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Daphne Joan Winearls was born in Toronto in 1937 and received a BA (hons) in modern history from the University of Toronto in 1959, a BLS from the School of Library Science in 1960 and a MLS in 1974. She retired in 1998. During this period she developed research interests in the history and bibliography of maps and is now recognized as one of the foremost map librarians in Canada.
Following her graduation from Library School in 1960, Ms Winearls served as a librarian at the Metropolitan Bibliographic Centre of the Toronto Public Library System for two years. She then spent two years as reference librarian and cataloguer at the India Office Library in the Commonwealth Relations Office in London.
In 1964 she was hired as map librarian in the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto, with the responsibility of establishing and developing a map library for the Department and the University community as a whole. With the consolidation of library facilities on campus and the opening of the Robarts Library in the summer of 1974, the map library became part of the University of Toronto Library system and was relocated in the new building. In 1980 she was appointed Librarian IV and continued to head the Map Library until her retirement in 1998. After retirement, she has continued to research and write.
In addition to her other responsibilities, Ms Winearls accepted the position of associated instructor in the Faculty of Library Science in 1970. She taught the first regular course in map librarianship in Canada, a course that continued until 1981. Other activities of an academic nature have included a ten-lecture course, "Maps through the Ages", given at the School of Continuing Studies in the winter term, 1977; a workshop, "AACR2 cataloguing for maps", for the School of Graduate Studies and FLS in 1977-78; periodic seminars on the use of maps in historical geography and the history of cartography, and invited lectures. From 1992 to 1996 she was a member of the Committee for the Conference on Editorial Problems, and from 1994 until her retirement she was co-organizer of the Digital May Data Users Group which undertook initiatives on the acquisition of digital map files and software at the University of Toronto.
Ms Winearls was a founding member, in 1967, of the Association of Canadian Map Libraries (ACML), later serving as its president, review editor of its Bulletin, an organizer of two of its conferences and, since 1984, as a member and chair of its Canadian Committee on Bibliographic Control of cartographic materials. From 1974-1977 she was a member of the Ontario Board of Geographic Names and from 1976 to 1980 chaired the Ontario Council of University Libraries Map Group. Other professional activities have included being a member of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Committee for Cartographic Materials (1979-82). In 1984 she was elected chair of the Canadian Committee on Bibliographic Control of cartographic materials of the ACML and from 1994 to 1998 chaired the Bibliographic Control Committee of the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA). She organized the 29th Conference on Editorial Problems at the University of Toronto (1993), on the topic of `Editing early and historical atlases'. In 1995 she became a member of the Bibliographic Society of Canada and in 1996 chair of its Tremaine Medal Committee. She has been a member of the Canadian Cartographic Association since its founding in 1975 and has organized meetings of its History of Geography Interest Group. She has attended several International Conferences for the History of Cartography and in 1985 established an ad hoc working group on cartobibliography.
Over the years Ms Winerals has received several grants to further her research and writing. The Ontario Historical Studies Series provided a grant from 1971 to 1974 for work on the bibliography of manuscript and printed maps of Upper Canada, 1780-1867. She subsequently received a year’s research leave for further work on the bibliography and a Canada Council grant for the final collecting phase. In 1984-1985 and 1988-1989 she took a year-and-a-half of research leaves and received SSHRCC grants for editing Maps of Upper Canada, aided by grants from the Ontario Heritage Foundation and the McLean Foundation. In 1990 she received a final SSHRCC grant for publishing Maps of Upper Canada, aided by grants from the Jackman Foundation and the Ontario Heritage Foundation.
Several honours have been bestowed on Ms Winerals for her work. The first was the 1984 Toronto Historical Board Award of Merit for her preparation, with Isobel Ganton, of an exhibition, ‘Mapping Toronto’s first century, 1787-1884’, for the city’s sesquicentennial, at the Canadiana Gallery of the Royal Ontario Museum (January-March 1984). In 1988 she was awarded the Librarians’ Association University of Toronto Award of Merit and in the following year the Faculty of Library and Information Studies Distinguished Graduate Award. In 1993 she was the recipient of the 14th Tremaine medal for bibliography form the Bibliographical Society of Canada.