Ogreta McNeill

Ogreta McNeill (b Ormiston). Librarian, teacher, b Gabarus, Cape Breton Island, NS, 2 Aug 1903, d East York, Ont, 21 Apr 1993; ATCM 1932, B MUS (Toronto) 1952, BLS (Toronto) 1953. She was raised in Victoria, BC, where she studied and taught piano. The young John Beckwith was one of her pupils.

McNeill, Ogreta

Ogreta McNeill (b Ormiston). Librarian, teacher, b Gabarus, Cape Breton Island, NS, 2 Aug 1903, d East York, Ont, 21 Apr 1993; ATCM 1932, B MUS (Toronto) 1952, BLS (Toronto) 1953. She was raised in Victoria, BC, where she studied and taught piano. The young John Beckwith was one of her pupils. Moving to Toronto in 1932, she worked 1942-68 in the Toronto Public Library's music library, for some 20 of those years as its head. She developed the holdings, began the record collection, and organized concerts at Ferguson House (the music library's home 1959-77). She was a founding member of the Canadian Music Library Association (renamed Canadian Association of Music Libraries) and served as its first chairperson 1956-7 and again as chair in 1964-5. She was also president 1960-3 of the Pro Arte Orchestra. After her retirement she became music consultant to the Forest Hill Learning Resources Centre. She also contributed to EMC. She is remembered as Canada's first professional music librarian.

Writings

'Music in 19th century Toronto: a bibliography,' University of Toronto Library School, 1953

'Basic music collection for a small public library,' Ont Library R, vol 39, Aug 1955

'Music collections in Canadian libraries, 1: Public libraries,' Canadian Library Association Bulletin, vol 12, Apr 1956

'Music libraries,' ibid, vol 13, Apr 1959

'Peregrinations of a music library,' Ont Library R, vol 42, Aug 1959

'House of Music,' TSO News, vol 12, Mar 1960

A survey of music collections in public and university libraries in Canada, Aug 1965. Edmonton, 1966


Further Reading

  • Beckwith, John. 'A tribute to Mrs. Ogreta McNeill,' CMLA Newsletter, Dec 1968

    Kallmann, Helmut. "In memoriam: A pioneer music librarian," CAML Newsletter, July 1993