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Winifred Glen Barnstead

Winifred Barnstead BA graduate portrait. Credit Dalhousie University

b. Oct. 6, 1884, Halifax, NS; d. June 5, 1985, Toronto, ON


1906 BA (Dalhousie University)


1906–1907 Library Clerk, Westmount Public Library, Montreal
1907–1908 Teacher, Musquodobit Primary School , Nova Scotia
1908–1910 Cataloguer, Princeton University Library
1910–1928 Chief of the Cataloging Department, Toronto Public Library
1916–1928 Instructor, Ontario Department of Education, Library School
1928–1951 Director, University of Toronto Library School (jointly appointed as Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, receiving tenure in 1944)
1951–1974 Director Emeritus, School of Library Science, University of Toronto


Barnstead, Winifred G. (1912). “Expansion of Dewey Decimal System for Canada,” in Proceedings of the Ontario Library Association Annual Meeting, 1912, pp. 76–79. Toronto: King's Printer.

Barnstead, Winifred G. (1918). Filing Rules for Dictionary Catalogues. Toronto: Kings Printer.

Barnstead, Winifred G. (1936).“A New Degree Course in Library Science,” Ontario Library Review 20, no. 4: 146–147.

Barnstead, Winifred G. (1944). Librarian: Canadian Census Classification Professional Service. Toronto: Distributed by Vocational Guidance Centre, National Committee for Mental Hygiene.

Barnstead, Winifred G. (1945). “Recruitment for Librarianship.” Canadian Library Council Bulletin 1, no. 4 (April): 37.

Barnstead, Winifred G. (1947). “General Training in Librarianship and in the Field of Special Library Work,” in Special Libraries Association Regional Conference Proceedings, King Edward Hotel, Toronto, Oct. 17-18, 1947, vol. 1, pp.2–5. Toronto?: Special Libraries Association.

Barnstead, Winifred G. (1960). “A Tribute to American Librarians,” ALA Bulletin 54, no. 4: 280–281.


Ontario Library Association
Ontario Regional Group of Cataloguers, founding member in 1927
Canadian Library Associaton


1958 Winifred G. Barnstead Scholarship was established by the Library Science Alumni Association
1972 Awarded honorary LLD by University of Toronto.

Other Areas of Activity:

Barnstead founded the Ontario Regional Group of Cataloguers in 1927, the first professionally oriented group in Canada. She also sought to improve the professional and social standing of librarians in the province by attempting to introduce certification and advocating to improve salaries.


Dr. Barnstead was the first Director of the University of Toronto Library School.

“To the graduate of the library school jointly established in 1928 by the Ontario Department of Education and the University of Toronto, Miss Barnstead is the honoured 'director' and 'director emeritus.' Her drive, philosophy of library education and statesmanship, launched the School and before her retirement had attained for it accreditation by the Board of Education of the American Library Association and the Bachelor's and the Master's degrees in Library Science.

There are many who think of “W.G.B.” more personally – hospitality in the Nova Scotia tradition, at home, at the golf course, at the restaurant – moments enlivened by ancedote and salty observations – visits to the Grange – Hart House Theatre – kindnesses during illness and difficult moments – a readiness to explore new fields and find new solutions. In all, two generations of trained librarians owe her allegiance.” — Canadian Library Association Bulletin, Dec. 1954


Bassam, Bertha. “Education of Librarians is put in Historical Perspective.” Canadian Library Journal 36, no. 3 (June 1979): 77–86.
Bassam, Bertha. The Faculty of Library Science University of Toronto and Its Predecessors, 1911–1972. Toronto: Faculty of Library Science in association with the Library Science Alumni Association, 1978.
Bruce, Lorne D. Places to Grow: Public Libraries and Communities in Ontario, 1930–2000, 2011.
Robert H. Blackburn, “Winifred Glen Barnstead, 1884–1985.” Focus (Ontario Library Association) 11, no. (1985): 16–17.
“Pioneers! 0 pioneers!” [W.G.B.]. Canadian Library Association Bulletin, 11, no. 3 (Dec. 1954): 106.
University of Toronto Archives
ELA biography compiled by Agatha Barc

biographies/winifred-glen-barnstead.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/22 19:56