Halifax Memorial Library and Halifax Central Library share a remarkable historical connection. Their developments—the processes of communities coming together to plan a new building and then the activities conducted within—were and are positive milestones in the history of Halifax.
To reflect this connection, Halifax Central Library will proudly display and thus share the history of the Halifax Memorial Library.
Honouring the past
As the plans for Central Library take shape, the Library’s Board is committed to preserving the memorial aspect of the library. To that end, Library staff met with representatives of the Royal Canadian Legion, Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command in January 2009.
Together, the Legion and Library agreed on how to incorporate memorial elements in Central Library, including the following:
- A historical account and virtual exhibit is created (and you are reading it!)
- The two Books of Remembrance and a third Book of Remembrance (currently in development) will be displayed in a commemorative space on the fourth floor of the new Library and online.
In addition, some of the symbolic memorial artifacts will find a new home and be housed at the Maritime Command Museum:
- Union Jack and British Empire Service Flags
- Two standards of the Silver Cross Women of Canada.
- Silver Cross replica
- The three murals commissioned and painted by local artist Commander Donald C. MacKay in 1951, which were already donated in 1974
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Halifax Central Library sustains the original intention of the Halifax Memorial Library. By its very nature as a public library, Central Library is a testament to all who fought to safeguard freedom of speech and freedom of study.