AALL’s History – the Canadian Angle

Since the history of law librarianship in CanadaI acknowledge the start made in the Diana Priestly festschrift, Law libraries in Canada : essays to honour Diana M. Priestly, edited by Joan N. Fraser and published by Carswell in 1988, and the recent CALL publication on Law Reporting and Legal Publishing in Canada: A History, but that’s not really on topic. is relatively underdocumented, it’s interesting to note the Canadian references in our American colleagues’ massive centennial history of AALL.

1912 – June 26–July 2 . . . AALL’s 7th Annual Meeting is the first to be held outside the United States, with members convening at the brand new Château Laurier Hotel in Ottawa, Canada. Rates at the hotel, which opened on June 12, 1912, are $1.25 to $3.50 per day, European plan.

1912 – a List of Law Libraries in the United States and Canada is published in Law Library Journal (5 LLJ 35–51). Arranged alphabetically by state and province, it includes public law libraries, court and bar libraries, state and government libraries, law libraries of public officials, and libraries of universities and schools for the study of law. The name and address of each library is given, as well as an estimated volume count.

1919 – January 19 . . . One hundred-sixteen individuals are included on the list of members published in Law Library Journal (11 LLJ 85–87). Among the twelve associate members on the list are R. Carswell of Toronto, Canada, the Frank Shepard Co. of New York City, and C. Willard Smith of the West Publishing Co. in St. Paul, Minnesota.

1927 June 21–23 . . . For the first time in fifteen years—and only the second time in its history—AALL meets in Canada. Fifty-seven are listed in attendance (22 LLJ 59–60) at the 22nd Annual Meeting, held in Toronto and headquartered at the Queens Hotel (reopened as the Royal York in 1929).

1940 – December . . . The first edition of the List of Law Libraries in the United States and Canada, published for the Association through the courtesy of Commerce Clearing House, is distributed to members of the Executive Committee at its midwinter meeting in Chicago. Copies will be mailed to all members of the Association in February 1941. Currently titled the AALL Directory and Handbook and in its 45th edition, it has been continuously published by CCH ever since.

Diana M. Priestly

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