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Banner: National Library of Canada 1953 - 2003

Press Release

March 11, 1949

The Honourable Colin Gibson, Secretary of State, announced today that the National Library Advisory Committee has recommended that immediate steps be taken to organize a Bibliographic Centre, as a first step toward the establishment of a National Library for Canada.

The Committee, which consists of the Dominion Archivist, the Parliamentary Librarian, and nine members representing the provinces, met in Ottawa recently.

Core of the Bibliographic Centre would be a union catalogue which, to begin with, would list the contents of the many government libraries in Ottawa. Lists of the books in many outstanding special collections in various libraries throughout Canada would be added later.

To speed up the work of compiling the union catalogue, the Advisory Committee recommended further that a branch office be established in Montreal to list French-language books in the Province of Quebec, and a portable photographic copying machine be procured, as photography is much the cheapest and easiest way to copy the various smaller catalogues that will be brought together in the union catalogue.

Regardless of what the ultimate character and extent of the National Library may be, a union catalogue is certain to be a part of it, and the Advisory Committee urged that work upon it be commenced as quickly as possible. Compilation of the complete catalogue will take some years, but it will be of the greatest use to other libraries, scholars, and research workers almost from the beginning.

The members of the committee representing the provinces are Mr. Edgar S. Robinson, Vancouver; Mr. Samuel R. Stephens, Moose Jaw; Mrs. Frank Conroy, Edmonton; Miss Elizabeth Dafoe, Winnipeg; Dr. Wm. Stewart Wallace, Toronto; Abbé Joseph Maheux, Montreal; Dr. Alfred Bailey, Fredericton; Dr. C. Lindsay Bennet, Halifax; and Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island, Thane A. Campbell.