called to order by the Chairman, Dr. M. Y.
Williams, who addressed those present as follows:
Mr. President
Messrs. Deans
Mr. Ridington
Present and past members of the Library Committee.
... The Board of Governors, the President, the Deans and University
Staff have all played a worthy part in building up and maintaining
this library, just as the University architects played their part in designing this building: but as is the case with most worthy organizations, so with this, there has been one guiding mind, one who has
made this library, both as to contents, housing and administration,
his chief thought and care. For a quarter of a century, throughout the
life of this University — through all this formative period — this has
been the case. His name is John Ridington.
a6 And now with the passing of time, well earned rest and relaxation
have rewarded a task well done. But those of us who have been so
closely associated with John and who know him and his accomplishments have felt that we would like to meet him here in this beautiful
office, with all its associations, and to tell him something of our feelings for him and for his work. We would desire too that this occasion
be associated with a tangible token of our esteem	
Professor Soward spoke with feeling and appreciation of the
many years of service which Mr. Ridington had given to the Library,
and mentioned a few of the important gifts and acquisitions which
had been secured, thanks to his untiring efforts. In conclusion, he
explained that the President, the Deans of the Faculties, and past
and present members of the Library Committee were anxious to
give Mr. Ridington a small personal gift by way of a remembrance,
and he was happy that it had fallen to his lot, as a past chairman
of the Committee, to make the presentation.
Professor Soward then handed to Mr. Ridington a copy of A
Treasury of Art Masterpieces, by Thomas Craven, bearing the
following inscription ...
I915- I94O
47 New Librarian takes over 170poo tomes
King John's castle hap a new master. You'll find him seated at
King John's desk in King John's big office overlooking the lily-
pond in front of the Unjiversity Library that was John Ridington's
castle for 15 years.
And if you catch hinji when he's not busy — a difficult feat in
itself — he may consent to tell you about the time King John gave
him his first job as assisfant in the brand new stone library which
opened on the Point Grey campus in 1925.
To Dr. W. Kaye Lailnb, the University of British Columbia is
home, for he spent seven years as an undergraduate, and later as a
graduate on its campus. He knew the University when it was nothing more than a motley Collection of shacks at Fairview and he still
recalls the first few weeks at Point Grey, when students sat on the
Auditorium floor, when the graduating class sold hot dogs in front
of the Arts Building, and when the only means of reaching the
Library was by a plank walk through the mud.
It's a very different ijibrary and campus from the one he knew
and worked in 15 years ago.
The new librarian hasn't been at work long enough to make
many plans for changes in his castle. But he admits that he has
visions. He has caught the torch thrown him by John Ridington,
and students may remain confident that the U.B.C. Library will
continue its progress onward and upward.
j    from The Ubyssey, September 24, 1940
48 John Ridington, Librarian igi5-ig40 nfif campus
right centre, kovied tin Library Leon J. Koerner
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Law Library
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'Quaestiones ...", a commentary on Aristotle's De anima, 1480,
is one of the Library's several incunabula. This page
demonstrates how the earliest printed books continued to be
illuminated in the same way as manuscripts B    A    5   1    L   r    AE
The Fabric of the Human Body by Vesalius, 1543, is one of the
finest possessions of the Woodward Memorial Collection
in the history of Medicine and Science I'firVjU of n pc.nodient mom, tQltf. rf ft ar. nczcr built Mabel Lanning in the Circulation Division
which she headed for 35 years
Anne M. Smith, in charge of the Reference Division
from 1930, and twice Acting-Librarian f%*W
\r London Printed lEii v. \i.ii ft ii\fiRi
7Vi« title-page from Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World
]        is a delightful example of Renaissance iconography P^RTE   ItTCOCHlTA
m^#aY;> >"^-"c5^&? - ^S '»•»■=■£- '-   i
^Mr - ■ y^y ,y;y- & fc>?2£> 5^,
i^i i*f»" " "    ■ ..   Y^ J:'.
,.    - .y  *.lak*iS^ ^J
Some of the rarest maps of Canada are found in the Rogers-Tucker Collection. This 1556 woodcut
if New France by Gastaldi was one of the first post-Cartier maps of the St. Lawrence region to be published MICROGRAPHIA:
Phyfiological  Defcriptions
OiiBiviriONi and I n q_u i r i e * thereupon.
By R. HOOKE, Fellow of the Royal Society.
Konpolfti oculo tjM-tntitnt contendere Linceui,
Son t*men icltirto contemnjt Lippns wnngi. Horat. Ep. lib. 1
LONDON, Printed by Jo- Martyn, md Jo- cUleftiy, Printers to the
Royal Socie t y, and are to be fold at their Shop at the iietf in
S. Tatt Church-yard. M DC LX V.
The title page of the first edition of Hooke's Micrographia, 1665,
in which he used the word "cell" to describe the structure of cork.
"These pores, or cells, were not very deep, but consisted of
a great many little Boxes" HISTORIC
Ai Annum vjque Cbrifii MD CLVI.
Au&orc P. Francisco  Orevxio,c Socictatc Iesv.
MabreCramoisy , Typographos Regis,
via lacobxa,fub Ciconijs.
M.    DC.    LX I V.
One of the rarest pieces of Canadiana, a summary of
the Jesuit Relations, 1638-58. Sebastian Cramoisy,
the printer, was one of the original Hundred Associates Ltitit Dunlap, J \h i 94 g- amtnl Rothitein, Acting-Librarian taGi'tpGi
til? Schvtfl tif Librarianship from its beginning
• Ham, Librarian   962-1963 A
New Difcovery
Vafi Country in Amerjca,
Extending above Four Thoufand Miles,
New France and New Mexico;
Deicription of the Great Lakes, Cataracts, Quivers, ipLtnts^znd Animals.
Alfo, the Manners, Cujtoms, and Languages of the fe--
veral Native Indians ; and the Advantage df Commerce with thofe different Nations.
Giving an ACCOUNT ofthe
Attempts of the Sieur De la SALLE upon the
Mines of St. Barbe, &c.    The Taking of
Quebec by the Englijh; With the Advantages
of a Shorter Cut to China and [fapan..
Both Parts Illuftrated with Map y and Figures,
and Dedicated to His Majefty K» William.
By L. Henmf:n, nojrV Refident in Holland.
To which are added, Several New Difioveries in North-'
America, not publilh'd in the French Edition.
LONDON,  Printed for M. Bmtley, J. Ton/on,
H.Bonmck> T. Goodwin, and S. Man/hip. 1698.
A sample title from a large U.B.C. collection dealing with
exploration in North America and the Arctic THE
The Sequel of the ILIAD.
Tranfiated from the Greek of
With Notes.
By J. Merrick Scholar of Trinity Coll. Oxford.
Tu canii aterno quicquid reflabat Homer o^
Ne careant fummd Troica Bella manu.   Ovid.
OXFORD, Printed at the Theatre.
An early publication (1739)
of what has since become Oxford University Press \r,r, Libraritm ISSS-tffSt^ t*d Bttiii Stuart-Stubb-., S.ibrwiuii i-itur i$&4
Thry are demonstrating a fir.it foiirt oj Shakespctnr pmftnUt! to U.B.C
by tftl Foigtt Library j'n hj6o Miss Ng of Asian Studies
displaying a rare book
from the P'u-pan Collection
I    In the stacks POEMS.
B   Y
The Library holds a notable collection of books
by and about Robert Burns, presented by the Friends
of the Library in honour of N.A. M. MacKenzie s
THE GOLDEN COCKEREL      PRESS MCMXXXVIII Current journals in the Woodward Library The Wilson Listening Room which houses
a large collection of recordings
The Circulation Division in transition, 1965. The many loan slips
will eventually be entirely superseded by computers. A new
IBM unit stands by the counter THE WAR YEARS
The second world war created problems for the Library both
directly and indirectly. While the number of new books on the
market slowed to a trickle and many periodicals were forced to
suspend publication altogether, Dr. Lamb took steps to protect the
existing library stock. Roland Lanning recalls one of those steps.
