Cambridge Military Library
Cambridge Military Library is a public library building in Royal Artillery Park (Halifax) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada which was created in 1886. The building was created to house the garrison library collection, which had been moved from various locations in the city since its creation in 1817. It is the oldest library collection in Atlantic Canada. (When the library was established, there were still no bookstores in the region.) This building was the social and literary centre of military Halifax. In 1902, the officers of the garrison requested the library be named after the Prince George, Duke of Cambridge.
Along with Dalhousie College, Lord Dalhousie established the book collection with the Castine Fund, established from the fortune taken from New Ireland (Maine) during the War of 1812. Dalhousie housed the collection in a building adjacent to the Glacis Barracks. It was later moved to Water Street before being re-established in its current location.
The original membership of the library in 1818 included:
- Col. Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres
- Oliver Goldsmith (Canadian poet)
- Sir George Head
- Sir Howard Douglas
- John Frederick Fitzgerald de Roos
- Captain William Moorsom
By 1835, the library included the best works published in the English language. In the 1860s the library holdings were considerably augmented by a very valuable collection of books transferred from Corfu, which originated from the Garrison Library at Messinia in 1810. By 1886, by the time the Cambridge Military Library was built, the library collection totaled 3,000 volumes.
On October 29, 1934 a tablet was unveiled by Lt. Gov. Walter Harold Covert. The historic importance of the library is reflected in those who attended the ceremony:
- Premier Angus MacDonald
- Halifax Mayor Edward Joseph Cragg
- Chief Justice Gordon Harrington
- Frank Patterson,
- Dr. Carleton Stanley
- Harry Piers
- Commander Leonard W. Murray
- Mr. D.C. Harvey
- Frederick Henry Sexton
- Colonel Eaton (Annapolis)
- General Foster (Kentville)
- Brigadier General Halfdan Hertzberg
- Lt. Col. H.T. Goodeve
- Band of the Princess Louise Fusiliers
- Shirley Elliott. A library for the garrison and town: A history of the Cambridge Military Library, Royal Military Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Wolfville, Nova Scotia. 1989.
- Cambridge Military Library Royal Artillery Park of Halifax NS and GOC Residence
- Early Libraries In Halifax, by Karen Smith; NSHS, Journal #7 (2004); pp. 15.
- Rules and catalogue of the Halifax Garrison Library: with a list of the subscribers. 1835