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Lachlan "Lachie" Farquhar MacRae

b. Oct. 7, 1914, Vancouver, BC; d. July 2, 2001, Guelph, ON


BA 1936 Chemistry (British Columbia)
BA, MA 1937 History and English literature (British Columbia)
BLS 1938 (University of Washington, Seattle).


1939-1940 Librarian, Library Association of Portland, Oregon
1941-1944 Assistant Librarian, New Westminster Public Library
1944-1945 Assistant Librarian, Science-Industry Division, Vancouver Public Library
1945-1951 Chief Librarian, Fort William Public Library
1951-1965 Director, Scientific Information Services, Defence Research Board, Ottawa
1965-1970 Chief Librarian, University of Guelph
1970-1977 Associate National Librarian, National Library of Canada
1977-1979 Special Advisor to the National Librarian, National Library of Canada


MacRae, Lachlan. (1948). “For free film service.” Canadian Library Association Bulletin vol 4, no 4, February: 94-95.

MacRae, Lachlan. (1949). “Index and the library.” Canadian Library Association Bulletin vol 5, no 6, May: 196-197.
[also published under the title “Canadian index: a guide to periodicals and documentary films: the value of the Canadian index to the smaller Canadian library.” Ontario Library Review vol. 33: 145-147.

MacRae, Lachlan (1949. “Film council and the library.” Canadian Library Association Bulletin vol 6, no 3 November: 122-125.

MacRae, Lachlan (1971). “National Library 1970/71; a year of network pre-development.” In: Canadian Library Association Conference 1971, Vancouver. Proceedings. Ottawa. p 2-8.

MacRae, Lachlan (1977). “Angus Mowat: letters are remembered.” Feliciter vol 23, no 11 November: 5

MacRae, Lachlan (1978). Two Glengarry tales. Ottawa: Privately printed.


American Documentation Institute
American Library Association, Intellectual Freedom Committee
Arctic Institute, Directing Committee of Arctic Bibliography
Associate Committee on Scientific Information for the National Research Council, member, chairman
Canadian Film Institute, director 1951-1965
Canadian Library Association, life member
Data Clearing House for the Social Sciences in Canada, Board of DirectorsFèdèration internationale de documentation (FID), member, council member
Ontario Library Association, member; councillor 1947-49, president 1949/50 and 1950/51
Science Council of Canada, Committee on Scientific and Technical Information
Special Libraries Association
Thunder Bay Film Council, secretary, president


1972 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award - School of Librarianship, University of Washington


“One of Mr. MacRae's greatest attributes has been his ability to find excellent professional staff and to develop a team effort among them. He had the happy knack of delegating authority, and at the same time ensuring that all members of the staff were conversant with progress in all phases of the operation. Each one was constantly assured of a full measure of Mr. MacRae's support.

Mr. MacRae had the courage to risk his professional reputation by encouraging and supporting then-unproven innovations in university library design and operation. The degree of success achieved has done much to enhance the reputation of this university both in Canada and abroad.

The new concepts in library design and operation have attracted many visitors to Guelph from throughout the library world. Many aspects of our Library are being carefully studied and assessed by those interested in improving their own operations. Mr. MacRae's many contacts among librarians have been maintained and extended during the development of the McLaughlin Library and the University of Guelph library system.” (“Library News”)

Other areas of activity:

1950 On the staff of a UNESCO seminar on role of libraries in adult education in Malmo, Sweden - his presentation was on the use of audio-visual materials in public libraries

1956 On loan through UNESCO to the government of Egypt to conduct a survey on the feasibility of a public libraries pilot project

1961 Served as a library consultant to NATO to advise the Greek national defence staff on the establishment of a scientific and technological information organization

1980 Served as a consultant to the National Librarian of Jamaica


“Mr. MacRae's special interest is library automation and the application of data processing techniques. He was assigned special responsibilities as the first Associate National Librarian for the implementation of the systems study on the automation of Canadian National Library services in the summer of 1970. He is the last chairman of the NRC Associate Committee on Scientific and Technological Information. Twice, he has served as the president of the Ontario Library Association, and he was a member of the first audio-visual committee of the American Library Association. From 1951 to 1965, he was the director of the Canadian Film Institute. He has the distinction of being the only non-American to serve on ALA's Committee on Intellectual Freedom.” (Noted for the alumni, Fall 1972)


“Appointment” in Ontario Library Review vol 54, March 1970, p 52.
“Associate National Librarian / Directeur gènèral adjoint” in National Library News, vol 2, no 1, January-March 1970.
“Clement, MacRae take new duties” in Feliciter, vol 23, no 12, December 1977.
“Distinguished Alumnus Award - 1972 Lachlan MacRae” in Noted for the alumni, no 31, Fall 1972.
Ketchum, W. O. “Lachlan F. MacRae” in the Ottawa Journal, May 6, 1972.“Lachlan MacRae
Retires” - National Library Press Release 79-8 October 5, 1979.
“Library News” in the University of Guelph News Bulletin, vol, 14, no 13, March 26, 1970.“MacRae accepts Ottawa position” in the University of Guelph News Bulletin, vol 14, no 4, January 29, 1970.
Obituary - Globe and Mail, July 10, 2001, p A12.
“Obituary Lachlan Farquhar MacRae” in National Library Bulletin, vol 33, no 6, November/December 2001.
“Portrait” in Quill & Quire, vol 45 no 12, p 28 1979.
A biographical directory of professional librarians in the United States and Canada, 5th edition, Chicago, American Library Association, 1970.
ELA biography compiled by Paul McCormick

biographies/lachlan-farquhar-macrae.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/23 23:30