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William J. Sykes, 1865-1948, Ottawa librarian, 1912-36

William John Sykes was born at Campbellford, Ontario, in 1865. After graduating from Victoria College, University of Toronto, he began a teaching career. In 1912 he successfully applied for the position of chief librarian at Ottawa and held this until his retirement in 1936. Under his tenure, the main Carnegie library was expanded, services modernized, and two branch libraries opened. He was president of the Ontario Library Association in 1921/22.

Sykes held a keen interest in English literature and authored a number of publications including the collected works of William Wilfred Campbell in 1923. He also published a book selection guide for libraries, Selected list of fiction in English, in 1914. He died at Ottawa on 13 October 1948.

Photo caption: William J. Sykes, no date
Photo source: National Archives of Canada, C-27771
Page created on 5 June 1997
Last modified on



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