Memorial University’s Queen Elizabeth II Library celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special reception last night in St. John’s.
The facility, commonly known as the QE II, holds the largest research library collection east of Montreal and currently contains more than 2.5 million books.
Located on Memorial’s St. John’s campus, the building was officially opened on May 28, 1982, and is named after Queen Elizabeth II who turned the sod in advance of the construction of the current building which began on July 27, 1978.
Five stories high, the QE II serves Memorial’s undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, faculty, staff, visiting researchers, the general public and alumni of the university. Its collection supports a variety of disciplines taught at Memorial and contains more than 16,000 periodical titles – about 5,400 of which are available electronically.
During the Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association’s annual meeting, which took place on Memorial’s St. John’s campus on Tuesday, May 22, a special social was held to mark the QE II’s quarter of a century anniversary. “It is appropriate for us to mark this milestone in the QE II’s history,” said Dr. Eddy Campbell, Memorial’s vice-president (academic).
“This library has received national recognition for being an impressive collection, and the QE II represents a significant resource, not just for faculty, staff and students at Memorial University, but to the wider community of writers, researchers, policy analysts and practically any citizen who is looking to find out anything about our province and our world.”
The anniversary reception took place in the facility’s Map Library, Level II.
The reception coincided with the Canadian Library Association and the Atlantic Provinces Library Association’s annual meeting and conference which are taking place May 23-26, in St. John’s.
“The Queen Elizabeth II Library has served as the base for a conversation between the past and the future, as every academic library does,” said Richard H. Ellis, university librarian. “This role will continue as students and scholars move from information to understanding.”
A dozen employees from libraries on Memorial’s St. John’s campus and the Marine Institute are heavily involved in this year’s regional and national activities which will attract more than 1,200 delegates.
The conference will include speakers from across the country and abroad with sessions encompassing all aspects of libraries and librarianship and is being held at the Delta Hotel and Conference Centre, while pre-conference sessions are being held at the Inco Innovation Centre and Science Building at Memorial, as well as the Delta Hotel.
During Saturday’s closing reception, Mr. Ellis, who is stepping down as Memorial’s University Librarian will receive the Atlantic Provinces Library Association’s Merit Award for his contributions to the Atlantic Provinces during his 35 year career as a librarian at Memorial.
About the Queen Elizabeth II Library
The library’s collection contains:
The Archives and Manuscripts Division, which is located in L-1006 on Level 1 of the Queen Elizabeth II Library. The archives holds an extensive collection of original manuscripts, personal papers, diaries, scrapbooks, photographs and other such materials which document various aspects of Newfoundland and Labrador society. Major collections include literary, labour, theatre and the performing arts, women, post-Confederation Newfoundland and Labrador politics and social organizations and activities.
The Centre for Newfoundland Studies is located on the Level Three of the Queen Elizabeth II Library. The CNS is a special research collection of books, government documents, periodicals, newspapers, theses, microforms, and historic maps reserved for the study of all aspects of Newfoundland and Labrador. The CNS holds the largest collection of published Newfoundlandiana in the province.
The Map Library is located on Level Two of the Queen Elizabeth II Library. This collection provides world-wide coverage of maps, atlases and reference sources. The emphasis of this collection is on maps of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and the oceans around Newfoundland and Labrador. Within this collection you will also find: census material, topographic, thematic, general, city, provincial, state, national, historical, extra-terrestrial, and astronomical maps; nautical and aeronautical charts; aerial, global and planetary photographs; globes; gazateers; glossaries; dictionaries; directories; cartobibliographies and much more.
Located on Level Two, The Commons is an innovative partnership between the Queen Elizabeth II Library, and Memorial’s Department of Computing and Communications, and the university’s Writing Centre. It provides access to computers, printing, technology resources, as well as support and expertise to assist library users.
The Media and Data Centre is located on Level One of the Queen Elizabeth II Library and is divided into three sections: the Microforms Room, Viewing Area, and Service Desk. The centre houses the majority of the library’s microforms and audio-visual collections, as well as electronic resources.
The Music Resource Centre is located in the M.O. Morgan Music Building. This collection includes scores, audio and video recordings, as well as reference materials relating to programs in the School of Music which belong to the Queen Elizabeth II Library.
Partial timeline of QE II:
• 1982: Queen Elizabeth II Library officially opens in January.
• 1982: Richard Ellis appointed Acting University Librarian in March 1982; becomes university librarian on Oct. 15, 1982.
• 1983: Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives (later renamed the Archives and Manuscript division) opens.
• 1984: The 1,000,000 book is added to the library’s holdings.
• 1992: More and more of the library’s processes are computerized.
• 2000: Library holds 4,404,000 print and microform volumes.
• 2001: The Queen Elizabeth II Library staff, as a whole, are presented with the Memorial Staff Volunteer of the Year Award for their longstanding fundraising work in aid of the Iris Kirby Shelter. University Bookstore moves out of Queen Elizabeth II Library to the new Smallwood Student Centre.
• 2004: The Information Commons in the Queen Elizabeth II Library comes on stream, introducing a new era of information dissemination and retrieval. Digitization of library resources begins in earnest with the creation of the Digital Archives Initiative database.
• 2007: Along with its print and microform holdings, the library has 40,000 electronic serial titles and 14,500 electronic books in the catalogue.
• 2007: Richard Ellis is awarded the APLA Merit Award. Mr. Ellis steps down as University Librarian.