Basil Frederick Stuart-Stubbs, BA’52, BLS’54

1930 – 2012. Basil Frederick Stuart‑Stubbs, former UBC University Librarian and director of the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS), passed away on May 29, 2012. Stuart‑Stubbs will be remembered as a bibliophile, scholar and librarian. His writings encompass Canadian history, cartography, bibliography, library history, copyright, union catalogues, resource sharing and computerized networks. Music was Stuart‑Stubbs’s lifelong passion – in particular, the piano.

“I had the honour of knowing Basil for many years, admiring his achievements from across the country. He was truly unique, an icon in the evolving story of librarianship in our country,” says Ingrid Parent, UBC’s University Librarian. “I considered him to be a generous mentor, a revered colleague and a dear friend to many. He will be missed.”

Stuart‑Stubbs grew up in Moncton, NB. In 1964, at the age of 34, he was appointed UBC’s University Librarian. His 17 years in that role coincided with the computer revolution and the rapid growth of staff and collections dispersed over new branch libraries on the expanding Point Grey campus. In 1981, Stuart‑Stubbs moved to a faculty position when he was appointed professor and director of SLAIS, a position he held for two terms. Basil took particular interest in the production and distribution of Canadian books, and was associated with several initiatives beneficial to authors and readers, and to Canadian publishing. These included chairing the UBC Publications Centre, which created UBC Press.

Basil received many awards and honours, including an appointment as Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; the first Miles Blackwell Medal for Outstanding Academic Librarian by the Canadian Library Association; the Order of Canada; and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal.