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Francis Dolores Donnelly

b. Mar. 31, 1914, St. John’s, NL; d. Jan. 8, 1987, Mount St. Vincent Motherhouse, Halifax, NS


1936 BA (Mount St. Vincent College Halifax, affiliated with Dalhousie University)
1940 BLS (Mount St. Vincent)
1954 MLS (Toronto)
1971 PhD Library Science (Illinois)


1936 Entered Sisters of Charity, Mount St. Vincent, Halifax
1940-1950 Reserve Mines, Cape Breton N.S, Pioneering work in adult education, school and children’s libraries
1941-1950 Librarian and Director of Adult Education, and co-founder Antigonish Movement, Reserve Mines, Cape Breton, N.S.
1950-1957 Assistant Librarian, Mount St Vincent College (later University)
1951-1956 Professor, Mount St. Vincent Library School
1957-1968 University Librarian, Mount St. Vincent College
1971-1976 Associate Professor, Faculty of Library Science, University of Toronto
1976-1982 Professor, Faculty of Library and Information Science, Toronto
1982-1987 Professor Emerita


Donnelly, Francis Dolores (1956). “The College Library [Borrower and the Catalog].” Maritime Library Association Bulletin 20, no. 3 (Spring): 42–43.

Donnelly, Francis Dolores (1956). “What Library Schools Expect from the Employer.” Maritime Library Association Bulletin 20, no. 4 (Summer): 68–71.

Donnelly, Francis Dolores (1958). “Case for the Four-Year Degree in Librarianship.” Canadian Library Association Bulletin 14, no. 5 (April): 227–228.

Donnelly, Francis Dolores (1958). “Mount Saint Vincent Library School.” Canadian Library Association Bulletin 14, no. 5 (April): 217–219.

Donnelly, Francis Dolores (1969). “Innovation vs. Tradition: Needed, New Definitions of Librarianship.” APLA Bulletin 33, no. 2 (June): 6–12.

Donnelly, Francis Dolores (1971). “The National Library of Canada: forces in its emergence and in the identification of its role and responsibilities.” Microfilm edition. Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations.

Donnelly, Francis Dolores (1973). The National Library of Canada: a historical analysis of the forces which contributed to its establishment and to the identification of its role and responsibilities. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association. Based on her 1971 dissertation.

Donnelly, Francis Dolores (1975). Canadian library history and the historical research method [sound recording]. Toronto: University of Toronto, Faculty of Library Science.

Donnelly, Francis Dolores (1977). “Canadian National Library Services” In: Canadian libraries in their changing environment. pp. 271–311. Edited by Loraine Spencer Gary and Carl Gary. Toronto: York University Press.

Donnelly, Francis Dolores (1981). “The British Library: Phenomenon of the seventies or prototype of national library planning.” In Journal of Library History, 16 (2): 380-393.

Donnelly, Francis Dolores (1983). “The National Library in the library community: current developments and trends.” Archivaria 15 In: Essays in honour of W. Kaye Lamb. Ottawa: Public Archives of Canada. Monograph published and presented to Dr Lamb.


Canadian Library Association; 1969-1970, Member, Board of Directors.
Institute of Professional Librarians of Ontario (IPLO); 1973-1975 Member, Board of Directors,
American Library Association; 1975-1976 Member, Committee on Accreditation
Journal of Library History; 1977-1983, Member, Board of Directors.


1954 Beta Phi Mu, Honor Society in Library Science
1969 Howard Phalin World Book Graduate Scholarship in Library Science (First Recipient)
1970 Anita and Lionel Shapiro Fellowship and Katherine L. Sharp Fellowship, University of Illinois
1971 Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society (USA) Interdisciplinary, University of Illinois
1973 National Library of Canada research grant for study of the British Library
1977 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada research grant for study of the British Library


Her original name was Marie Dolores Lorraine Donnelly. In 1936 she began her postulancy in the Sisters of Charity, Halifax, taking the religious name Francis Dolores. She became a noviate in 1937 and took her vows in April 1939. During her time at the “Mount” she worked to establish an active alumni association. In 1951 the library was destroyed by fire. Sister Francis Dolores worked with Sister Francis de Sales to rebuild the collection. In 1957 Sister Francis de Sales retired and Sister Francis Dolores took over as College Librarian until 1968, when left Nova Scotia to pursue her doctorate at the University of Illinois. In 1971 Sister Francis completed her doctoral studies. She joined the Faculty of Library and Information Science, University of Toronto, retiring in 1982.

While at the Faculty she taught courses in Research Collections in Canadiana, Canadian Literature in the Humanities and The Social Environment and Libraries. Throughout her professional life she was active in various associations and gave papers and lectures on new trends and services in libraries. Most notable was her study of the National Library of Canada. In 1981, Sister Francis Dolores began updating the history of the Sisters of Charity in Halifax but she was unable to complete the project before her death.


Sister Francis Dolores Donnelly fonds, Sisters of Charity, Halifax, Congregational Archives
Curriculum vita, Faculty of Library and Information Studies, University of Toronto
F. (Francis) Dolores Donnelly.biography at HLWIKI. Accessed November 28, 2013.

biographies/francis-dolores-donnelly.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/23 03:07