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John Ridington

b. April 18, 1868, West Ham (Essex) England; d. April 20, 1945, Vancouver, BC

John Ridington, n.d. Credit University of British Columbia Library.


Tredegar Road Wesleyan School, Bow, London, 1883-87, pupil teacher.
New York State Library, Albany, Summer School, 1916.


1889-1895 School Teacher at Burdette, Rookhurst, and Foxwarren, Manitoba
1895-1901 Publisher and Editor, Carberry News
1902-1906 Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
1907 Free Lance journalist
1908-1910 Manager, Real Estate, Wm. Pearson Co. Ltd., Winnipeg
1911-1912 Sales Manager, Canada Western Trust Co., Vancouver
1913-1914 Night school teacher, Vancouver School Board
1914-1915 Cataloguer, University of B.C. Library
1916-1922 Acting Librarian and Cataloguer, U.B.C. Library
1922-1940 University Librarian, U.B.C.
1941-1945 Special editorial writer, Vancouver News Herald.


Ridington, John (1903). “The Doukhobor pilgrimage.” Canadian Magazine 20 (Jan.): 211-222.

Ridington, John (1903). “The crusade of the Doukhobors: the story of a modern pilgrimage.” Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly 55, no , 4 (Feb.): 337-349.

Ridington, John (1912). “Fort George and its tributary territory.” B.C. Magazine 10: 755-759.

Ridington, John (1912). “Panama and the Peace River.” Saturday Sunset. Annual B.C. Development Edition: 11-15.

Ridington, John (1917). “The poetry of the War”. Pacific Northwest Library Association Conference Proceedings: 52-90.

Ridington, John (1918). “The university, the university library, and the returned soldier.” Library Journal, 43 (Nov.): 808-886.

Ridington, John (1920). “The challenge of the present days.” PNLA Conference Proceedings: 7-8. Also in: Public Libraries, 25, no. 4, April: 175-178.

Ridington, John (1920). “Library Development in British Columbia.” Public Libraries: A Monthly Review of Library Matters and Methods 25, no. 4 (April): 214.

Ridington, John (1920). “New needs and new responsibilities.” American Library Association Bulletin, 14, no. 4 (July): 195-203.

Ridington, John (1923). “Artist - Artisan, which?” Public Libraries 28 (Feb.): 55-62.

Ridington, John (1924). “The new place of books In education.” PNLA Conference Proceedings: 18-28.

Ridington, John (1927). “The libraries of British Columbia.” Library Journal 52 (June 15th): 646-650.

Ridington, John (1927). “Address of welcome.” PNLA Conference Proceedings: 43-48.

Ridington, John (1927). “Distribution of Canadian public Documents.” Library Journal 52 (Dec. 1st): 1131-1132.

Ridington, John (1929). “Canada's Poet Laureate: Bliss Carman.” PNLA Proceedings: 70-77.

Ridington, John (1930). “Canadian Library Association.” American Library Association Bulletin 24, no. 9 (Sept.): 394–395.

Ridington, John, Mary J.L. Black and George H. Locke (1933). Libraries in Canada; a study of library conditions and needs. By The Commission of Enquiry … Toronto: Ryerson Press and Chicago, American Library Association.

Ridington, John (1934). “Canada and its libraries.” Library Journal 59 (June 15th): 493-498.

Ridington, John (1934). “Canadian Library Council Proposed.” American Library Association Bulletin 28, no. 9 (Sept.): 638.

Ridington, John (1934). “The Library as insurance.” Ontario Library Review 18(Aug.):123-124.

Ridington, John (1938), chairman. Brief Submitted to the Commission at Its Hearings in Victoria, B.C., March 1938 by the British Columbia Library Association [Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations].


1915 Vancouver Public Library Board
1916-1917 Pacific Northwest Library Association, Second Vice-President
1918-1919 Pacific Northwest Library Association, President
1923-1924 British Columbia Library Association, President
1923-1924 Pacific Northwest Library Association, President
1926 Pacific Northwest Library Association, President
1933 B.C. Provincial Library Commission, Member
1934-1942 B.C. Public Library Commission, Member


1935 King George V Silver Jubilee Medal
1940 Belgian Order of the Crown to recognize his contribution to the building of the Bibliothèque Royale Albert I in Brussels

Other Areas of Activity:

1930-1933 Carnegie Corporation. Commission of Enquiry, Chairman
1925-193? Canadian Library Association, President


Starting in 1927 Ridington spearheaded an attempt to establish a Canadian Library Association, and was twice elected to its Presidency, even though the Association was never incorporated.

“Known affectionately to thousands of UBC students as 'King John,' and his library as 'King John's Castle,” Mr. RIdiington was responsible during his quarter of a century as chief librarian for building up the UBC Library from a random collection of 700 volumes to an institution with more than 125,000 catalogued books. — Vancouver Sun, April 21, 1945


University of British Columbia Archives. Librarian's Office: John Ridington.
Stuart-Stubbs, Basil. “1925: CLA launched … In Seattle?” Feliciter, v. 44, no. 5, May 1998, p. 20-25. (Part 1)
Stuart-Stubbs, Basil. “1925: CLA launched … In Seattle?” Feliciter, v. 44, no. 6, June 1998, p. 26-31,34. (Part 2)
Stuart-Stubbs, Basil. “1927: CLA born again … In Toronto?” Feliciter, v. 45, no. 2, 1999, p. 98-105, 122.
Stuart-Stubbs, Basil. “1927-30: The muddle years.” [Summary] Feliciter, v. 46, no. 3, 2000, p. 148-149.
Stuart-Stubbs, Basil. “1930: The Commissioners' trail.” [Summary] Feliciter, v.47, no 3, 2001, p. 140-141.
Stuart-Stubbs, Basil. “1933: The Commission speaks.” [Summary] Feliciter, v. 48, no. 3, 2002, p. 126-128.
Stuart-Stubbs, Basil. “1934: CLA redux… almost.” [Summary] Feliciter, v. 49, no. 3, 2003, p. 161-164.
Stuart-Stubbs, Basil. “1934-46: The long last lap.” [Summary] Feliciter, v. 50, no. 3, 2004, p. 112-115.
Stuart-Stubbs, Basil. John Ridington: The library years. Vancouver, 1998. 20 p. [Unpublished talk delivered to the X-Club, U.B.C.]

biographies/john-ridington.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/23 19:46