Not long after Pearl Harbor, with the Japanese working their way
across the Aleutians, we stored what we could of what we judged most
valuable in the Vault and under the basement staircases. The number
of books that can thus be housed (in the cupboards, solid) is incredible. In view of present reproduction methods my choice of serials
for "conservation" was pathetic.
This was a period in which the appearance of the building itself
adopted something of a new tone. The Library windows were
boarded up with tar paper.
From the Minutes of the Library Committee, 1941-1945.
October 14, 1941
Dr. R. E. McKechnie, Chancellor of the University, has presented a
collection of medical books to the Library, and in doing so expressed
the hope that a Medical School, to which they might prove useful,
would be established in the near future.
FEBRUARY 3, 1942
Mr. C. K. Morison, Provincial Librarian, has agreed to deposit in the
University Library several long runs of the British Parliamentary debates which the Provincial Library possesses in duplicate. The understanding is that should the set in Victoria be damaged or destroyed
in the course of the war, the volumes will be returned. If this calamity
does not occur, arrangements will be made after the war to transfer
the books outright to the University.
49 OCTOBER 14, I942
As reported to all members of the teaching staff in a special circular,
steps were also taken to give a measure of protection against bombing
to some of the Library's more valuable books and files of periodicals
and transactions. Additional shelving was built in the vault, and two
supplementary storage vaults were constructed under the main staircases, in the basement of the building. If absolutely necessary, any of
the books stored can be secured for readers, but it is hoped that staff
and students will keep such demands down to a minimum.
October 14, 1942
Bibliographic Centre. Dr. John Van Male, representing the Pacific
Northwest Bibliographic Centre, which is being built up at the University of Washington Library with the aid of a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, visited the Library in June, and made a survey of
the book collection for the Centre.
At the suggestion of Professor A. W. Currie the Librarian made inquiries regarding the files of the Japanese newspapers printed in Vancouver before the outbreak of war with Japan. He found that the files
proper had either been spirited away or placed in vaults, but through
the courtesy of the Custodian of Enemy Property he was able to secure
for the Library files of all three of the local Japanese papers for the
last six or seven months they were published. In each instance the final
issue appeared on Saturday, December 6, 1941.
NOVEMBER 24,  1943
The Secretary reported at some length upon the very valuable collection of Canadiana and North West Americana that had been bequeathed to the University by His Honour Judge Howay. He explained that the collection was especially strong in local material relating to British Columbia, and that the sections relating to the maritime
fur trade were probably the finest to be found in any private library.
To mention only two items, the bequest included the most complete
collection known of books by and about John Jewitt, and the only surviving complete file of the early volumes of the New Westminster
British Columbian.
October 13, 1944
A rental department will be open in the Library, on an experimental
basis, towards the end of October. The response of the students will
determine whether it is to be continued and expanded.
October 13,1944
The Reference Department... was experimenting with an art loan
collection. About 20 original paintings had been deposited with the
Library by local artists, and these were being loaned to students for
use in their homes. Most of the pictures were for sale, and had been
priced with student budgets in mind....
50 The addition of a Faculty of Law, almost at the last minute, had
complicated matters at the opening of the fall term, as no provision
had been made for the extra work involved in getting together even a
minimum collection of law books....
FEBRUARY 21, 1945
The Board of Governors has approved the proposal that the Library
should become a member of the Pacific Northwest Bibliographic Centre, in Seattle, at an annual cost of about $200.00.
FEBRUARY 21, 1945
The Secretary informed the Committee that Dr. Robie L. Reid, who
died on February 6, had bequeathed to the University his extensive
collection of Canadiana. The bequest was to be reported to the Board
of Governors on February 26, when, no doubt, it would be formally
accepted. Dr. Reid himself estimated that his collection consisted of
about 9,000 books and 4,000 pamphlets.
October 18, 1945
In October Mr. R. P. Pettipiece presented to the Library his files of
the various Labour and Socialist newspapers of which he was at one
time Editor. The 16 volumes included the Canadian Socialist, Western
Socialist, Western Clarion, and B.C. Federationist. Such files are rare,
and this gift, taken in conjunction with the similar files purchased in
1943, give the Library a valuable and perhaps outstanding collection
in the field.
Tall trees from little acorns grow — and so do great university libraries. Most of them begin life with a few books that for
the most part are required reading for specific courses. But as the
book collection grows the stature of the library grows with it. Finally
there comes a moment when the library is recognized as an entity
in its own right and people begin to realize that it is the most indispensable thing on the campus.
It was my privilege to be Librarian when the U.B.C. Library
reached and passed this crucial moment in its development. At the
time the book collection consisted of no more than 250,000 volumes,
but 250,000 are a lot of books if they have been well chosen. I
remember being greatly cheered and encouraged by a visit from a
librarian whose business it was to survey American libraries for an
accrediting body. He had never visited a Canadian library and
asked if he might satisfy his curiosity by touring the stacks. When
he had done so his comment was: "You may have only 250,000
volumes, but you have a better library than most universities that
have half a rnillion — your books are up to date and you have
virtually no junk."
Our most determined watchdog against junk was Roland Lanning, Head of the Serials Division, and one of the four remarkable
department heads who served the Library throughout the eight
years I was Librarian. No one in Canada can match Roland's
knowledge of periodicals and learned transactions, and no library
in the country (with the possible exception of the Library of the
National Research Council) has built its collection of serials with
as much system and care as U.B.C. Roland's awareness of our
holdings was astonishing; he knew the gaps in every incomplete set
so precisely that he rarely needed to refer to the Kardex file when
checking a dealer's catalogue.
52 Mabel Lanning managed to maintain the circulation services in
conditions that became well nigh impossible when the war ended
and veterans flocked to the campus. In 1947-48 we were endeavouring to serve 9,300 students in a building designed to accommodate a maximum of 1,500. We tried decentralization, including a
reserve reading room in the Armouries, but the students preferred
the library building, however crowded. Perhaps the pipe band that
frequently practised in the Armouries was one reason! In any
event, we finished the year with all services back within the old
familiar four walls.
Anne Smith, Head of the Reference Division, not only gave staff
and students a superb service but built up reference collections that
U.B.C. will appreciate more and more in the years to come. Many
of the foreign and commonwealth document files she acquired are
still unmatched elsewhere in Canada. The faculty appreciated her
qualities. I recall one day when she was away and I happened to
be at the reference desk when Dean Clements asked for some information we could not find for him. "Where is Anne Smith?" he
demanded. "She's worth the lot of you!"
Dorothy Jefferd, Head of the Cataloguing Division, had catalogued or directed the cataloguing of every one of the 300,000
books on the shelves in 1948 — surely a unique record. She had
seen the library grow from a few thousand volumes in boxes which
she had helped to unpack and place on shelves. From the first the
Library of Congress classification was used, and years later, when
Luther Evans, then Librarian of Congress, visited the campus,
Miss Jefferd (who is a Roman Catholic) greeted him with a smile
and the remark: "I'm delighted to meet you. For most of my life
I've been governed by two infallibles — the Pope and the Librarian
of Congresss!"
The north wing — the first addition to the library building-
was completed just before I left the University. It was built on
what would nowadays be regarded as a shoestring and actually
cost less per cubic foot than the original building, erected in 1925.
At the formal opening, with the need for a further addition in
mind, I remarked that I hoped the President and the Board of
Governors would realize that not even an angel could fly gracefully
on one wing. Recently I have begun to jot down the different versions of this remark, which has been told to me in a dozen forms,
and ascribed to at least a dozen other people.
