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Edgar Stewart Robinson

b. Nov. 23, 1896, Pickford, Michigan; d. Oct. 24, 1957, Victoria, BC


1920 BA (University of Toronto)
1924 BSLS (University of Washington)


1912-1915 Page, Calgary Public Library
1921-1923 Head of Circulation, Calgary Public Library
1924-1957 Director, Vancouver Public Library


Robinson, Edgar S. (1934). “Suggested policy for the collection and care of Canadian provincial documents.” In Public documents: their selection, distribution, cataloging, reproduction and preservation: papers presented at the 1933 Conference of the ALA, ed. by A. F. Kuhlman, 203-205. Chicago: American Library Association.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1934). “Canadian Library Council [editorial].” Library Journal 59 (15): 656-657.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1935). “On the Pacific Front.” Ontario Library Review 19 (1): 8-10.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1936). “The Work of Public Documents Committee of Canada.” In Public documents: papers presented at the … Conference of the American Library Association [1935], edited by A. F. Kuhlman, 162-166. Chicago: American Library Association.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1937). “The Librarian and Adult Education,” in Library Trends; Papers Presented before the Library Institute at the University of Chicago, August 3-15, 1936, ed. by Louis R. Wilson, 118-133. Chicago: University of Chicago.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1938). “Half a Century of Book Lending; Vancouver Public Library Reaches Jubilee…” Ontario Library Review 22 (1): 11-14.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1946). “Library Plans for Vancouver.” Ontario Library Review 30 (3): 266–67.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1947). “Libraries for today.” Journal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 24 (2): 59-60.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1947). “Debtors to our profession.” Canadian Library Association Bulletin 4 (October): 5-6.

Robinson,Edgar S. (1950). “‘Branching out’ in Vancouver.” Canadian Library Association Bulletin 6 (5): 201-204.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1950). “New times new Libraries.” Canadian Library Association Bulletin 6 (5): 189-190.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1951). “Selecting a Site.” Public Libraries 5 (2): 35–36.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1952). “Plans and progress.” Canadian Library Association Bulletin 9 (3): 82.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1954). “The Technique of photocharging.” Canadian Library Association Bulletin 10 (5): 165-168.

Robinson, Edgar S. (1957). Training professional librarians for Western Canada; report of the Special Committee on Library Education of the Public Library Commission. Edgar S. Robinson, Chairman; Samuel Rothstein, Secretary. Ed. by British Columbia Public Library Commission Special Committee on Library Education. Victoria, B.C.: British Columbia Library Association.


President, British Columbia Library Association, 1926-1927 and 1938-1939
President, Pacific Northwest Library Association, 1928-1929
Chairman, British Columbia Public Library Commission, 1945-1936 and 1956-1957
President, Canadian Library Association, 1952-1953


Edgar Robinson was a champion for the concept of the “library in the community” in Vancouver. He was also a prominent regional voice for librarians in western Canada, especially British Columbia. In August 1949, he chaired the local arrangements committee for the American Library Associations successful “Far West Regional Conference” held in Vancouver. Although his lifelong efforts to open a new central city library only came to fruition shortly after his death, the “Modernist style” four-storey central library on Burrard Street served Vancouver from 1957-1995 and was designated as a heritage site in 1994. Robinson also presided over the development of busy neighbourhood branches, notably Collingwood (1951), Dunbar (1950), Kerrisdale (1943), Kitsilano (1927), and South Hill (1949).


“Edgar Stewart Robinson,” Canadian Library Association Bulletin 14 (3): 127-128.
Curry, Ann and Gary Carre. (1998). “Edgar S. Robinson: Canada’s longest serving public library director.” Epilogue : Canadian Bulletin for the History of Books, Libraries, and Archives 13: 117-136.
“In Memoriam Edgar Stewart Robinson, November 22, [sic] 1896–October 24, 1957.” Viewpoint, the Vancouver Public Library Staff Association Newsletter 11 (2): 1-11.

history/biographies/robinson_es.txt · Last modified: 2021/10/27 00:02 by lbruce