Canadian Necrology


Miss Katherine Wales, who established the first separate reference service at the University of Toronto Library, began Canadian Necrology in 1934 as a way to augment the limited number of Canadian reference sources available at that time. In addition to her index to the obituary clippings in the major Toronto papers of the day, such as The Globe, The Mail and Empire, and The Toronto Daily Star, Miss Wales added index cards created by William Stewart Wallace, historian and University librarian (1923-54), and author of many books, including The Dictionary of Canadian Biography, first published in 1926. Professor Hugh Langton, also a former chief librarian (1892-1923) and an historian at the University of Toronto, added his transcriptions of William Henry Pearson's Dates of decease of those who were my friends, or with whom I was slightly acquainted [manuscript, 1853-1920] to the card file.

Over the past eight decades, various staff members within the Reference Department have worked on compiling and maintaining this card file. Thanks to these efforts over the years, Canadian Necrology includes obituary information for 20,000 names.

I am especially thankful to the following Faculty of Information alumni who, as students, input thousands of records into this database or participated in a practicum: Charles Dunham, Lucy Gan, Naseem Hrab, Karson Jones, Teruko Kishibe, Cari Merkley, Lisa Page, Laura Richmond, Anita Seth, Corrina Switzer, Julia Tarabuyeva, and Dana Thomas.

This electronic version would not be accessible to all if it were not for the excellent work of the Library's Web Development Group. A special thank you to Sian Miekle, Kelli Babcock, Maureen Morin, Gordon Belray, Ken Zi Jian Yang, and Chul Hee Yoon for their work on the web site.

And finally, I am especially grateful for the support I have received from the following people during my work on this project: Carole Moore, Jenny Mendelsohn, Sharon Brown, and my wonderful colleagues in the Reference and Research Services Department, Robarts Library. Thank you for your support throughout the years.

Patricia Bellamy