THIS MONTH  The railway Article of the Month
 Image
 Internal link
William Kaye Lamb

 Photo Historian, archivist and founder of the National Library of Canada her was born 11 May 1904, in New Westminster, and died 24 Aug 1999 in Vancouver.

Lamb's occupations, archivist, librarian, historian, and author connote a reclusive, antisocial individual, yet he's described by those who knew him as energetic, affable, and driven.

his most prolific period as an author came after his retirement, in the 1970s and 1980s. He wrote books ranging from Rivers of Canada to Canada's Five Centuries. His masterwork was his four-volume 1985 edition of the journals of Captain George Vancouver, which he edited and furnished with a 256 page introduction, in itself the definitive biography of the explorer.

Lamb earned bachelor's and master's degrees in history at UBC then won the Nicol scholarship, which took him to the Sorbonne for postgraduate studies. After three years in Paris, whereupon he became fluently bilingual, he moved on to the University of London for his PhD.

Returning to Vancouver, Lamb taught history at UBC, then moved to Victoria in 1934 to become provincial archivist and librarian. In 1940 he succeeded John Ridington, founder of the UBC library, taking over the care of its 20,000 volumes.

In 1948 Mackenzie King appointed Lamb Dominion archivist.

Lamb managed to pry an ever larger budget out of the federal treasury department each year to create a national library, going so far as to himself draft the National Library Act which was passed in 1952.

He proposed a new building to house both the National Library and National Archives which were opened in 1967.

By the time he left it two years later, Canada's national library and archives compared with the most voluminous, accessible, and up-to-date in the world - Wikipedia.

 Internal link