As a student I knew both the old crowded reading room in Fair-
53 view and the new Point Grey building in the spacious days of 1925,
when it seemed inconceivable that all that wonderful space would
ever be filled either with books or students. And my memories are
crowded with people and incidents, of which I have space to mention only two.
One day between terms, when the building was deserted, Dean
Buchanan came up the main stairway into the reading room. At
the top he stopped suddenly and said: "I've always wanted to do
this!" Striding down to the end of the room he turned about and
in his magnificent voice, which echoed grandly through the rafters,
he called out: "Now loading on track 12, train number 5, for Toronto, Hamilton, Buffalo ..."
The second incident I remember specially because I think it impressed the students more than anything else I ever did on the
campus. One afternoon, in my office, I sensed that something unusual was happening in the reading room overhead. A moment
later the telephone rang, and Miss Lanning, obviously under some
strain, said quietly: "Will you please come up to the loan desk
right away." When I came out of the stackroom door I was greeted
by a jam-packed student audience all agog to see what I would do
about a hen that some prankster had picked up at the University
farm, and which was now perched precariously on the end of the
huge old bookcase that used to house encyclopaedias and dictionaries in the reading room.
Fortunately there was one thing the students did not know.
Buried deep in my past were two years spent on a farm in close
association with hundreds of chickens. I could see that I was dealing with a nice little biddy and I was able to approach her gently
and pick her up without any of the fuss and screeching to which
my large audience was looking forward so eagerly.
I am sure that the little hen was as relieved as I was. She sat
quietly in a carton in my office for a couple of hours, making small
contented noises, until someone came to take her back to the farm.
There has been more of everything in the years since the war.
More people — 3,000 in 1944, 9,000 in 1947, gradually more and
more until there were 16,500 in 1965. New faculties — Law, Medicine, Commerce, Education, Graduate Studies; new schools —
Home Economics, Social Work, Physical Education, Architecture,
Nursing, Librarianship; new institutes — Oceanography, Fisheries,
Social and Economic Research; new departments galore, and with
them the need for the systematic accumulation of materials in their
fields of study. As Neal Harlow kept repeating in his annual reports in the fifties there had to be a new kind of Library at the
heart of it all.
For some years after the war the Library, without sufficient
funds, could not really keep pace with the physical growth of the
University. Mr. Harlow's reports are reiterated pleas for new building, for better salaries for librarians so that more could be recruited,
for a School of Librarianship, and above all for a vast book-buying
programme which should change the nature of the Library from a
teaching collection to a great archive for research.
In the 1960's we have seen the persuasion and planning of the
1950's begin to be realized, partly because of a great public emphasis on higher education, partly because of the remarkable generosity of benefactors, the Koerner family, Mr. and Mrs. P. A.
Woodward, and H. R. Macmillan. It began with more people and
more research. The momentum of expansion is now so great that
it is dizzying to imagine where it will all end.
Now the overcrowding has eased a little, so that I've been able
to slip from under the fat boy who's been sitting on my lap in
chemistry and thereby lighten the load for the small chap whose
gallant knee has borne our combined weight for the past six weeks,
it is perhaps timely to review our status quo. (Readers of this
column who have no status quo will be relieved to learn that the
Book Store has ordered 5,000, expected tentatively to arrive in the
spring of 1952.)
Latest figures from the Registrar's Office, discovered in a suicide
note of one of the staff, reveal that 5,700 students have registered
for this session. Of these roughly 80% are people, the remainder
being made up of freshmen, former R.C.A.F. descips, and little
men who came out to work on the huts but somehow got sucked
into the powerful updraft of higher education.
Despite emergency measures, reliable sources report that there
are English 9 students, crowded back into the gods of Arts 100,
who still haven't seen Dr. Sedgewick. The same sources report that
this is jake with Dr. Sedgewick.
"I ain't actually seen him," admits Kathy Slotch, English Honours student, "but I hear him quite frequent, when the wind is
Similarly, people in Physics 1 continue to be shoved out the windows by sheer weight of electrical engineers, and instructors are
only gradually becoming accustomed to seeing the same person
enter the classroom several times during a lecture.
Conditions are rapidly improving in the Caf, however, where
there have been several cases recently of people ordering coffee,
being served, and drinking the coffee, all in the same day. This is
exciting news indeed.
The situation seems well under control, in fact, everywhere but
in the Library. There things remain critical. Dr. Kaye Lamb
has been reluctantly obliged to admit that merely fitting the librarians with jet propulsion has failed to meet the demand. And
with the shadow of exams driving into the Library more and more
students who were at first frightened of the commissionaire or the
card catalogue, obtaining a seat in the great hall has taken on the
primitive charm of musical chairs, with predators circling tables
watching for the slightest sign of somebody rising to leave.
56 Only the other day, for instance, while sitting at a table I made
the mistake of closing my book. I never knew what hit me. When
I came to on the floor, my chair had been taken and someone was
thrusting into my hand what he considered a fair price for the
More insidious, however, was a discovery I made while in the
Library's stacks, a discovery suggesting the staff has taken into its
own hands the reduction of the clientele. I was browsing around
the lowest and gloomiest floor, tracking down a rare vellum of
Thorne Smith, when I came upon a section of carrell that had
recently been sealed up with books. As I was about to pass this I
suddenly heard faint knockings on the opposite side. My blood ran
cold, causing my radiator to start steaming. I stopped to listen
more closely. Almost immediately a sinister stackman appeared at
my elbow, obviously fresh out of a secret panel.
"Looking for something?" he asked, with an evil smile that bared
his fangs sufficiently for me to see that the poison sacs had not been
"Who've you got sealed up behind this set of Kaufmeyer's 'Principles of Sex for Beginners, with Simplified Keyboard'?" I demanded.
His eyes narrowed.
"Who are you?" he purred softly, as I scratched him under the
chin. I flashed my wallet.
"I'm from the Department."
"No, Animal Husbandry," I murmured, stooping to pick up the
bus tickets fallen from my wallet. "Now, who've you got behind
these books?"
The stackman glanced around furtively, then whispered: "It's
the third vice-president of the Jokers. He asked to be sealed up till
1947. Part of his initiation. His mother knows about it."
With that the stackman scuttled away, but I strongly suspected
the truth of his story. Besides, I have since heard the ominous humming of machinery behind the first floor wall, and I've seen librarians carrying trussed-up freshmen hurry through a mysterious
door, to emerge later with buckets of heavy green fluid which they
hand to workmen, who hastily slap the fluid on huts.
Frankly, I don't like the look of it. I'm going down into the
stacks again, by George; if you don't hear from me in a couple of
weeks, send for the cops. from The Ubyssey, November 10, 1945
57 From the Minutes of the Library Committee, 1946-1949.
march 6, 1946
The Secretary reported that Mr. H. R. Macmillan had offered to
make available to the University sufficient funds to enable the Library
to acquire a comprehensive collection of books, periodicals, pamphlets,
etc., relating to Forestry. He had discussed the project recently with
Mr. Macmillan, and the latter had agreed to make an immediate gift
of $3,000.
October 21,1946
Full-time staff has increased from 14 to 34 in 14 months.... the fall
term had no more than started when it became very evident that
demand for "Reserve" books could no longer be met in the existing
building. The "Reserve" book department was therefore moved, over
the Thanksgiving holidays to emergency quarters in the Armouries....
October 21,1946
The contract for an addition to the Library building was signed. The
addition would be approximately one and a half times as large as the
existing first unit, and it was gratifying to learn that the contract
price was substantially lower per cubic foot than the cost of the original building in 1925	
October 21,1946
In August Field Marshall the Viscount Montgomery sent to the
Library copies of his two books Alamein to Tunis and Normandy to
the Baltic. Both volumes were privately printed in Germany while the
Field Marshall was in command of the British occupation troops.
