- 1946-1950 (Creation)
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Ruth Church was employed as the head librarian at Canada House in London from September 1945 to March 1950. She was the first permanent librarian hired by the Canadian High Commission and was tasked with building up the library almost from scratch, while serving the demands of the Canadian diplomatic corps and facilitating the use of the library by Canadians based in or travelling through London and interested members of the public.
She nearly lost her job when she married in 1948, as the Civil Service Commission’s policy was that once married, she would be supported by her husband and therefore would be replaced by an unmarried librarian as soon as possible. She appealed on the basis that she would be supporting her husband while he was a student at Oxford and was allowed to remain on with her full salary and allowances. In April 1949, her contract was renewed for six-months and, on request, for a further six months until 28 February 1950, which was extended to 31 March until her replacement arrived from Canada. During this period she fought back against the Department of External Affairs’ decision to reduce her allowance and the Receiver General’s clawback of portions of her salary. Forty-five years later she publicly objected to the closure of the Library and of Canada House and lived to attend its reopening in 1998.
The files in this series contain correspondence, salary stubs, poetry, reports, a manuscript, and articles.