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William Stewart Wallace

William Stewart Wallace, n.d. Credit Univesity of Toronto Archives

b. June 23, 1884, Georgetown, ON; d. March 11, 1970, Toronto, ON


1906 BA (University of Toronto)
1909 BA (Oxford University)
1912 MA (Oxford University)


1906-1907 Lecturer in English and History, Western University
1909-1920 Professor in History, McMaster University (Toronto)
1910-1922 Lecturer in History, University of Toronto
1920-1923 Assistant and Associate Librarian, University of Toronto
1923-1954 University Librarian, University of Toronto

Publications (major contributions):

Library contributions:

Wallace, W.S. (1921). “Taking the university library to the people.” University of Toronto Monthly 21(6): 261–262.

Wallace, W.S. (1929). “The university library of to-day and to-morrow.” University of Toronto Monthly 29(6): 225–226.

Wallace, W.S. (1933). “New library in the University College.” University of Toronto Monthly 33(8): 261–262.

Locke, George H. and W.S. Wallace, eds. (1934). A joint catalogue of the periodicals and serials in the libraries of the City of Toronto. 4th ed. Toronto: King’s Printer.

Wallace, W.S. (1938). “Canadian government documents.” Ontario Library Review 22(3): 195–196.

Wallace, W.S. (1946). “Need for a National Library is urgent.” Saturday Night 61 (6 October): 28.

Wallace, W.S. (1957). Report on provincial library service in Ontario. Toronto: Department of Education.

Historical and edited contributions:

Wallace, W.S. (1922). By star and compass, tales of the explorers of Canada. Toronto: Oxford [school text, rev. in 1953].

Wallace, W.S., ed. (1926). The Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Toronto: MacMillan [1st ed., rev. in 1945 and 1963].

Wallace, W.S. (1927). A history of the University of Toronto, 1827-1927. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Wallace, W.S. (1927). The growth of Canadian national feeling. Toronto: Macmillan.

Wallace, W.S., ed. (1935-1937). Encyclopedia of Canada, 6 vols. Toronto: University Associates of Canada.

Wallace, W.S. (1949). The Royal Canadian Institute centennial volume, 1849-1949. Toronto: Royal Canadian Institute.

Wallace, W.S. (1954). The Ryerson imprint: a check-list of the books and pamphlets published by the Ryerson Press since the Foundation of the House in 1829. Toronto: Ryerson.

Associations (Presidential positions):

President, Ontario Library Association, 1942-1943
President, Champlain Society, 1943-1948
President, Canadian Library Association, 1951-1952


1928 Fellow of Royal Society of Canada
1936 J.B. Tyrrell Historical Medal [History], Royal Society of Canada
1948 LL.D, University of British Columbia
1951 LL.D, McMaster University
1954 LL.D, University of Toronto
1967 Canadian Centennial Medal


W.S. Wallace was the epitome of the scholar-librarian. Over the course of forty years, he wrote and edited many Canadian monographs and reference works in addition to his administrative duties at the University of Toronto. He joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force and reached the rank of major in World War I. He helped to establish the Canadian Historical Review and served as its first editor, 1920-30. He was a long-time member of Champlain Society and edited or contributed to its publications. Wallace was a precise bibliographer and member of the Bibliographical Society of Canada. He was lover of mystery novels and, upon retirement, he purchased the Dora Hood Book Room, a successful Toronto bookshop.


Blackburn, Robert H. (1989). Evolution of the heart. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 131-50.
Blackwell, John D. (1996). “A librarian extraordinaire: W. Stewart Wallace (1884-1970).” Feliciter 42(3): 36–37.
“W. Stewart Wallace.” (1970). Ontario History 62(2): 82-83.
“W. Stewart Wallace.” (1970). Canadian Historical Review 51(2):243-44.
The William Stewart Wallace Papers and Fonds are held by the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

biographies/william-stewart-wallace.txt · Last modified: 2023/12/23 16:04