About Libs Today | Digital docs | Ontario history | Photo gallery | Blog  

Lawrence Burpee and William Wallace

At Ontario Historical Society, May 1926

Lawrence J. Burpee was born at Halifax on 5 March 1873. He served as Ottawa's chief librarian from 1905-12. He strove for improved services and was an ardent proponent of a National Library. Burpee vigorously tried to effect this reform in 1911/12, but was not successful. However, he was instrumental in bringing the American Library Association's annual meeting to Ottawa in 1912. He died at Oxford, England, on 13 October 1947.

William Stewart Wallace was born at Georgetown, Ontario, on 23 June 1884. He was chief librarian of the University of Toronto between 1922-54. He was president of the Ontario Library Association in 1942/43 and of the Canadian Library Association in 1950/51. He made many contributions to Canadian literature and in 1957 authored the Report on provincial library service in Ontario which was a catalyst for creation of the Provincial Library Service in 1959. Wallace died on 11 March 1970.

Photo caption: Lawrence Burpee (left) and William S. Wallace at Ontario Historical Society meeting, May 1926
Photo source: Archives of Ontario, AO-847
Page created on 2 May 1997
Last modified on



Created February 1996 | Book requests or comments to: Libraries Today | top of this page |