Cambridge Military Library

Cambridge Military Library

Cambridge Military Library

The Cambridge Military Library  will be open for regular office hours every Wednesday from 1000-1400 hrs.

To book an appointment for research or to book a library tour please contact Coral Peterson at (902) 427-4494 or by email at coral.peterson@forces.gc.ca.
 

The Cambridge Military Library (CML) was established in 1817 as the Halifax Garrison Officer’s Library.  It was moved to its present location in Royal Artillery Park in 1886 and received its present designation in 1902, named after His Royal Highness, Prince George, the Duke of Cambridge.

The CML was funded in part from Customs receipts gathered during the War of 1812.  Along with Dalhousie College (what is today Dalhousie University), George Ramsay, the ninth Earl of Dalhousie and Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia,  established the book collection from  the Castine Fund - the fortune taken from New Ireland (Maine) during the War of 1812.

In the 1860s the library holdings were considerably augmented by a very valuable collection of books transferred from the Garrison Library at Messina on the British-garrisoned island of Corfu, which had been established in 1810.  By 1886, when the present-day the CML was built, the library collection totaled 30,000 volumes.

The CML is an integral part of the military heritage in the City of Halifax and occupies a unique niche in the military history of Canada.  It is the only vestige of the British military garrison which continues to operate in the same manner as it did when it was originally established. As well, the Library predates the establishment of public lending libraries in Canada, affording it a place of pride in the library system of the country. 

With its historic connection to Dalhousie University, and its role in the adult education system of this British Army garrison town, the CML has an important historical link to the public education system of Halifax and Nova Scotia.

The central theme of the collection including books, journals and maps is military in nature.                                                                          
 
Photo credit: Halifax Military Heritage Preservation Society