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Who was Elizabeth Dafoe?: Home

Elizabeth Dafoe

Elizabeth Dafoe was the Chief Librarian of the University of Manitoba from 1937 until her death in 1960. Ms. Dafoe was born in Montreal in 1900 and moved to Winnipeg in 1901 when her father, J.W. Dafoe, came to the city to assume the job of editor of the Manitoba Free Press. Educated at the University of Manitoba (B.A. 1923) she attended the Library School of the New York Public Library and she also studied at the University of Chicago.

Ms. Dafoe worked at the University of Manitoba Library throughout her career, holding positions of increasing responsibility until she was appointed University Librarian in 1937. In the early 1950's she helped to plan the new central library of the University - the library which now bears her name.

A leader in the library community in her province and in Canada, Ms. Dafoe played a role in the formation of both the Manitoba and the Canadian Library Associations and served as President of both organizations. She was also a promoter of the idea of a National Library for Canada and served on the National Library Committee in 1948. She was a member of the Council of the American Library Association from 1949 to 1954.

Ms. Dafoe was also involved in many other organizations, including the Canadian Federation of University Women and the Canadian Institute for International Affairs.

The memory of this outstanding professional woman lives on in the name of the Elizabeth Dafoe Library, the library which serves the faculties of Arts, Education, Environment, Earth, and Resources, Human Ecology, Kinesiology and Recreation Management, Nursing, and Social Work at the University of Manitoba.