Basil Frederick Stuart-Stubbs

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Basil Frederick Stuart-Stubbs C.M., B.A., F.R.S.C., B.L.S., 1930-2012
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See also Archivists & Librarians - Officers of the Order of Canada | Ronald Albert Hagler | Important librarians in history | William Kaye Lamb 800px-Flag of Canada.svg.png

"...he presided over UBC Library during a period of expansive growth but he was not a mere administrator;
he was a scholar, a lover of history and a gentleman short, a librarian’s librarian..."
— Keith Bunnell, UBC Collections librarian (in an e-mail to the wiki administrator)

Basil Frederick Stuart-Stubbs (1930 – 2012), Canadian librarian, administrator and bibliophile, was born in Moncton, New Brunswick in 1930. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of British Columbia in 1952, and a Bachelor of Library Science degree from McGill University in 1954. His library career began at McGill University Library where he was a reference librarian from 1954 to 1956. In 1956, Stuart-Stubbs began his career at (and long association with) the UBC Library, working in various divisions such as cataloguing, serials and special collections. He became UBC's University Librarian in 1964, and remained in that position until 1981, when he became Director of the UBC School of Librarianship, later renamed the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. He retired as Director in 1992.

His support of publishing / resource sharing

In 1971, Stuart-Stubbs (with Anthony N. Blicq) was instrumental in the creation of UBC Press. In 1977, he oversaw the creation of an inter-library lending network for provincial universities on behalf of the BC Ministry of Education. During his career, he contributed as an author, editor and conference presenter on library history and education, publishing, copyright and resource sharing. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and received many awards including the Canada Medal in 1967, Outstanding Academic Librarian from the Canadian Association of College and University Libraries in 1978, and the Order of Canada in 2005. He was presented with the Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award in 2004, for his contributions to the British Columbia publishing industry. In the mid-1960s, Basil was a founding member of the Alcuin Society which was concerned with book production and appreciation - he continued to be active in the society well into retirement. Following retirement in 1992, he was named Emeritus Professor of UBC.

Community service

Stuart-Stubbs was one of the founders in 1978 of the Canadian Institute for Historical Reproductions in Ottawa, an organization that made early Canadiana more widely accessible to the public. He was its third President from 1986 to 1988. In 1987, he served on the founding Board of the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University. As a consultant to government, Stuart-Stubbs served on the BC Arts Board, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canada Council and the National Library. In 2004, he was chair of the Publications Committee of the Bibliographical Society of Canada.


Order of Canada

  • Basil Stuart-Stubbs, C.M., B.A., F.R.S.C., B.L.S.
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Member of the Order of Canada
  • Awarded on June 29, 2005; Invested on February 17, 2006

Music & Diamond Jubilee Medal

Classical music was one of Stuart-Stubbs’ lifelong passions. He was an accomplished pianist, and his collection of sheet music, recordings, and books by and about pianists reveals the breadth of this passion. He attended concerts in Vancouver and while travelling was known to seek out some of the great classical musicians and their concerts. Stuart-Stubbs also had a passion for genealogy, and spent decades searching his roots and discovering the existence of many additional family members in the United States and abroad.

In his last year, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal.


  • Stuart-Stubbs B. Maps relating to Alexander Mackenzie: a keepsake for the Bibliographical Society of Canada. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Library, 1968.
  • Stuart-Stubbs B. Developments in Library and Union Catalogues and the Use of Microform in British Libraries (Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 1973)
  • Stuart-Stubbs B. A short account of a Northwest Voyage performed in the years 1796, 1797 & 1798. By Ebenezer Johnson. With an introduction by Basil Stuart-Stubbs. Illustrations by Fritz Jacobsen. Edited by M.S. Batts. (Vancouver: Alcuin Society, 1974)
  • Stuart-Stubbs B. A survey and interpretation of the literature of Interlibrary Loan. With K. Nichol, D. McInnes and M. Friesen. Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 1976.
  • Stuart-Stubbs B. The northpart of America. Toronto: Academic Press, 1979. With Coolie Verner.

Death in 2012

Stuart-Stubbs died in Vancouver on May 29, 2012 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. His wife, Brenda Peterson, a librarian at UBC Library, and his family were at his side. The UBC flag will be lowered in Basil's honour on Friday, June 1st, 2012.


This entry was written by the wiki adminstrator in memory of one of his professors at the UBC School of Library, Archival and Information Studies.

See also

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