The Canadian association dedicated to people whose careers have been in libraries, archives, publishing, and information work

User Tools

Site Tools


Freda Farrell Waldon

b. Aug. 29, 1898, Winnipeg, MB; d. Nov. 16, 1973, Hamilton, ON

Freda Farrell Waldon, c.1947. Credit Hamilton Public Library


Central Public School, Hamilton and Hamilton Collegiate Institute
1919 BA (University of Toronto)
1931 MA in English (Columbia University)
1931 Diploma, School of Librarianship, University of London


1926–1927 Librarian, Circulation Department, Hamilton Public Library
1927–1940 Head, Cataloguing Department, Hamilton Public Library
1940–1963 Chief Librarian, Hamilton Public Library

Publications and other writings:

Waldon, Freda F. (1931). Alexander Henry, Esq., of Montreal: fur trader, adventurer and man of letters. New York: Columbia University. (Masters essay, English).

Waldon, Freda F. (1935). “Queen Anne and the four kings of Canada: a bibliography of contemporary sources.” Canadian Historical Review 16 (3): 266–275.

Waldon, Freda F. (1935), “Suggested program for Canadian libraries.” In Public documents: their selection, distribution, cataloging, reproduction and preservation, ed. by A. F. Kuhlman: 37–45. Chicago: American Library Association.

Waldon, Freda F. (1942). “War libraries.” Ontario Library Review 26 (2): 171–174.

Waldon, Freda F. and Marget H.C. Meikleham (1944). “If you like books and people; an open letter to the graduating class of McMaster, 1944.” Ontario Library Review 28 (3): 292–293.

Waldon, Freda F. (1944). “Larger public libraries in Canada.” Wilson Library Bulletin 19 (3): 171–173.

Waldon, Freda F. (1945). “Report of the Committee on Salaries.” Ontario Library Review 29 (3): 279–280.

Waldon, Freda F. (1945). “The School comes to the library.” The School [Secondary Edition]: a Magazine Devoted to Elementary and Secondary Education 33 (5): 387–391.

Waldon, Freda F. (1947). “National Library service.” In Proceedings of the Canadian Library Association, 2nd Meeting [Vancouver, June 14–16], 1947: 9–15. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association.

Waldon, Freda F. (1947). “Why no National Library? CBC Broadcast 27 August 1947.” Canadian Library Association Bulletin 4 (2): 41–43.

Waldon, Freda F. (1948). “Financing the library, a broadcast over CHML.” Ontario Library Review 32 (1): 3–6.

Waldon, Freda F. and Katharine Greenfield (1949). “The brains of the library: Hamilton Public Library broadcast over station CHML January 20, 1948.” CLA Bulletin v.5 (5): 168–171.

Waldon, Freda F. (1949). “We like functional architecture.” Ontario Library Review 33 (2): 83–87.

Waldon, Freda F. (1951). “Children are wanted–now!” Canadian Library Association Bulletin 8 (1): 17–20.

Waldon, Freda F. (1951). “The Massey report.” [a speech given before the] Hamilton Association, Nov. 10, 1951.

Waldon, Freda F. (1951). “W.G.B.: a personal reminiscence [Winifred Barnstead].” Ontario Library Review 35 (3) : 203–205.

Waldon, Freda F. (1953). “A golden anniversary: William Henry Lovering, Q.C., O.B.E.” Ontario Library Review 37 (1): 15–16.

Waldon, Freda F. (1953). “The Massey Report – three years after.”

Waldon, Freda F. (1956). “Tribute to a fellow librarian [Charles Sanderson obit].” Ontario Library Review 40 (3): 166–167.

Waldon, Freda F. 1957). “More than a Branch [Westdale in Hamilton].” Library Journal 82 (21): 3050–3051.

Waldon, Freda F. (1963). “Early provisions for libraries in Hamilton.” Wentworth Bygones 4: 22–35.

Waldon, Freda F. (1963). “Why local history.” Ontario Library Review 47 (2): 33–35.

Waldon, Freda F. (1968). “The C.L.A.–the first twenty years.” In Librarianship in Canada, 1946–1967: Essays in Honour of Elizabeth Homer Morton, ed. by Bruce B. Peel: 22–37. Victoria: Canadian Library Association.

Waldon, Freda F. (1990). Bibliography of Canadiana published in Great Britain, 1519-1973. Revised and edited by William F. E.. Morley. Ottawa: National Library of Canada. (Published posthumously).

Honours and Accomplishments:

1931–1932 Carngie Fellowship for study in London
1941–1942 President, Ontario Library Association
1946 Elected first President of the Canadian Library Association
1954 Honorary Doctor of Laws, McMaster University, for her contribution to Canadian librarianship
United Nations Award for Meritorous Service in recognition of 35 years of active membership
Active member of American Library Association, serving on council for four years


Described as a “renaissance Woman” Freda Waldon’s accomplishments were many spreading over three areas – Scholarship, contributions to the improvement of libraries and library services and for dedicated community service. As a professional and chief librarian she transformed the cataloguing system of the Hamilton Public Library and “she will be remembered for the expansion of branch libraries, for increased children’s services, and the enhancing human resources for library staff.” As a library administrator she transformed the Hamilton Public Library into a first rate resource in the areas of catalogue and its book collection.“ Before her retirement the collection was the fourth largest in a public library in Canada; circulation had grown to the third largest and a nation-wide reputation had been gained for the quality of the reference service offered.” Her contributions to library service reached far beyond her own library in her services on the executive of the Ontario Library Association, her leadership as the first president of the Canadian Library Association and her contributions that lead to the development of the National Library of Canada. Her scholarship can be seen in the development of the monumental Bibiography of Canadiana, Published in Great Britain 1519-1763 which was prepared under a Carnegie Fellowship. A dedicated commuity worker, she took a leading role in adult education helping to found the Hamilton Recreation Council and the Hamilton branch of the Nation Film Forum She was also a founding member of the Women’s Committee of the Art Gallery of Hamilton and Head-of-the-Lake Historical Society,


Freda Farrell Waldon. Hamilton Public Library. Accessed Feb. 15, 2016.
Freda Farrell Waldon,1992 Gallery of Distinction Inductee. Accessed Feb. 15, 2016.
Wikipedia. Freda Farrell Waldon. Accessed May 29, 2017.
Canadian Who’s Who 1973-75. Toronto: Who’s Who Canadian Publications, 1975. p. 1020.

biographies/freda-farrell-waldon.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/23 20:07