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Mary (Tryphosa) Kinley Ingraham

b. March 6, 1874, Cape Wolfe (or West Cape), PEI; d. November 18, 1949, Livermore, Maine

Mary Kinley Ingraham. Credit Acadia University


1899 Graduate of Acadia Ladies’ Seminary
1915 BA Acadia University
1916 MA Acadia University
1917 Summer course, Simmons College School of Library Science, Boston


c.1897–1905 School teacher in Nova Scotia
1911–1913 School teacher in Massachusetts and Georgia, USA
1917–1944 Chief Librarian, Acadia University
1918–1944 Instructor, library science, Acadia University


Ingraham, M.K. (1921). “Italian and English book collectors of the Renaissance.” Dalhousie Review 1, no. 3: 293–300.

Ingraham, M.K. (1920). Acadia; a play in five acts. Wolfville, NS: Davidson Bros.

Ingraham, M.K. (1921). “Librarianship as a profession.” Canadian Bookman n.s., 3, no. 1: 38–40.

Ingraham, M.K. (1931). “The bookmobiles of Acadia University,” Library Journal 56, 15 January: 62–63.

Ingraham, M.K. (1932). A month of dreams. [poetry] Wolfville, NS.: n.p.

Ingraham, M.K. (1940). “Sixth annual conference of the reorganized Maritime Library Association.” Bulletin of the Maritime Library Association 5, no. 2: 2–6.

Ingraham, M.K. (1947). Seventy-five years: historical sketch of the United Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. Kentville, NS: n.p.

Ingraham, M.K. (1949). “My favorite books.” Bulletin of the Maritime Library Association 13, no. 2: 1–2.


1918–1944 Secretary-Treasurer, Maritime Library (Institute) Association


1947 DCL, Acadia University


Mary Kinley Ingraham was a significant public figure in the development of libraries in the Maritime Provinces after she became chief librarian of the Emmerson Memorial Library at Acadia University in 1917. During her quarter century tenure she improved and expanded circulating holdings, special collections, and library services to students and faculty, even during the Great Depression. Trained initially as teacher, she saw the need to institute formal courses on library education as part of the BA program at Acadia for Maritime library students. As well, she inaugurated a bookmobile service in 1930-31 for rural Maritime readers who were not served by public libraries in three provinces. Later, Acadia operated a travelling library service for communities that continued until WW II. Ingraham was one of the founders and secretary-treasurer of the Maritime Library Association (1918-28) which continued in 1934 as the Maritime Library Institute (1935-40) and became the Atlantic Provinces Library Association in 1957. She contributed many short articles to the Association Bulletin.

Ingraham also was active on the literary front, publishing two volumes of verse, plays, a history of the Baptist Women’s Union, and serving as editor for the review journal, “Book Parlance,” 1924-29. Upon her retirement she was made Librarian Emerita.


“The best preparation will not make a librarian out of a man or woman who has not innate fitness for the work. No one should seriously consider librarianship as a profession who does not know himself to have in his approach to books the grave, searching attitude of the scholar.” M.K. Ingraham (1920)

“Acadia University at Wolfville in the land of Evangeline, with Mrs. Mary K. Ingraham as its ‘live librarian,’ has been the most active representative of library progress in relation with the Maritime Library Association….” Mary S. Saxe, Library Journal (1927)

“Librarians who had the pleasure of knowing and working with her were charmed and impressed by her personality. She helped us to know one another better through the Bulletin. She gave us the joy at conventions of hearing minutes and reports—written and read—in her own inimitable style.” D. Cullen (1950)


Shaw, Beatrice M. H. (1924). “Maritime Librarian,” Maclean’s Magazine, 15 Nov., 37: 68–70.
Beals, Helen D. (1944). “Mrs. Ingraham Retires” Library Journal 69, 1 December, 1944: 1061.
Cullen, Dorothy (1950). “Mrs Mary Kinley Ingraham 1874-1949,” Bulletin of the Maritime Library Association 14, no. 2: 1–2.
Elliott, J.H. (1954). “Pioneers! O Pioneers! 4. Mary Kinley Ingraham.” Canadian Library Association Bulletin 10, June: 261.
Harrison, Tanja. (2012). “The courage to connect: Mary Kinley Ingraham and the development of libraries in the Maritimes.” Library & Information History 28, no. 2: 75–102.
Bird, Kym (2005). “In the beauty of holiness, from the womb of the morning: allegory, morality, and politics in Mary Kinley Ingraham’s Acadia,” Theatre Research in Canada 26, no. 1–2: 26-55.
Mary Kinley Ingraham Fonds, Acadia University Archives, Accession No. 1944.0

biographies/mary-kinley-ingraham.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/23 15:51