Bonar Law-Bennett Library

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Building Name: Bonar Law-Bennett Library
View of the front of the Bonar Law-Bennett Library, [between 1952-1956]. UA RG 350; Series 8; Sub-series 1; File 2; UNB20.

Other Names: Old Library Building, University Library, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Civic Address: 23 Dineen Dr.

Sod Turning: 1929

Cornerstone Laying: 1929

Opened for Use: January 1931

Official Opening: May 1931 (dedication of University Library) by then Premier J.B.M Baxter; 15 May 1951 (Bonar Law-Bennett Library Opening)

Architect: H. Claire Mott (original structure); Moore, Beattie and Associates (wing addition)

Named for: Former Prime Ministers R.B. Bennett of Canada and Bonar Law of Britain, who were both born in New Brunswick.

Renovations/changes/additions: Interior remodeled and new wing added in 1951.

Plaque Inscription: The Bonar Law-Bennett Library so-named by the Right Honourable Lord Beaverbrook, Honorary Chancellor of the University of New Brunswick, in honour of the two New Brunswick-born prime ministers who were his close friends and associates, was enlarged by Lord Beaverbrook's gift of a new wing, and was made by him the repository of the Beaverbrook collection of books, and documents of great historic value, to the end that all students who enter here may find what they seek to the enlightenment of all, and to the common good. The new library was officially opened and presented to the university by Lord Beaverbrook on May 15th 1951.

Notes: The first separate library at the UNB campus was presented by the provincial government for the University and completed in 1931. Lord Beaverbrook funded an additional wing to be added in 1951 and included the Beaverbrook Reading Room, as well as changing the name from the University Library to the Bonar-Law-Bennett Library. H.R.H Princess Elizabeth and H.R.H. Prince Philip visited the library during their cross-Canada tour in 1954. An inscription below the cornice leading into the building reads: Ne Derelinquas me, Domine (Forsake me not utterly, O Lord). In May 1967 the library was moved into the new Harriet Irving Library and the Bonar Law-Bennett Library was sold to the provincial government to be used as the provincial archives.

Source(s):

  • Leroux, John. Building A University: The Architecture of UNB. Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 2010, p. 45.
  • Plaque Inscription: University of New Brunswick Public Relations Department Photograph Collection; Series 2; Sub-series 3; File 721; Item 12.
  • UA Case 132; Section 2; Files 1, 2.
  • UA Case 132; Section 3; Files 1, 2, 4, 10, 11.
  • UA Case 132; Section 4.


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