FEBRUARY 20, 1947
The Vancouver Sun, thanks to the kindness of Mr. Charles Bailey, its
business manager, had given the Library a model C Recordak microfilm reader — an item of equipment that had been very badly needed.
The machine presented was generally regarded as the best of the kind
apml 15,1947
The Custodian of Enemy Property sent to the Library a large collection of miscellaneous literature in German, most of which had belonged originally to the German Embassy in Ottawa. As two wars
and a depression had made it extremely difficult for the Library to
acquire an adequate collection in that language, this gift was a particularly welcome one, and most of the several hundred items included
will be very acceptable additions to the book collection.
April 15, 1947
The difficulty of collecting library fines following the abolition of
Caution Money deposits had proved to be a problem, but a solution
appeared to be in sight, thanks to the kind co-operation of the Regis-
58 trar. Mr. Wood had so arranged matters that no student could either
register or receive a transcript of his official University record if any
library fines were outstanding against his name.
October 2,1947
Last August Professor F. H. Soward learned that the United Nations
had designated McGill University Library, The University of Toronto
Library, and the Provincial Library of Manitoba as depository libraries
to receive all United Nations publications free of charge on condition
that they would be made available within the Library to anyone who
wished to consult them.
... At Professor Soward's suggestion the Librarian wrote to the Under
Secretary of State for External Affairs asking if he would endorse this
suggestion and forward it to the proper authorities. This was done,
and late in September word was received from the Librarian of the
United Nations to the effect that the Library of the University of
British Columbia had been added to the list of depositories.
January 19, 1948
Some months ago Miss Smith and Miss Jefferd of the Library staff
had suggested that the name of the late John Ridington, first librarian
of the University, should be commemorated in some way in the enlarged library building. This suggestion was discussed at several meetings of library department heads, and it was decided that much the
most suitable plan would be to have the large new reference room
named The Ridington Room.
NOVEMBER 3, 1949
It was moved by Dr. Brink, seconded by Dr. Duff, that only graduate
students have access to the stacks; that only graduate students needing
carrel accommodation have such accommodation temporarily assigned
to them; and that temporary permits be available to others for day
I have always been of the opinion that the Library is about the
most important part or facility of a university. When I came to the
University of British Columbia as President in the summer of 1944
I was naturally delighted to find that the Library was situated at
what was then the very centre of the campus. At that time it consisted of one unit only — the centre block of the present Library -
but, though it was not large and its book collections not extensive,
it was, in spite of the youth of the University, one of the best academic libraries in Canada, surpassed, in its English language collections at least, by only the libraries of the much older universities
of Toronto and McGill. The first librarian, John Ridington, who
died in 1945 shortly after my arrival on the campus, had established firm foundations, and it was appropriate that one of the
main reading rooms of a later addition was named in his honour.
As I have already said, I consider the Library as an institution of
primary significance in the overall structure of the University, and
I have always felt and acted on the assumption that the Librarian
should be one of the most important members of the university
staff, not only in respect of the Library and its holdings, but also
in respect of the general problems of the University, its policies and
its administration. For this reason I soon arranged that the Librarian should become a member of Senate and should be treated
as if he were a Dean of a faculty. I am happy to note that this
arrangement still exists.
In my eighteen years as President, four Librarians served with
me. About them I could write at length, but restrictions of space
demand that I be concise.
In the opening days of my presidency, Dr. Kaye Lamb was the
Librarian. Dr. Lamb was not only an outstanding librarian, archivist, and historian; he was also a most loyal and efficient colleague,
60 and a man of great vision and dynamic energy. It was during his
regime that the first great expansion of the University took place.
Within two and a half years the student body increased from about
2,300 to over 9,300 and it was this expansion that brought about
the first addition to the original Library — the north wing. After
months of planning and building, Dr. Lamb saw his dream become
a reality, and in 1948 the official opening took place, with Dr.
Luther Evans, Librarian of the Library of Congress, and Dr.
Stewart Wallace, Librarian of the University of Toronto, in attendance. It was then that Dr. Lamb remarked, with his usual
urbane wit, combined with a sense of vision, that not even a good
angel can fly to Heaven on one wing.
Shordy after this opening, however, Dr. Lamb left U.B.C. to go
to Ottawa to create and organize the National Library and to become National Archivist. He was reluctant to leave, but the challenge was so great that we all agreed he should go. We deeply
regretted his departure, but we had an informal agreement with
him that if the National Library were not built at the end of ten
years he would return to U.B.C. The ten years passed; the National
Library was not built; and we were ready to welcome Kaye Lamb
back to our campus. But then the government of the day finally did
agree to begin construction, and Dr. Lamb stayed on in Ottawa to
witness another dream turning into a reality. The construction of
the National Library is now well under way and the building will
be opened in 1967, the Centennial Year.
A second Librarian to whom I must pay special tribute is Neal
Harlow, who for ten years, 1951-1961, carried out his duties with
shining distinction. Ever affable, quick of wit, imaginative, and
hard working, he quickly entered into the life of the University and
the community, and it was he who planned and brought to reality
the second great addition to the Library — the south wing. This
was officially opened in i960 in the presence of many dignitaries,
including Sir Frank Francis, Director of the British Museum, Dr.
Louis B. Wright, Director of the Folger Library, and Dr. Lamb
himself, pleased to see his angel with balanced wings at last.
With the south wing finished, Mr. Harlow felt free to take up a
new role, that of Dean of the Graduate School of Library Science
at Rutgers, the State University, in New Jersey. It was with sorrow that we saw him leave. He and his wife Marion had become
part of our lives, and we could not have wished for finer or more
outstanding colleagues.
61 Between the long terms of Kaye Lamb and Neal Harlow, Dr.
Leslie Dunlap gave fine service for two years, 1959 and i960. He
was an excellent Librarian and a most co-operative colleague, but
he was drawn back to his native land, the United States, by a most
attractive offer which he felt he could not refuse. Dr. James Ranz
succeeded Mr. Harlow, but he, too, stayed for a brief period only.
He left within a short time after my own retirement in 1962. He
was succeeded by the present Librarian, Mr. Basil Stuart-Stubbs, to
whom I would pay tribute for his brilliant beginnings did he not
fall outside of the chronological bounds of my assignment.
I should now like to comment on certain particular developments and activities that occurred within the Library itself during
my own years at U.B.C. But here again I must be selective and
Foremost, in my own mind at least, was the development and
establishment of the School of Librarianship. In 1947, while we
were planning the north wing of the Library, we became convinced
that Canada (and Western Canada in particular) needed another
school of librarianship if the needs of new and expanding libraries
were to be met. My colleagues and I also agreed that U.B.C. was
the place for the establishment of such a school. So, in planning
the north wing, rooms and facilities were provided that would
make possible the realization of the idea when the time was ripe.
Because of Dr. Lamb's departure to Ottawa and Dr. Dunlap's brief
tenure in office, and because of the many problems arising from the
large enrolment of veterans, action was sadly delayed. As a matter
of fact the whole idea appeared to be lost in the morass of other
demands. But in the early days of the Harlow period, Dr. Sam
Rothstein, one of our own graduates who had been doing graduate
studies in the States, returned to us to become the necessary catalyst
to turn plans into action. He was interested in library schools; his
knowledge was extensive; his enthusiasm and vigour, boundless.
Aided and abetted by Neal Harlow, he drew up definite plans, and
finally, with the support of the Senate and the Board of Governors,
he saw the plans bear fruit. The School of Librarianship offered its
first classes in September 1961, and, starting in a modest way, it
has already doubled in size, and is now well known in library circles
throughout North America. Quite appropriately, Dr. Rothstein is
its Director. To him I pay warm tribute; it is his due.
