Gertrude Gunn

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Gertrude Gunn. PR; Series 4; File 7; Item 112.

Moncton native Dr. Gertrude E. Gunn began her long association with UNB in 1951. After working for the Department of National Defence until 1945/46, and then spending several years in the newspaper industry in Montreal, she entered UNB to study history, earning a BA (Hons.) in 1955, and an MA the following year. She was awarded a Beaverbrook Postgraduate Overseas Fellowship which enabled her to continue her education at King's College, University of London. While studying for her PhD there, Dr. Gunn received a letter from UNB administrators offering her the position of University Librarian, which she accepted.

After completing her dissertation The political history of Newfoundland, 1832-1864 (published by University of Toronto Press in 1966), she enrolled at Simmons College in Boston to study Library Science. In 1959, Dr. Gunn returned to Fredericton to head the Bonar Law-Bennett Library, the first formally-trained librarian to hold this position. During her tenure, the library grew from a small collection of approximately 97,000 items to a research library housing over 1.8 million volumes, and a quadrupled number of full-time staff. Dr. Gunn's hard work and determination made the construction of a new building a reality, with the Harriet Irving Library opening its doors in 1967. Dr. Gertrude Gunn retired in 1982 after a 23 year career at UNB and was named the first Librarian Emerita at Encaenia in 1983.


  • UA Case 131; Section 3.
  • University Perspectives, vol. 8, no. 8, May 1982, p. 4.
  • University Perspectives, vol. 9, no. 10, May 1983, p. 9.

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