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Willard Ernest Ireland

b. 4 Jan. 1914, Vancouver, BC; d. 27 Jan., 1979, Victoria, BC


1933 BA University of British Columbia
1934 Teaching certificate, University of British Columbia
1935 MA University of Toronto


1937–1940 Teacher, South Burnaby High School
1940–1942 Provincial Archivist, British Columbia
1942–1945 Served in Royal Canadian Air Force
1946–1974 Provincial Librarian and Archivist, British Columbia

Publications (selected contributions)

Ireland, Willard E. (1935). British Columbia, the United States, and British American union. MA thesis, University of Toronto).
Ireland, Willard E. (1939). “The evolution of the boundaries of British Columbia.” British Columbia Historical Quarterly 3 (4): 263–282.
Ireland, Willard E. (1941). “Pre-Confederation defence problems of the Pacific colonies.” Canadian Historical Association Annual Report, 20 (1): 41–54.
Ireland, Willard E. (1941). “James Douglas and the Russian American Company, 1840.” British Columbia Historical Quarterly 5 (1): 53–66.
Ireland, Willard E. (1947). “Librarian of Congress in Seattle [Luther Evans].” British Columbia Library Association Bulletin 10 (2): 7.
Ireland, Willard E., ed. (1948). “Gold-rush days in Victoria, 1858-1859.” British Columbia Historical Quarterly 12 (3): 231–246
Ireland, Willard E. (1948). “British Columbia’s American heritage.” Canadian Historical Association Annual Report 27 (1): 67–73.
Ireland, Willard E., et al. (1948). Preliminary Report on Legislative Libraries in Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association.
Ireland, Willard E., chair (1950). Programme for library development in British Columbia, 1950: Being a condensation and revision of the “Programme for library development in British Columbia, 1945.” Victoria, B.C: Joint Committee of the British Columbia Library Association and the Public Library Commission.
Ireland, Willard E. (1953). “The Provincial archival scene.” Canadian Historical Association Annual Report 32 (1): 69–76.
Ireland, Willard E. (1955). “The Year Ahead [1955-1956].” Canadian Library Association Bulletin 12 (2): 17–19.
Ireland, Willard E. (1956). “Promoting Library Service.” [Presidential Address]. In Proceedings of the Canadian Library Association 11th Annual Conference Meeting, Niagara Falls, 11–15 June 1956, pp. 1–5. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association.


President, British Columbia Library Association, 1948–1949
President, Pacific Northwest Library Association, 1953–1954
President, Canadian Library Association, 1955–1956
Victoria College Council, BC, 1950–1963
University of Victoria Board of Governors, executive member, 1963–1971
Social Science Research Council, member


Awarded a Canadian Centennial Medal, 1967
LL.D. University of Simon Fraser, 1971
LL.D. University of Victoria, 1978
Voted “Man of the Year” by British Columbia press, 1966


“Nicknamed ‘The Oracle,’ Ireland was known for his ability to come up with an answer to almost any query.” — Ann Lindsay, 2011.

“When he rose to speak, his audiences always knew they would never be bored. He gave history a touch of class and more than of touch of humor.” — Vancouver Province, March 9, 1974.

“Few men deserve so full the appellation ‘a gentleman and a scholar.’ I wish to thank Willard Ireland for his years of devoted service in the government and people of this province.” — Ernie Hall, B.C. Provincial Secretary in the Vancouver Sun, December 29, 1973.


Canadian Who’s Who, 1961–1963.
“Provincial Librarian becomes Provincial Archivist and Provincial Librarian.” British Columbia Library Association Bulletin 10 (3) 1946: 6.
Aileen Campbell, “Archivist Ireland plans no exposes.” Vancouver Province, March 9, 1974, p. 5.
Ann Lindsay (2011). “Archives and justice: Willard Ireland’s contribution to the changing legal framework of aboriginal rights in Canada, 1963–1973.” Archivaria 71 (spring): 35–62.

biographies/willard-ernest-ireland.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/23 15:52