Two other institutions, if I may so call them, have also developed
in the north wing. Both are noteworthy because of the valuable
62 contributions they have made to the university and to the community, and both have been housed in basement quarters where
physical restrictions have made expansion almost impossible. The
first is the Museum of Anthropology, the second, the Art Gallery.
When I first came to the University, I noticed a small but valuable collection of West Coast Indian artifacts, in which were intermingled some artifacts from the South Seas. They had no proper
housing, no proper care. With the opening of the north wing, however, we were able to find some space for them, and — more important— were able to find an able and devoted Curator, Mrs.
Audrey Hawthorn. Under her superb direction, order came out of
chaos, proper display arrangements were made, and new and valuable additions to the original collection were acquired. Today, the
Museum of Anthropology is one of the great campus attractions. It
is used for instruction; it draws numerous visitors; it is constantly
increasing in significance and value; and it is widely known
throughout the Pacific Northwest.
The Art Gallery, too, has had a phenomenal development. It
started in a small way, but because of the warm support it has received, especially from the University Hill Chapter of the I.O.D.E.,
and because of the constant interest taken in it by such men as Professors Binning and McNairn, of the Department of Fine Arts, it
now attracts thousands of visitors a year through its superb exhibitions of art — traditional, modern, and experimental. Its present
Curator is Mr. Alvin Balkind, an able, imaginative, and hard working person.
About these two centres I could say much more; but here I only
add my present hope — that within the not too distant future
both will be given decent accommodation where they may steadily
expand to the benefit of the University in particular and the community at large.
Along with the growing activities of the Museum and Gallery,
another activity I wish to comment on briefly came into being.
Books and periodicals make up libraries, but until the arrival of Mr.
Harlow we had always depended on outside resources for all of the
binding and the repairing that must be done if a library is to be
worthy of its name. As Mr. Harlow and I saw eye to eye in this
matter, we agreed to install our own bindery. While it is not as
large nor as adequately staffed as it should be, it has given invaluable service under the most able direction of Mr. Percy Fryer, a
most skilful binder himself, well trained in the great tradition of
63 the art. His binding of the Book of Memory, to be seen in the lobby
of the Memorial Gymnasium, is fine evidence of his own craftsmanship.
In the south wing, too, certain developments took place that call
for particular comment. To begin with, the actual building of this
wing was made possible only through a most generous contribution
by Mr. Walter Koerner and a sizeable grant from the Canada
Council. In the wing are housed the College Library (now officially known as the Garnett Sedgewick Library, in memory of that
much beloved Professor of English), and the Special Collections
Division, as well as many seminar rooms and study areas. The
Sedgewick Library was designed especially for the use of undergraduates in their first and second years; the Special Collections as
a division to stimulate graduate work and research.
And here a word might be said about the development of the
Library as a research institution. In my own day, the University
had difficulties in getting enough money for its immediate needs,
but we managed, in one way or another, to add some very valuable
special research collections. When Neal Harlow was on the campus,
he, in consultation with others on the university staff, organized a
group known as the "Friends of the Library." These "Friends"
were men and women especially interested in the Library and all
were willing to help provide additional funds and to locate and
acquire special collections. Over the years this group has actively
contributed to the enrichment of the Library, often in ways unknown to the public at large. The Library Committee, made up of
representatives of the various faculties, has also done admirable
work in assisting the Librarian and his staff, in the selection and
acquisition of books, and in urging that more funds be made available and more trained staff be added.
Among the many collections acquired during my own term of
office was the great Chinese collection from Macao and Hong
Kong. Again Dr. Walter Koerner generously assisted us, and he
and Dr. Ping-Ti Ho were largely instrumental in obtaining these
prized books and manuscripts, many of them really priceless, many
of great antiquity. In this acquisition, they had the full support
of the Librarian, the Department of Asian Studies, and the Board
of Governors. This particular addition has made this Library one
of the three or four outstanding libraries in the field of Chinese
studies on this continent, and in due course, when the Department
of Asian Studies is further developed, as it will and should be, this
64 collection will prove invaluable to those scholars who wish to do
specialized research in certain periods and areas of Chinese life
and history.
If I had the freedom of space in which to do it, I would like to
mention other collections and other donors who have given so
generously to the evergrowing collections we have, but this I cannot do. Before concluding, however, I must mention the Biomedical
Library, now housed in the beautiful building made possible by the
generous gift of Mr. and Mrs. P. A. Woodward and their Foundation; and I must mention, too, the constant, varied, and invaluable
support given by Mr. H. R. Macmillan to nearly all aspects of
library activity. He has given many rare books of travel and exploration to Special Collections; he has consistendy added to the
holdings of the Anthropological Museum; and he has been a steady
supporter of the Department of Fisheries and Oceanography.
Within the last year, in addition to some six million dollars for
scholarships and research, he has also given three and a half millions for the purchase of library acquisitions over the next ten
years. This I believe is unique in the library history of Canada.
In conclusion, I would like to pay tribute to all members of the
Library staff whom I have known over the years — to Anne Smith,
to the Lannings, to Miss Mercer, to Inglis Bell — and to many
others. They are a loyal, dedicated, and most efficient group, and I
wish I could list them all and tell something of the great contributions they have made over the years, to the Library in particular,
and to the University as a whole. Without them it would have been
impossible to have done what has been done — for the veterans,
and for the thousands of others who have been students, and are
students, at U.B.C. To them, on behalf of everyone connected with
U.B.C, I would like to say: Thanks for your patience, and for
your willingness to help — beyond the call of ordinary duty.
65 1955    LIFE AT FORTY
The University of British Columbia acquired its first book in the
spring of 1915. Forty years and 300,000 volumes later its library
is one of the leading teaching and research collections in Canada.
That the Library ranks third among institutions of its kind in
Canada may be a surprise to some. That the University is singularly dependent upon library facilities for its existence and growth
is overlooked by many. The University Library is not primarily a
building, as undergraduates commonly suppose, but it is the continually growing collections of research materials and the facilities
and opportunities to make them useful to competent users. In two-
score years these library resources at U.B.C. have remarkably
The relationship between the growth of the University and the
development of the book collections is direct and intimate. When
it is remembered that in the last decade alone U.B.C. has added
810 new courses (and changed the content of many others), increased its faculty by 300% (126 to 378 full-time people), and
developed study and research programmes in fifteen major new
fields (including Medicine, Law, Slavonic Studies, Architecture,
Anthropology, Pharmacy, Oceanography, and Fisheries), it may
be understood why the Library is not what it was even to those
who knew it in 1945. More demanding of library resources is the
Graduate School: the whole new doctoral studies programme (nonexistent ten years ago and now proceeding in sixteen subject fields)
and the very great expansion of Master's work (into some fifty
fields, with 148 degrees awarded in 1953-54 compared with 27
in 1943-44).
When the University offers a new course, hires a new professor,
or establishes a new Faculty or School, not only must the Library
begin acquiring current material in these subject fields but it must
secure many of the books and periodicals which have already been
published. Such is the University youth, and so rapidly has its
expansion taken place, that the problem of keeping abreast of the
enormous amount of new library material being issued is surpassed
only by that of collecting the essential publications which appeared
before the University became interested in them.
