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Adèle de Guerry Languedoc

Photograph of Adèle de Guerry Languedoc

(1904-1993)

Librarian

Source


Adèle de Guerry Languedoc's library career is distinguished both by its longevity and its international character. A native of Tadoussac, Quebec, Miss Languedoc obtained a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in Montreal in 1929 and earned a Librarian's diploma at the McGill Library School in the summer of that same year. Upon graduation, she was offered a position in the cataloguing department at McGill University Library, and she stayed at McGill for a number of years before moving to the McLennan Travelling Libraries Program in 1936 to serve as the program's director from 1940 to 1945.

In 1945 Adèle Languedoc left Montreal for New York where she studied at Columbia University and obtained a Bachelor of Library Service in 1946. The Second World War had just ended and, anxious for a challenge, she inquired about foreign postings. She was sent to France and served for five years with American Relief for France helping to rehabilitate regional libraries in the area around Lille and Soissons, and also to set up the first children's library outside Paris.

As her work in France was ending, Miss Languedoc was interviewed by Dr. W. Kaye Lamb for a position as accessions librarian at the Canadian Bibliographic Centre the forerunner of Library and Archives Canada. When she assumed her new position on January 2, 1951 there were three librarians and no library. In this capacity, she developed the Canadiana acquisitions program and became well known for her expert detective work in discovering Canadian authors. A woman conversing with Miss Languedoc on board ship was delighted with the librarian's interest in her son's thesis and asked if she wanted to read it. "Heavens no, I just want to get it" Miss Languedoc told the astonished woman.

In 1964, Adèle Languedoc was appointed Assistant National Librarian, a position she held until her retirement in 1969. She traveled to Sweden as a member of the Canadian delegation to a UNESCO seminar on libraries and served as a library consultant to the Ford Foundation in Tunisia and Algeria. Following her retirement until 1978, Miss Languedoc worked part-time cataloguing a special collection of Canadian pamphlets for the National Archives of Canada. She frequently visited the National Library to borrow and lend books and visit friends. Upon her death in December 1993, the National Library News paid tribute to her achievements: "To all her work, she brought a broad, deep knowledge and experience of Canada's French and English traditions".

Resources

Hampton, Edna. "Three women in Ottawa : at last, time for reading." Globe and Mail. — No. 37,225 (Wed. April 2, 1969). — ISSN 03190714. — P. W1

"In memoriam." — National Library news. — Vol. 26, nos. 2-3 (February-March 1994). — ISSN 00279633. — P. 10

"Centenary gifts to Canada's National Library." Ontario Library Review. — Vol. 52, no.3 (September 1968). — ISSN 00302996. — P. 139-141

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