Fonds uofa-2664 - Bruce Peel fonds

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Bruce Peel fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds.

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Reference code

CA UOFA uofa-2664

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1940-1994, predominant 1956-1994 (Creation)
    Peel, Bruce

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Physical description

11.4 m of textual records. -- ca. 30 photographs. -- 1 map. -- ephemera

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Librarian, Author, 1916-1998. Bruce Braden Peel was born November 11, 1916 on a homestead near Ferland, in southern Saskatchewan, and grew up on the prairies. He earned a teacher's credential and in 1937 began teaching school in rural Saskatchewan, and later in Saskatoon. But he had ambitions which required more education, which the Depression and the outbreak of war served to delay. Although unfit for military service because of his eyes, he nonetheless volunteered, and ended up painting ships at the Lakehead. After returning to Saskatchewan, he took both bachelor's and master's degrees in history, then went east to earn a library degree at the University of Toronto. Returning to the University of Saskatchewan in 1946, he was appointed curator of the Adam Shortt Collection of Canadiana. In 1951 he moved, with his new bride, Margaret (Fullerton), to the University of Alberta Library as chief cataloguer, quickly rose to the position of deputy librarian, and in 1955 was appointed "Librarian to the University." As a library administrator, he guided the growth of the University of Alberta Library from a very modest size to its present rank, as one of Canada's three largest research libraries; planned and developed six library facilities on the Edmonton campus (including the Cameron and Rutherford libraries) as well as the original library collection of the University of Calgary, which was a "branch plant" campus of the U of A until 1965. During this period Mr. Peel also compiled and published Bibliography of the Prairie Provinces to 1953 (1956). He served on seemingly endless library committees and boards, and was president of the Library Association of Alberta (LAA), the Canadian Library Association (CLA), and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL). In 1982, the year of his retirement, he was honored with the Canadian Library Association's Award for Outstanding Service to Librarianship, the naming of the rare book room the "Bruce Peel Special Collections Library" and later, in 1991, by an honorary doctorate conferred by the University of Alberta. He was instrumental in the creation of both the University of Alberta's library school and its press, and a member of the seminal Symons Commission on Canadian Studies (1976-81), for which he drafted documents on the role of libraries in supporting Canadian studies, and the need for a national microfilming project, known as C.I.H.M. (Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions), on whose Board of Directors he also served. Mr. Peel passed away in 1998. He was survived by his wife Mary, daughter Alison (Nussbanmer), and son Brian.

Custodial history

Upon Mr. Peel's death in 1998, the records were transferred from Rutherford North Library at the University of Alberta by Alison Nussbanmer.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of materials relating to the professional life of Bruce Peel as a university librarian and historian of the Prairie Provinces from 1956-1994. The fonds consists of correspondence, manuscript and research materials, photographs, scrapbooks, conference and organizational materials, photocopies, maps, graphic materials, and ephemera. Fonds also includes Mr. Peel's personal scrapbooks. The fonds remains arranged in the original order created by Mr. Peel.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Alison Nussbanmer, Mr. Peel's daughter, in January 1999.


Language of material

  • The material is in English.

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Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions on access.

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Finding aids

A file inventory is available to researchers

Associated materials

University of Alberta Libraries (University of Alberta Archives)

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No further accruals are expected.

General note

Record No. 99-2<br><br>

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