During the academic year 1953-54, over 22,000 volumes were
added to the Library's holdings, 24% above the previous year's
66 new record. Of these 12,600 were of bound journals, which was
more than the total of all acquisitions in the year 1951-52. About
4,000 current journals are regularly received. The Library is a
regular depository for British Columbia and Canadian government
publications and for those of the United Nations, UNESCO, and
other related international organizations. In addition, it secures
thousands of items annually from the federal and state governments
of the United States, from Great Britain and the Commonwealth,
and from other nations throughout the world. Recentiy it has secured large collections in the fields of French-Canadiana, Slavic
and Oriental studies, Forestry, and Anthropology. In micro-form,
over four and a half million pages of the important Sessional Papers
of Great Britain for the nineteenth century have been acquired,
plus long sets of English literary journals, American and English
drama, and Russian publications. The Howay-Reid Library of
Canadiana (history and literature) has been steadily enlarged since
it came to the University over a decade ago. The recently established Sedgewick Memorial Reading Room provides new books of
general interest which were often not available to students in
former years.
In the quality and scope of library service the University is the
leader in Canada. For many years the Library has emphasized the
use of its collections as well as their growth, and many of the Library staff work direcdy with users in the literature of their fields.
The staff of professional librarians to instruct students and to assist
them and members of the Faculty is the largest and best developed
in the country. Of the Library staff of sixty-four persons twenty-
three have completed studies in Graduate Schools of Librarianship
in Canada and the United States. Both human and bibliographic
means must continuously be improved as knowledge and the sources
of information become more complex.
The University Library is intended primarily for the use of Students and Faculty of the University, for study, general reading and
research; and all registered graduates and students in the last two
years of undergraduate work are now admitted into the book stacks.
Individuals outside the University who are "engaged in projects
which cannot be advantageously pursued in other libraries in the
province" may also make use of the Library in person by registering as Extra-Mural Readers (paying an annual fee of $1.00). Persons outside the metropolitan regions of Vancouver, New Westminster, and Victoria may borrow direcdy by mail through the
67 Extension Library (annual fee $2.00), and within these municipal
areas access to University Library materials is available through the
interlibrary loan privilege which is extended to all libraries in the
province. Anyone may visit the Library and make use of its materials within the building. By such varied means the Library's usefulness is extended to all; and the annual loan of 234,000 volumes to
campus users, 22,600 to extension borrowers, and over 1,600 on
interhbrary loan, plus an unaccounted use of materials within the
building itself indicate that the Library programme is a very active
In ten years, as the University Librarian's last Annual Report
pointed out, the total cost of operating the University has increased
5.8 times and the expenditures for library purposes 6.78 times. Yet,
compared with statistics for seventy other college and university
libraries in North America, we are in our best aspects only at about
the middle point in this representative group. But we are 33%
below this median point in the number of full-time Faculty, 70%
low in quantity of Graduate Students, 32% subnormal in size of
Library, and 13% off in the total income of the University. In
Canada alone, our Library is third in strength of library resources
among English-speaking universities, but it is a poor third, and we
should need to be 100% larger than at present to approach the
library next above us in the scale. This great handicap must surely
be overcome if the University of British Columbia is to maintain
even a respectable third place among institutions of higher learning
in this country.
Fifteen per cent of the expenditures made for books and periodicals last year was met from non-University sources. The U.B.C.
Development Fund has been of assistance several times. Through
Rockefeller and Carnegie grants, Slavic, French-Canadian, and
Anthropological materials have been secured. Dr. H. R. MacMillan,
Mr. Leon J. Koerner, Mr. Walter C. Koerner, B.C. Forest Products Limited, the fishing industry, the Vancouver Chinese community, and a number of the professional groups in the province
have contributed heavily and many of them regularly to special
book funds in their fields of interest. However successful the University may be in providing financial support for its current library
needs, substantial funds from other sources will be increasingly required. The University, at forty years of age, is in this respect a
problem child.
As the Senate Library Committee represents the interest of the
68 University Faculty in the Library's programme, and a Student
Library Committee speaks for the student group in Library matters, so a Committee of Friends of U.B.C. Library is being formed
to support and promote the Library in its relations with the community at large. Life truly "begins at forty" for this group of participants at the close of the University's fourth decade of growth.
A University can never exceed in greatness the strength of its
Library collections, and the graduates, friends, and backers of the
University of British Columbia must see to it that the institution's
growth is never handicapped by too scanty support for its Library
At forty, the U.B.C. Library is strong, a bit scrawny, showing
some signs of early undernourishment, but is fully determined to do
the work cut out for it.
from U.B.C. Alumni Chronicle, Spring 1955
As if administering the third-ranking academic library in Canada
weren't enough, Mr. Harlow found time for a little show business:
A new star is born! Neal Harlow — in the Varsity Gold and Blue
Revue. He, with two other prominent members of the Faculty (President Mackenzie and Dean Chant), had a wonderful time eyeing the
pretty freshettes while littering the Library lawn with banana skins
and lunch papers. Undoubtedly his services in this new line will be
in considerable demand.
from B.C.L.A. News, Spring 1953
From the Minutes of the Library Committee, 1950-1965.
Dr. Cowan asked the meeting to consider what length of time should
be allowed on loans of books and periodicals to faculty members....
Some books have been in possession of faculty members for very long
periods of time, in one extreme case for twenty years.
Dr. Friedman said that the Committee was attempting to establish the
principle of a central library, and he did not believe bound volumes
should be housed outside the main building, but if such material is to
be sent out, it ought to go only to quarters considered fireproof. Professor Halliday asked whether this regulation could be enforced while
the Law Library is housed in a hut.
January 24, 1951
The Librarian has been informed that his estimates have been cut by
69 $40,000, and that the 1951-52 budget will be $15,000 less than it was
for 1950-51.
FEBRUARY 7, 1951
It was moved by Mr. Larsen, seconded by Mr. Kennedy, that as a
result of further revision of the estimates... the Committee regrets to
find that it will not be possible to keep the Library open at night after
March 31....
It is evident that large sums of money are spent each year by departments out of their general expense accounts (for book purchases).
Requisitions for these books are not going through the Library. The
result is that some of the best library material on the campus is in
departmental reading rooms rather than in the Library.
FEBRUARY 13, 1962
Approved by the Senate: Statement of Policy on the Library Committee. ... all Library material which is the property of the University is
to be recorded in the central Library and is to be purchased and
received by the Library or acquired with its knowledge and supervision. All funds to be used for Library purposes are to be listed by the
October 9, 1953
Some persons off-campus have expressed a continuing interest in a
Library "Friends" group, to assist in the development of the Library's
collections. It has been discussed with the President and the Alumni
Association, and preliminary steps are being taken.
The Library Committee attaches the greatest importance to steadily
increasing funds for the development of the research collections to
assure that our rapidly expanding University becomes distinguished
and not merely large.
The establishment of a graduate school of librarianship at this University is becoming increasingly pressing, and the Committee recommends
to the Senate that it study carefully the findings and recommendations
of the joint committee set up by the Public Library Commission to
investigate this need.
The Committee strongly supports the Librarian's declaration that
some drastic action must be taken in regard to the present status and
salaries of the professional library staff if competent personnel are to
be secured and recommends that a full re-assessment of the situation
be made. It will present formal recommendations to this effect to the
Senate and Board of Governors.
... the Committee wishes to give special recognition to Miss Dorothy
70 Jefferd on the occasion of her retirement after forty-two and a half years
of service to the Library. Since January 1915, she has been a vigorous
member of the University staff and a symbol of the continuum of
human effort and skill which have gone into the formation of this
The Committee calls to the attention of the Senate and Board of
Governors the urgency felt by the Librarian and the Committee to
provide funds for books and journals on an unprecedented scale. A
large graduate school will soon materialize at the University under the
pressure of increasing enrolment, and research collections must be
rapidly and systematically developed in fields of graduate interest.
Provision for an open-shelf "college library" for undergraduates is also
required in order to make the basic materials of education accessible
to the mass of students.
Thomas Murray Collection — Dr. Rothstein stated that this very considerable collection of Canadiana, comprising perhaps 20,000 volumes
and including material in many fields, was obtained for the University
Library by the Friends of the Library. Its large proportion of items
relating to eastern Canada fits well with the Library's present holdings, which pertain chiefly to the western region.
