Fonds HG - Hilda Gifford fonds

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Hilda Gifford fonds

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  • 1948-1960 (Creation)
    Gifford, Hilda G.

Physical description area

Physical description

  • 1 silver spoon
  • 1 book plate

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Biographical history

Hilda G. Gifford was born in Montreal on September 23, 1915. The daughter of a McGill professor, she received her public and secondary schooling at Westmount P.Q. and at "The Study", Montreal. She graduated from McGill University in 1937 with a B.A. (First Class Honours) in French and German, and went on to receive a degree in library science (B.L.S) in 1938, also from McGill. Gifford worked as a library cataloguer at Dalhousie University from 1938-1943, before moving to Ottawa in 1943. Her knowledge of German enabled her to work as a post officer censor, censoring German prisoner of war letters until the War's end in 1945. From 1945-1947, she was employed with the International Labour Office. In 1947, she took a cataloguing job at the Harvard Law Library, as well as working at Dartmouth College, from 1947-1948. She joined Carleton as Head Librarian in 1948. At Carleton, Ms. Gifford took on the task of transforming the modest book collection into the library as it exists today. At the time of her arrival, the 5000 volume library occupied the maid's rooms on the fourth floor of the old building on First Avenue. By 1968, there were over 300,000 volumes in her care in the newly constructed MacOdrum Library. In 1969, Ms. Gifford assumed the role as Carleton's Collections Librarian, which she continued to hold until her retirement in 1981. Ms. Gifford has been involved in many Carleton activities and committees over the years. She has sat on the Library Committee, Committee on Curriculum (1949-1950); Faculty Club, and the Building Advisory Committee. She has been involved with the Canadian Political Science Association; Humanities Association of Canada, Canadian Library Association (including as President of the Ottawa branch), American Library Association, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers. In 1982, Ms. Gifford was awarded the honourary degree of Doctor of Literature honoris causa in recognition of her 33 years of leadership and service to Carleton University. Ms. Gifford still resides in Ottawa.

Custodial history

Received from Hilda Gifford through Tony Michel.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of a 1960 silver spoon which was given as a Prom gift from students to female faculty and staff; and a bookplate from 1948 bearing the old Carleton College crest and bearing the name, W.J. Sykes.

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