DECEMBER 8, 1958
The time has now arrived when all activities in the Library that cause
unnecessary noise must be eliminated. Among those causes discussed
by the Senate Library Committee at its meeting on November 7 were
the occasional operation of polling stations in the Library during student elections, the sale of student publications, and the solicitation of
funds during campus drives.
DECEMBER 3, 1959
The Library Committee is especially concerned with the declining
position of the Library with reference to those of universities of comparable size and equivalent academic programmes. In more immediate
context, the problem that has arisen is that the funds available for
book and periodical purchases are no longer able to keep up with the
demands. As of today over half the Departments in the University are
without funds for book purchase until the new academic year. The
situation has been worsening year by year but has never been quite so
bad before.
There will be an official opening ceremony for the new south wing
in October, about the time of the Fall Congregation, under the auspices
of the Friends of the Library, who are at present undertaking a campaign to raise $50,000 a year by continuing donations for research
material for the Library.
A commissionaire had been appointed by the University Administra-
7i tion in an informational and supervisory capacity in the Library at
the beginning of the fall i960 term, as recommended by the Senate
Library Committee. Members of the Committee felt that student
decorum seems to have improved.
Circulation Statistics. There has been a dramatic increase in circulation over the past year. For the month of October 1961, there was
a total circulation at the Loan Desk and College Library of 62,000
(50,000 in October i960); in the College Library itself the increase
was over 90%.
Dr. Rothstein stated that, in view of the general shortage of funds, all
departmental allocations were admittedly inadequate; many other
departments were also overspent. He explained that, since there had
been no increase in the book funds for 1961-62, each department had
received the same allocation as in the previous year.
Dr. Rothstein stated that he had made a preliminary investigation of
the Xerox 914 photocopier. He felt that this machine could provide
excellent service to the Library and the University.
DECEMBER 5, 1961
Dr. Rothstein summarized the contents of his Annual Report. The
two highlights of the year were: the collections had passed the half-
million mark and the creation of the subject divisions had provided
the organizational basis for service in depth.
Mr. Edwin Williams, Counselor to the Director on the Collections of
Harvard University, is conducting a survey of the holdings of Canadian university libraries with respect to resources for support of graduate studies and research in humanities and social sciences. He visited
the University of British Columbia to interview faculty members and
to examine the Library collections. He indicated that the U.B.C.
Library was surprisingly strong in these fields, especially in serials holdings, and praised the efforts of Mr. Roland Lanning in acquiring these
materials. The Committee asked the Chairman to write to Mr. Lanning expressing its appreciation for his contribution.
October 29,1962
The Chairman, Dr. Cowan, reviewed the terms of reference of the
Committee and briefly described its work during the past decade.
Some of the more important topics that have appeared on the agenda
are: allocation of departmental book funds; expenditure of Committee
funds; review of Librarian's annual report, including a comment to
Senate regarding the Librarian's recommendations; review of library
building plans, discussion of plans for the School of Librarianship;
conditions of employment for librarians; policy for the centralized
purchase of campus library material; access to bookstacks; book losses;
and student conduct in the Library.
After the meeting was called to order Mr. Stuart-Stubbs gave an ac-
72 count of the circumstances relating to the gift of $3,000,000 from Mr.
H. R. Macmillan, to be spent for the development of the library's
collections. He said that it has been arranged that the amount be
spent over ten years, at roughly $300,000 per year.
October 8,1965
The Chairman called the meeting to order, and asked the Librarian to
introduce the first item on the agenda, arrangements for use of U.B.C.
Library by Simon Fraser University.
The Librarian distributed copies of existing loan regulations, a sheet
entitled "Proposals for Reciprocal Use," which described the existing
relationship between the two libraries, and copies of letters received
from members of faculty relating to the problem.
The Librarian observed that since all loans were now being recorded
on punched cards, it would be possible to make a title by title analysis
of S.F.U. borrowing, and provide lists of books which could be used
by S.F.U. in making selections for their own collection. He promised
to make a complete statistical report on borrowing at the end of the
year, based on the information collected on punched cards.
The Librarian distributed a document entitled "Factors Affecting
Capital Development to 1974." This had been prepared at the request
of the Academic Planner and the Architect Planner, and may have
been acted upon by them in the preparation of the campus plan. It
was hoped that it could be reviewed and discussed at a future meeting
of the Committee.
How a Sound Institution Survives its Administrators
In august 1951 the University of British Columbia had a new
librarian. Neal Harlow, upon arriving from the University of California in Los Angeles, setded down to the writing of his first annual
report, a document which made it plain that he was not going to
be an easy man to please. He saw a clear need for a better library,
and knew that this implied more financial support. The decade he
spent in pursuit of his goals must have had their moments of satisfaction, for when he resigned in 1961 to become Dean of the Graduate School of Librarianship at Rutgers University, he could point
to a library that under his administration had doubled in every
Most obvious was the new Walter Koerner Wing of the Library,
the construction of which provided for a series of specialized subject reference divisions, including a College Library and a Special
Collections Division, and increased stack areas to contain a collection of half a million volumes, twice as large as the collection of
1951. Three times as many books were being loaned, and the book
funds had undergone an incredible ten-fold increase. The staff too
was doubled in size, and librarians were paid at twice the salary
rates of a decade before.
After Mr. Harlow's departure, in the spirit of duplication, two
hats remained for Sam Rothstein to wear. The former Associate
Librarian now found himself playing the roles of Acting Librarian
and Director of a new School of Librarianship. The academic year
1961-62 is one which he must look back upon in horror as others
look back upon it in amazement. The symbol of Rothstein was
the overstuffed briefcase, transported nightly to his basement study.
The librarian's job consists of a mountain of paper surrounded
by a sea of words. He traversed both with great skill, sustaining a
library which was in the throes of adjustment to a changed physical
74 and administrative environment, while at the same time collecting
a faculty, a student body, and a course of instruction for his School.
The waiting game for the Library ended in June 1962 when Jim
Ranz arrived from the University of Wyoming. His arrival almost
coincided with the appointment of John B. Macdonald as University President, and with the publication of Edwin E. Williams' historic report on the resources of Canadian university libraries in the
Humanities and Social Sciences. It was a time of fresh approaches,
and much that followed can be attributed to the reflections of these
three men on library problems.
Within a few months a new course had been set for the University and the Library. The rapid development of the graduate programme, as prescribed by the President, called for a much stronger
library. A winning case for increased book funds was made, based
on E. E. Williams' findings and arguments, and in the space of a
few years an additional quarter of a million dollars of the university
budget was allocated to the purchase of books and periodicals.
Faculty members and librarians indulged their collecting tastes to
the tune of almost $700,000 last year, compared with $380,000 in
1961-62. In the same period some 200,000 volumes were added to
the collections, almost as many as were added in the previous
Dr. Ranz saw clearly that in a university larger in geographic
area and in scope of programme, a single point of service would
no longer suffice. Centralized services through the Main Library,
sensibly maintained throughout the previous period for reasons of
economy, would be replaced by a decentralized system of branch
libraries serving related disciplines. A magnificent gift from the
P. A. Woodward Foundation gave substance to this new policy by
providing the Woodward Biomedical Library, a handsome and successful model for future branch libraries. To assure an orderly
development of library services, Dr. Ranz drafted a policy on
branch libraries for Senate approval. Formal adoption occurred in
November 1965, after the policy had been scratinized and re-worded
scores of times by librarians, Senate Library Committee members
and Academic Deans.
The Main Library itself in 1962 already plainly in need of a
further stack addition, also drew Dr. Ranz's attention. Remodelling
in some areas, he felt, would make the library more useful to borrowers. New plans followed his careful re-examination of the whole
building. Subsequent construction was not completed until more
75 than a year after his departure; the result was a larger and more
rationally organized structure.
Dr. Ranz possessed an enviable ability to secure co-operation and
assistance from both the faculty and staff, which he employed to
good advantage in bringing about an administrative reorganization,
involving clarification of duties and lines of responsibility, and
specialization of functions. At the budget level, all planning and
expenditures for library purposes were centralized through the Librarian's Office. The Senate Library Committee was changed from
an unwieldy assembly of departmental representatives to an effective group of seven or eight members. Three assistant librarians,
each with special areas of authority, were appointed, and division
heads were given more individual responsibihty and room for initiative.
In 1964 this sound framework, held together at all levels by a
superlative professional staff, was inherited by the present librarian,
Basil Stuart-Stubbs. Since that time there has been litde change in
general direction, but the two years have been marked by events of
far-reaching significance.
Librarians everywhere have been interested in the possible applications of data-processing equipment to library routines and the
retrieval of information. At the University of British Columbia,
staff members in all divisions attended lectures and short courses
in order to acquaint themselves with the fundamentals of com-
putership. The first fruits of this interest were to be seen in a
machine-processed list of scientific periodicals. By the fall of 1965
the voice of the keypunch was heard throughout the Library. Under
the guidance of Robert Harris, an electronic data collection system
was applied to the circulation of books and magazines. The Library's
own Systems Analyst, Robin MacDonald, worked with several division heads in devising efficient and often mechanical methods of
producing catalogue cards, accession lists and serials lists. The work
of the Library in almost all its aspects will be affected by the introduction of computer techniques.
Planning for the further decentralization of the Library is in progress. By 1975 it is expected that some 24,000 students will be enrolled here. Scores of new buildings are projected, among them
several major branch libraries serving broad areas such as science
and education. As the University is growing, so is the whole system
of higher learning. In September 1965 Simon Fraser University
began its first term of instruction on a new campus only fifteen
76 miles away from U.B.C. Close co-operation between the libraries at
Simon Fraser, the University of Victoria and U.B.C. has been the
rule, and will continue to be, in order to provide the province with
the maximum in library service and collections.
By far the most exciting event in the Library's history fell appropriately in the year of its fiftieth birthday. In February 1965, a
long-time friend of the Library, Mr. H. R. MacMillan, presented
the University with three million dollars, to be used exclusively for
the purchase of books. This was the largest gift of uncommitted
funds ever received by a university library. Its effect will be to triple
the collection to over two million volumes within a decade, thus
assuring a solid base for graduate scholarship.
At the end of fifty years, the University of British Columbia
Library can look back with satisfaction and forward with cheerful
anticipation. Its future seems assured, for it has been blessed with
ample funds for books, an administration aware of its importance
and sympathetic to its need for expansion, and a well-trained and
energetic staff. Few libraries can make such a claim, with or without an anniversary to use as an excuse for self-appraisal.
77 Senate Library Committee
The Senate Library Committee is charged with the responsibility of
advising and assisting the Librarian in:
i.   Formulating a library policy in relation to the development of resources for instruction and research
2. Allocating book funds to the fields of instruction and research
3. Developing a general programme of library service for all the
interests of the University
4. Keeping the Librarian informed concerning the library needs of
instructional and research staffs
5. Interpreting the Library to the University.
The Senate Library Committee and the University's Librarians have
had a close and productive relationship throughout the Library's
history. Hundreds of faculty members have served on the Committee,
ensuring that the development of the Library has been in step with the
academic programme.
E. H. Archibald
G. G. Sedgewick
T. H. Boggs
D. Buchanan
H. F. Angus
W. L. MacDonald
F. H. Soward
A. H. Finlay
M. Y. Williams
B. Eagles
T. Larsen
I. M. Cowan
To those familiar with the University, the list of the Committee chairmen reads like a roll of honour.
78 Librarians igi^-ig6§
Abernethy, Isabel
Adams, Alice
Allen, Helen
Allingham, Margot
Anderson, Susan
Aylen, Dorothea
Bateson, Norah
Beattie, Margaret
Belak, Margot
Bell, Inglis
Berry, Marilyn
Brearley, Anne
Brongers, Lore
Buckley, Frances
Burndorfer, Hans
Butterfield, Rita
Buttery, Jill
Caballero, Helen
(Walsh, Fraser)
Chatwin, Dorothy
Chen, Marian
Clark, Adrienne
Cockburn, Mary
Constable, Helen
Cooper, Diana
Cummings, John
Cummings, Joyce
Cunningham, Margaret
Detwiller, Georgina
Dobbin, Geraldine
Dodson, Suzanne
Donald, Jean
Dore, Nancy
Dunlap, Leslie
Dutton, Marilyn
Dwyer, Melva
Edmonds, Barbara
Elias,  Elizabeth
Elliston, Graham
Erickson, Ture
Fisher, Robyn
Fiszhaut, Gustawa
Ford,   Marguerite
Fraser,   Alan
Fraser, Doreen
Freeman, Carol
Freeman, George
Gaensbauer, Ena
Gallup, Jennifer
Gibson, Barbara
Giesbrecht, Josephine
Godefroy, Isabel
Grant, Penelope
Gray, John
Green, Larry
Gregory, Eleanor
Hamilton, Robert
Harlow, Neal
Harrington, Walter
Harris, Robert
Haydock, Eleanor
Heine, Ann (Barton)
Henderson, Betty
Hennessey, Reginald
Hoeg, Eleanor (Cock)
Ingram, Doreen
Jefferd, Dorothy
Johnson, Marion
Johnson, Stephen
Johnstone, Kathleen
Jupp, Elisabeth
Kannawin, Jane
Katz, Salem
Keevil, Susan
Kincaid, Jay
Knowles, Dorothy
Kwong,  Linda
Lamb, W. Kaye
Lanning, Mabel
Lanning, Roland
Leaf, Lawrence
Lee, Grace (Kent)
Leith, Anna
Liggins,  Patricia
Little, Margaret
McAlpine, Barbara
Macaree, Mary
McCloy,  Doreen
McCloy, T. R.
79 McDonald, Isabel
McDougall, Maria
Mclnnes, Douglas
McKay, Jean
MacKenzie, Margaret
MacLean, Mora
MacRae, Georgia
Malin, Audrey
Mawhinney,  Islay
Mercer, Eleanor
Minard,   Sylvia
Misewich, Elizabeth
Molson, Jean
Nelson, Ann (Vlag)
Ng, Tung King
Norbury, Elizabeth
Ollerenshaw, Janet
O'Neill, Margaret
O'Rourke, Joan
Owens, Noel
Pahr, Margaret
Parker, William
Pearce,  Catherine
Phelan, Georgia
Port, Susan  (Hand)
Preibish, Andre
Raff, Walter
Ranz, Jim
Reeves,  Sylvia
Rendell, Mary
Ridington, John
Rothstein, Samuel
Rowley, Ann
Russell, Phyllis
Scott,  Priscilla
Selby, Joan
Selth, Geoffrey
Shanahan, Claire
Shaw, Donna
Shields, Dorothy
Shorthouse, Thomas
Sinclair, Helen
Smith, Anne M.
Spratt, Albert
Steckl,  Peter
Stewart, Edith
Stuart-Stubbs, Basil
Taggart, William
Taylor, Doreen
Thomas, David
Thompson, Mary
Thornton, Patricia
Turner, George G.
Turner, Marjorie
Vespry, Marianne
Vogel, Betty
Ward, Katherine
Watson, William
Wells, Isabel
Wilshere, Gillian
Wilson, Maureen
Woodward, Emily
Woodworth, Frances
Yandle, Anne


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